CASW Statement on the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) lauds and affirms Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. It is a crucial part in the journey of reconciliation for all Canadians, bringing us one step closer to the actualization of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

Prior to its 2015 inception, CASW joined many strong voices in demanding the implementation of the Inquiry, noting that acknowledgement without action would be a further affront to those who shared their lived experience – truth – throughout this process. Concrete recommendations are necessary for meaningful action –reconciliation.

CASW applauds the comprehensive nature of the Report’s 231 recommendations, which affirm social work’s holistic understanding of well-being by acknowledging the role the social determinants of health and of Canada’s social and political systems in ending the violence and colonial genocide faced by Indigenous people and communities – atrocities most acutely inflicted upon Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals.

We also welcome and acknowledge the recommendations specific to social work and child welfare: our profession’s journey of reconciliation will be deeply strengthened by these calls to action.

The comprehensive nature of the report and the recommendations is directly attributable to:

  • the leadership of the Government of Canada in implementing this Inquiry;
  • the work of the Inquiry’s own leadership, who, despite setbacks, diligently performed their roles and;
  • most importantly, the courage and generosity of spirit of the thousands of individuals who witnessed to the Inquiry, selflessly sharing painful truths to help Canada along in the path of reconciliation. Canadians owe these individuals an immeasurable depth of gratitude.

CASW recognizes the specific role and responsibility it has in supporting the implementation of the recommendations provided in Reclaiming Power and Place. For our part, we move forward on our own path of reconciliation with solemn determination and hope. In terms of concrete steps, CASW is currently reviewing our association’s foundational documents, the 2005 Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Ethical Practice, through a process grounded in the principles of reconciliation.

There is much work ahead for CASW and the profession of social work as a whole: we are committed to continuing this work, and are energized by the prospect of collaborating with other social work organizations in Canada to work collectively for reconciliation.