An Exploration of the Effects of Mentor-Apprentice Programs
on Mentors’ and Apprentices’ Wellbeing
About this work
During a 3-year community-university research collaboration, the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board / Saanich Adult Education Centre (W̲SB) and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), jointly with our UVIC team led by Dr. Onowa McIvor and Dr. Peter Jacobs, studied adult Indigenous language learning in British Columbia through the popular Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) method.
We interviewed over 60 participants, including current and past apprentices, current and past language mentors, and administrators in both partner organizations. While our primary interest was to document the successes and challenges of the MAP method, we also gave study participants an opportunity to share how participating in a Mentor-Apprentice Program affected them.
During data analysis, we noticed repeating comments about how the participants’ involvement with MAP impacted their own and their community’s wellbeing. We describe our understanding of these experiences in 6 exploratory themes in this article.