The research project for Anthony Isaac’s master’s degree should go a long way in his new position as an Aboriginal Student Advisor at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
The newest Aboriginal Programs & Services staff member explored the visions of First Nations youth during their transition to post-secondary while obtaining his master’s of science from the University of Western Ontario. Isaac believes this work should give him a solid foundation for improving the university experience for Aboriginal students on campus.
“Using photo-voice as my data collection method I was able to collect unique findings from First Nations youth that reflect their strengths and capacities. The youth engaged in photo-taking, qualitative interviews and focus groups to share their visions of success and experiences in transitioning into their post secondary experience. Whereas, most previous Indigenous educational research has predominately focused on barriers Indigenous youth face and not necessary from the perspective of the youth themselves,” says Isaac.
Adrienne Vedan, director of Aboriginal Programs & Services, was pleased when Isaac accepted the position here. “I’m happy to have Anthony join our campus. His experience, enthusiasm and skills will compliment our team and be a great resource for our students.”
Issac is a member of the Ojijaak Indoodem, or Crane Clan. His home reserve is within the Bkejwanong Territory from South Western Ontario. After wrapping up his post-secondary studies, he moved west to British Columbia and spent time connecting with the land.
“Along my journey I spent a lot of time outdoors hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, surfing, photo taking and simply enjoying the picturesque wilderness,” said Isaac. “Among my experiences some of the interesting things I learned were how to build a log house, pick wild foods and medicines and survive in the backcountry. I’m excited to continue my explorations here in the beautiful Okanagan as I begin this new chapter in my life.”
In respecting traditional values, Isaac went onto acknowledge the Okanagan Nation territory and feels honoured to live here.