Indigenous Canadian University Students’ Experiences of Microaggressions

  • Deniz Canel-ÇınarbaşEmail author
  • Sophie Yohani


Racial microaggressions are defined as daily indignities directed towards disempowered racial groups that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights (Sue et al. American Psychologist, 62, 271–286, 2007b). The purpose of the present study was to investigate Indigenous Canadian university students’ experiences of racial microaggresions and provide suggestions for culturally competent educational practices. The study utilized a qualitative method and involved a focus-group and follow-up interviews. Seven domains or themes emerged. These domains were: overt discrimination; assumption of intellectual inferiority; assumption of criminality; invalidation or denial; second-class citizen; racial segregation; and myth of meritocracy. Implications for counselors and educators were discussed.


Racism Discrimination Indigenous Canadian Microaggressions 



The authors would like to thank the student participants and the elder participant for their invaluable contributions to this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict on interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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