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Abstract: "What does it mean to be “successful” in higher education? For some in mainstream society, the value is placed on the financial status gained from a university education. Governments and university administration measure success through graduation rates. While the economic and social benefits of a university education are also important to Aboriginal people, successful negotiation of mainstream higher education also entails maintaining their cultural integrity (Tierney & Jun, 2001). Broadening notions of success and corresponding retention theories is important to move forward the agenda of Aboriginal higher education. The purpose of this article is to further the theoretical and practical discussions of educational success of Aboriginal students. Using social reproduction theory and a post-colonial framework, this article presents an argument that shows how/why conventional discourses on retention and student success often exclude Indigenous understandings and worldviews. To this end, it provides a counter-hegemonic on current discourses relating to retention and Aboriginal persistence in mainstream institutions. The article concludes with some thoughts on how to enrich the educational experiences of Aboriginal students from an Indigenous understanding of success and retention."

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