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Race, rules and relationships: What can critical race theory offer contemporary Aboriginal boarding schools?
conference contributionposted on 2018-10-08, 00:00 authored by Tessa BenvenisteTessa Benveniste, J Guenther, Sophia RainbirdSophia Rainbird, Drew DawsonDrew Dawson, L King
Boarding schools have been increasingly championed in strategies to move closer to educational equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. However, there is a significant lack of research and evidence on the implications of the boarding environment for Aboriginal students, families and communities. This paper presents a study of an Aboriginal residential program in South Australia. Semi-structured and narrative interviews with 55 participants (including residence staff, family, and past students) reveal the centrality of rules and relationships within this setting. A consideration of these themes from a Critical Race Theory perspective provides a socio-cultural basis to analyse the implications of race, racism and power. In doing so, underlying implications of the boarding model that should be acknowledged, explored and applied in this setting are identified. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.