Exploring Collaborative Approaches to Indigenous Science Outreach Programs on Turtle Island: A Scoping Review


  • Chelsey Purdy Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Megan Churchill Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Kate Braddon Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Ann Sylliboy Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
  • Tamara Franz-Odendaal Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Velvet Paul Sipekne'katik Community, Department of Education, Hants County, Nova Scotia
  • Albert Marshall Eskasoni Community, Mi'kmaw Nation, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
  • Shannan Grant Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia,




Indigenous Peoples, Program Development, Program Evaluation, Collaboration, Science education


Introduction: Past and recent calls to action (e.g., Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015) call for inclusion of Indigenous Peoples, including residential school Survivors, in all stages/phases of program development and education. Objective(s): This scoping review identifies and maps the extent (i.e., level) of collaboration reported in published accounts of science outreach programming targeting Indigenous youth on Turtle Island (North America) between 2010 and 2022. Additionally, this review lists and describes program evaluation methods reported. Methods: Arksey and O‘Malley‘s (2005) scoping review methodology was applied. Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), Education Research Complete (ERC), Academic Search Premier (EBSCO), CBCA Complete (ProQuest), SocINDEX (EBSCO), Google Scholar, and Google were searched for science outreach programs targeting Indigenous youth on Turtle Island between 2010 and 2022. Each program‘s process and methods were identified. A scoring schema was developed in collaboration with community members to map these data by extent of community collaboration (three categories; 0 = none, 1 = some, 2 = full). Results: In total, 20 programs were identified, and 12 (n = 12/20) programs met criteria for full collaboration during program development and implementation, while eight (n = 8/20) did not. Of the 12 programs, six (n = 6/20) programs reported collaborative evaluation. Diverse evaluation methods were reported and are described. Moreover, 15 (n = 15/20) programs were identified as taking place post 2015, with four (n = 4/15) being Canadian programs. Conclusions: A total of 20 STEM programs targeting Indigenous youth on Turtle Island were identified in this review. Although 60% of the programs reported collaboration during development and implementation of programming, only 30% collaborated with community during program evaluation. These findings are supportive of the need for ongoing education and research on collaboration with Indigenous communities at all stages of intervention/program development.


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