• Tanya Chichekian University of Sherbrooke
  • Lea Bragoli-Barzan UQAM


postsecondary, challenges, support strategies, Indigenous, academic success


This paper explores the need to build a reciprocal partnership with Indigenous Peoples and develop culturally-relevant strategies that foster academic motivation among Indigenous youth. The objectives of this study were to describe education professionals’ perceptions regarding: (1) the challenges Indigenous students face when transitioning to postsecondary education, (2) strategies used to provide academic support, and (3) the different ways of enhancing Indigenous students’ educational experiences. These perceptions were necessary to better comprehend the ongoing progress related to the need for a decolonized education within academic institutions. Although an increasing proportion of Indigenous Peoples are obtaining college diplomas, some challenges remain and are specifically encountered during Indigenous students’ transition to postsecondary education and in the cultural relevance within their learning materials.

Author Biographies

Tanya Chichekian, University of Sherbrooke

DR. TANYA CHICHEKIAN is a professor in the department of pedagogy at Université de Sherbrooke. She was a former high school mathematics teacher and a former science academic advisor in a postsecondary institution. She has a PhD in Learning Sciences from McGill University and a postdoctoral training specializing in positive psychology in education from Université du Québec à Montreal. Her research interests focus on the underlying motivational processes that lead to the development of innovative mindsets, knowledge transfer in higher education, trans-contextual impacts on students’ optimal functioning, as well as the role of AI [Artificial intelligence] in fostering optimal learning. She’s also interested in statistical and methodological advances, specifically applying machine learning algorithms to large-scale studies in educational research.

Lea Bragoli-Barzan, UQAM

Léa Bragoli-Barzan received her bachelor’s degree from Université de Montréal in 2015 and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in research and clinical psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research interests mainly focus on clarifying the cultural integration concept by exploring the relationship between cultural identity integration and cultural social integration of migrants. She is also interested in the relation between identity denial and migrants’ identity integration, as well as the  impact on psychological and sociocultural well-being. Her goal is to use her knowledge to promote adjusted clinical interventions with ethnic diverse populations.


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How to Cite

Chichekian, T., & Bragoli-Barzan, L. (2021). CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED BY INDIGENOUS YOUTH IN POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill, 55(2). Retrieved from