CASW Reconciliation Hub

The goal of “developing stronger connections with Indigenous social workers and communities to better support their issues and pursue shared advocacy goals” was identified by the CASW Federation as a priority in the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

Consequently, in October 2017, the CASW Board made the decision to emphasize Reconciliation as a priority with the intention of developing an action plan to pursue reconciliation and promote understanding. The first meeting of the Board on this topic alone took place November 21, 2017, with many possible avenues to explore. Thank you for your patience while this action plan is elaborated; CASW will communicate to the full membership once concrete plans are underway. 

Below, find links to CASW's previous statements, letters, and other publications related to CASW's advocacy for reconciliation and rights and equity for Indigenous people and communities over the past number of years. These positions have been the backbone of many of our sustained advocacy efforts on Parliament Hill and are listed in chronological order. Following this list are a number of provincial and national resources from other organizations. 

This list is by no means complete and will remain in progress as we gather materials - please let us know at casw@casw-acts.ca if there are any resources that should be considered for inclusion.

 

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CASW Continuing Education

Practice Resources

CASW Statements/Positions/Letters

National Organizations and Statements (Canada)

Provincial Resources

Further Educational Resources and Reading

 


CASW Continuing Education

2020

Learning from the experiences of Indigenous children in care: When placement disruption results in multiple school changes

Bill C-92 An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, From Compliance to Connection

Engaging Indigenous Youth

Decolonizing Journeys

 

2019

Cultural Safety in Indigenous Health Care

Circles for Reconciliation

In a Good Way: Putting the TRC Calls to Action into Practice

 

2018

Unsettling Ourselves: Settler Engagement with Truth and Reconciliation

A SACRED STORY: Gladue Reports

Honouring Jordan’s Principle: Putting Kids First

 

2017

Aboriginal Community Social Work: Committing to Anti-Oppressive Practice

Indigenous Perspectives & Social Work Series (2 part series) 

 


Practice Resources

For more resources please visit the CASW Practice Resources Page

Emily’s Choice - Child Protection Comic and Video
 
The Health Aboriginal Network has created a comic and video on child protection, entitled Emily's Choice. Click here to download the book for free, watch the video and order books and posters.
 
Coming full circle: Planning for your care
 
booklet to ensure Indigenous Peoples’ choices for their future healthcare are known and respected. It assists Indigenous Peoples in planning for and having discussions about their care should they become seriously ill or if they can no longer speak for themselves. Developed by Indigenous Peoples for Indigenous Peoples
 
First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention
 
The purpose of the First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention Curriculum is to promote resilience and instill hope amongst First Nations youth.
Although the materials are directed at classroom teachers, other professional service providers are welcome to consider the application of this curriculum on behalf of First Nations youth at risk. Click here to access.
 
First Peoples Child & Family Review
 
The First Peoples Child & Family Review is dedicated to interdisciplinary knowledge honouring the voices and perspectives of Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous allies and supporters.
 
Every issue of this First Nations Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS) publication First Peoples Child & Family Review is available online and free to the public to view and download.
 
Healthy Aboriginal Network
 
The Healthy Aboriginal Network (HAN) is a registered non-profit with a mandate of promoting health, literacy & wellness through the production of visual resources for youth. Click here to access free and paid resources.
 
Indigenous Comic Books on Health and Social Issues for Youth
 
Click here to access this resource by Indigenous Story Studio.
 
Indigenous Kids Rights Path
 
The IKRP is a place where Indigenous children (on and off reserve) can learn about their rights and find links to help or resources if they feel their rights are not being respected. Click here to access this resource.
 
 
The Indigenous Knowledge Portal (IKP) is a searchable database and related links that provides access to a variety of annotated literature reviews, reports, guides, films, booklets, studies, journal articles and presentations all related to Aboriginal children and families in Canada and similar countries. 
 
We Matter Support Worker Toolkit
 
The Support Worker Toolkit will help use We Matter to start and sustain conversations on HARDSHIP, HOPE and HEALING with Indigenous youth in a ONE- ON-ONE/SMALL GROUP setting.
 
Click here for the Support Worker Toolkit, for use in one-on-one/small group settings.
 
How to Access Services through Jordan’s Principle
 
Click here to access a printable resource for your workplace on how to access services and supports through Jordan’s Principle.
 
How to prepare and write a Gladue report
 
Gladue rights apply to all Aboriginal peoples, living on reserve or off reserve. This Gladue Report Guide is published by the Legal Services Society (LSS) in British Columbia.
 
A Second Chance - A Gladue Rights Story
 
Through engaging storytelling and illustrations, Second Chance, a free graphic novel, introduces Gladue rights for Aboriginal peoples.

CASW STATEMENTS/POSITIONS/LETTERS

2020

Statement on Wet'suwet’en Nation and Commitment to Reconciliation

On February 18, 2020 CASW called on the Government of Canada to uphold the guiding principles of Truth and Reconciliation. Specifically, to heed the TRC guiding principle that “Reconciliation requires political will, joint leadership, trust building, accountability, and transparency, as well as a substantial investment of resources.”


2019

 
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.
 
 
In the fall of 2019, CASW acknowledged its role in supporting the implementation of residential schools and affirming the approach to child welfare that led to the 60s scoop through the promotion of discriminatory policies with the underlying motivation to dispossess Indigenous peoples from their land.
 
CASW deeply apologizes for contributing to the injustices imposed on Indigenous peoples and, in this statement, seeks to highlight some of the ways in which CASW was – and in many ways still is – responsible for the systemic denial and inequality that has been apparent in the field of social work.
 
