Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Dr. Rebecca Coulter


This critical policy analysis of the texts of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development’s inquiry into the state of Aboriginal postsecondary education in Canada in 2006 examines the positions taken by witnesses with respect to the context of the policy discussion and the definition of the policy problem. The analysis also examines the policy positions taken by the Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development in its summative report, No Higher Priority, and in the Harper government’s response to the Committee’s report. The results of the analysis indicate that the minority Harper government applied its own definition of the policy problem to all stages of the policy cycle, and thus establishing itself as the legitimate authority responsible for reviewing the policy, and effectively silencing the voice of the witnesses and the Committee itself in the policy discussion.