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Anishinaabeg Voices: Intersections of Identity, Culture, and Values in Education and Professional Life

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Vainio, Ivy
Jun 04, 2013
educational transitions; professional careers; identity negotiation; ethnic identity; culture; familial communication practices; life experience; participant experience; education; Anishinaabeg; Ojibwe; Fine and Applied Arts; Communicating Arts
This research explores how seven Ojibwe adults talk about cultural ways of knowing in their education, professional careers, success, and overall life experiences. More specifically, this research examines participant experiences with identity negotiation, familial communication practices, support, and educational transitions when they left their Ojibwe families to attend college and/or advanced studies while walking in two cultures. Conducting in depth interviews provided valuable insight into cultural values, old and new traditions, familial support, issues with acculturation and transitions, and the definition of success. Four cultural themes emerged in analysis interwoven throughout the talk of each participant's lived experiences including, effects of intergenerational boarding school experience, importance of family, college experience, and success. This research provides a better understanding of ethnic identity and cultural issues surrounding these participant's intercultural and interpersonal transitions with family, education and professional careers. Findings and conclusions have the potential to help better prepare and inform American Indians, and others, as they negotiate the sometimes tumultuous waters of traditional family expectations and intrapersonal sense of obligation, on their academic journey to finding success in dominant Western culture.
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