Dropping the “T” from CAN’T: Enabling Aboriginal Post-Secondary Academic Success in Science and Mathematics

By: Michelle M. Hogue, PhD


Within Dropping the “T” from CAN’T, Dr. Michelle Hogue presents and analyses interviews with eight highly successful Indigenous women and men in order to discern what enables Indigenous people to become successful in the sciences and mathematics such that they are able to pursue related professions. Importantly, Dr. Hogue presents interviews with two Indigenous individuals who started yet did not complete advanced degrees in order to find out what impediments brought their academic journeys to a premature end.

Dr. Hogue’s interview findings, paired with current and relevant literature, serves to enlighten and support the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action to provide culturally relevant education for Aboriginal learners. Education must be culturally and holistically relevant in order to invite, engage, and enable learners; this is true of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners. While this book specifically examines science and mathematics education, the lessons and findings will apply across disciplines.

Foreword by Dr. Laara Fitznor.  Reviews by: Dr.’s Cheryl Bartlett, Fidji Gendron, Yvonne Poitras Pratt, and Leroy Little Bear.

  • ISBN: 978-1-926476-18-6
    Price: $27.00
    Binding: Paperback
    Date: 2018
    Rights: World
    Pages: 199
    Size: 6″ x 9″

  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements and Dedication
    A Note on Terms
    Table of Contents
    Foreword, By: Laara Fitznor, EdD
    Preface: Tan’si, Hello

    Introduction: The Environment
    Puzzlements and Questions

    Women’s Journey
    Men’s Journey
    Re-framing the Journey
    The Talking Circle

    Understanding the Space Between
    Navigating the Space Between

    Coming to Understand
    Philosophically Navigating
    Reframing: Coming Full Circle

    Bridging Cultures, Two-Eyed Seeing & the 21st Century
    Final Reflections
    The Equation for Success

    About the Author

  • Michelle M. Hogue, PhD

    Michelle Houge, PhD is of Métis heritage, and passionate about enabling Indigenous academic success through early engagement and retention in ways that bridge cultures and attend to Indigenous ways of knowing and learning (IWKL). Dr. Houge is passionate about enabling Indigenous success in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through the inclusion of Indigenous culture and the arts (STEAM). Dr. Hogue’s teaching and research focus on building bridges between Indigenous and Western ways of knowing and learning using culturally relevant and innovative methodological approaches that blend required curricular and institutional demands with methodological teaching and learning practices (such as: hands-on-practical and applied learning, land-based learning, narrative, drama and music) in ways that attend to IWKL.

    Currently Dr. Hogue’s work explores best practices in Canada, Australia and New Zealand to develop an inclusive, culturally responsive teaching practice and curricula through the philosophy of Bridging Cultures: Two-Eyed Seeing for Both Ways Knowing

    Dr. Houge is Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the First Nations’ Transition Program (FNTP) at the University of Lethbridge.

  • “Indigenous students CAN succeed in post-secondary science and mathematics!” This is the clear message in Dr. Hogue’s book. Recognizing, reshaping, and retelling insights about success within personal stories requires a skillful story worker and Dr. Hogue is superb. Using the Medicine Wheel, she conveys understandings ‘wholistically’ to provide the much-needed complement to institutional STEM pathways and programs. Hers is a book for everyone: students, educators, academics, administrators, leaders, funders, parents, youth ...

    Cheryl Bartlett, CM, PhD

    Professor Emerita
    Biology and Integrative Science
    Cape Breton University

    What a refreshing book! Michelle Hogue celebrates Aboriginal women and men who journeyed through post-secondary education in science and mathematics and achieved their dreams. She examines their successes and challenges and highlights how Aboriginal science and Western science can come together to reach inclusive learning and knowing. These stories will inspire not only Aboriginal people but everybody to not give up and work hard to reach their goals.

    Fidji Gendron, PhD

    Professor of Biology
    First Nations University of Canada

    As educators continue to ask how all subject areas can be Indigenized, Hogue steps into contested teaching and learning territory with the same fearless attitude she takes in teaching math and science from an Indigenous perspective. This fascinating book contains insights and stories from Indigenous scientists providing irrefutable evidence there is no anomaly between being Indigenous and being a scientist.

    Yvonne Poitras Pratt, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Werklund School of Education
    University of Calgary

    Michelle is an extremely good writer. I can tell she put a tremendous amount of research into the book. I very much like her layout of the Medicine Wheel into: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Doing so clearly brings out the barriers to science education for Indigenous students. Overall, the book makes the point that the ’T’ can be dropped from ‘CAN’T providing we know the culture of Indigenous students and the struggles they have to go through to fulfill their personal goals of becoming scientists.

    Leroy Little Bear, JD, DAS, LLD

    Special Assistant to the President
    Professor, Native American Studies
    University of Lethbridge