Engaging Aboriginal Students through the Circle of Courage

Brett Hancock

This study investigated and analyzed the factors of how positive student-teacher relationships, focused on the teachings of the Circle of Courage, can help engage our struggling Aboriginal learners. This research question was provoked by the low success rates and engagement rates of Aboriginal students in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools (NLPS) and the entire province of B.C. in comparison to their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Some of the reasons for the lower results and lack of engagement is caused by the struggles that the Aboriginal people of Canada have and continue to face, such as colonization, residential schools, and racism by the dominant culture. This study aims to provide educators and school systems with evidence from teachers and from Aboriginal students who have both struggled and had success within their community of learners with the use of the Circle of Courage.