Strengthening Today; Building Tomorrow Conference on January 28 and 29th, 2016

B.1: Social Work Education and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – An intersection in need of construction

B.1: Social Work Education and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – An intersection in need of construction

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called on educators to reflect on how social work is taught. The goal is decolonizing, reconciliation and affirming place for Indigenous voices and practitioners. However, how well prepared are social work educators and students for this challenge? This study used an exploratory pragmatic approach to explore the complexities of implementing the key messages of the TRC.

Ten focus groups were held at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University (7 with students and 3 with faculty). Each focus group examined the depth of knowledge, the comfort with engaging discussion and considered how Indigenous social work might be taught.

Ten themes were identified that this seminar will explore as a way to engage the profession in needed pathways of change:

1. Arriving into social work with little information;

2. Thirst for knowledge;

3. Racism and Colonization still evident;

4. Not sure of the place of Indigenous knowledge;

5. Concern about the place of Indigenous student and faculty;

6. How to manage parallel stories of oppression and colonization;

7. Who benefits from decolonizing and Indigenization;

8. Who has the right to teach / tell the stories;

9. What is the place of pedagogy; and

10. How do we do good rather than extend colonization?

This will be an interactive workshop that will engage the audience in ways we might address these issues in child protection education and practice.

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