Aboriginal Inquiry: Lifting All Learners

An Impact Assessment of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (AESN)

3.3.3 Culturally inclusive measures: Using story to share impact

An approach that acknowledges the centrality of story as a culturally inclusive means of describing impact seemed a powerful and compelling way to meet our goals of reporting on the impacts of the AES Network , and was very much in keeping with the AESN purposes of broadening the knowledge of non-Aboriginal peoples about First Nations histories, cultures and contributions to Canadian society. As a result, the design of our study sought to gather impact stories in a number of different ways. One of these ways was to insert narratives collected from participants and written independent of the researcher observations. These intact narratives are designed to provide exemplary voices that corroborate and extend the observations and analyses of the researchers.

Narratives are also inserted throughout the cases included in the report; these narratives have been extracted from the discussions held with the more than 50 participants in the complete study. As much as possible, we have used the exact words of the participants as this, we believe, is respectful of their voice. However, we also occasionally add in some words to help make stronger connections or provide greater clarity. The oral record is supplemented to enhance meaning making for the reader while ensuring the intentions of the speaker are honoured.