CASW hopes that by publicly acknowledging, with humility, past and ongoing wrongdoings will begin an honest and transparent dialogue as we continue on the path of reconciliation. According to the TRC, “the importance of truth telling in its own right should not be underestimated; it restores the human dignity of victims of violence and calls governments and citizens to account.” This is CASW’s truth.
 

Standing with First Nations Children

In November 2019, CASW joined a national coalition, led by the Child Welfare League of Canada, calling for the Government of Canada to immediately drop its application for judicial review and stay of the ruling and work with the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to develop a plan for children, youth, and families to access compensation.

CASW Welcomes New Direction on Indigenous Child Welfare

In March 2019, the Child Welfare League of Canada (CWLC) and CASW joined together in welcoming the seemingly new direction on Indigenous Child Welfare with the introduction of Bill C-92, an Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.


2018

The Three Pillars of the Profession Celebrate National Social Work Month:  Bringing Change to Life

Across Canada, the profession of social work is Bringing Change to Life. In front-line, community-building, policy, advocacy, and research roles, social workers are social justice professionals: outspoken advocates for the people and communities we serve, and champions for positive change.


2017

Open Letter to the Honourable Dr. Jane Philpott

"CASW unequivocally supports the position of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada’s (FNCFCSC) in asking for your immediate action, in collaboration with Minister Bennett, in costing out all areas of inequity – health, social, educational, economic – facing Indigenous children and their communities. This is the first step in producing a viable and comprehensive plan with targeted investments to eliminate discrimination." 


2016

CASW Applauds Human Rights Tribunal Ruling Acknowledging Discrimination of First Nations Children and Communities

“Beyond addressing this ruling’s specific concerns by implementing new funding models and providing culturally appropriate services, CASW hopes that this decision will more broadly mark a new era in Canada. CASW urges the federal government to act immediately on all 94 Calls to Action advanced in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) final report.”


2015

CASW Statement on Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

“CASW pledges support to Aboriginal communities and organizations in implementing all recommendations.”

CASW Applauds Federal Government’s Action to End Violence against Children

“Furthermore, in choosing to heed the calls for a repeal by childrens’ and human right’s activists alike, the Federal Government simultaneously acts on one of the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report. CASW vocally and adamantly supports the swift implementation of all 94 of the Report’s Calls to Action, and is encouraged that the Federal Government has begun with such an important change.”

Letter to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
CASW has stood in solidarity with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCSC) and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) who, for nearly a decade, have fought a legal battle with the Government of Canada to have the voices of Aboriginal children and their families heard by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT).

Anticipating Action: CASW Welcomes Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
“This inquiry must lead to a comprehensive strategy that lays out clear and measurable steps. While it is deeply important to understand the problem, the government must take ownership over implementing the solution as well” states CASW President Morel Caissie. " 


2014

Letter to Council of Federation - National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

"Social workers in Canada are deeply aware of the structural racism that perpetuates the continued deepening of inequality Aboriginal peoples experience relative to that of any other population in Canada. For over two decades, CASW has asked successive federal governments to put in place a national independent Advocate or Commissioner charged with making sure that in Canada, our children are put first and their rights are protected. We believe that this national Advocate could make a difference for all children in Canada and particularly Aboriginal children who are the most disadvantaged."


2013

Joint Statement Supporting the Aspirations of Indigenous Peoples

"We call upon all Canadian citizens to join with Indigenous peoples in advocating for laws, policies and practices that end colonialism and restore right relationships among all Canadians, no matter their National origins."

Statement In Support of Aboriginal Children and Families

“Social work is dedicated to promoting the individual and collective wellbeing of all peoples and to the advancement of social justice. We are aware of the colonial legacy that impacts the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples and of the historical contribution of social work to this legacy. We call upon all Canadian citizens to join with Indigenous peoples in advocating for laws, policies and practices that end colonialism and restore right relationships among all Canadians, no matter their National origins.”


2012

CASW Seeks Restoration of NWAC and NCFNG Funding

“In 2010 the Government of Canada made the long awaited and much heralded step of endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Less than two years later, the Harper Government is taking steps backwards rather than forward in meeting its international obligations.”

Letter of Support - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

"CASW supports the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) in its appeal to the Committee to request a visit and come to Canada to conduct the inquiry as soon as possible."


2011

CASW Supports Call for National Children's Advocate

“Given that the most recent information on ‘children in care’ indicates that between 30% to 40% are Aboriginal, CASW believes the time has come for the federal government to put an end to jurisdictional arguments by creating a national independent advocate’s office charged with realizing the rights of all children in Canada”


2009 

Statement of Acknowledgement

"This colonial mindset supported a vast array of actions that continue to have a negative impact on individual Aboriginal People and their communities across the country.Today we acknowledge that social workers were participants in activities that negatively impacted our Aboriginal citizens.  Today we express deep regret for those actions." 

 


National Organizations and Statements (Canada)

The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada (the Caring Society) was developed at a national meeting of First Nations child and family service agencies (FNCFSA), held at the Squamish First Nation in 1998. Meeting delegates agreed that a national non-profit organization was required to provide research, policy, professional development and networking support to support FNCFSA in caring for First Nations children, youth and families. An interim board was elected and the plan was approved at a second national meeting held at Kingsclear First Nation.

Indigenous Knowledge Portal (IKP), is a searchable database and related links that provides access to a variety of annotated literature reviews, reports, guides, films, booklets, studies, journal articles and presentations all related to Aboriginal children and families in Canada and similar countries. The Caring Society follows OCAP principles and provides open access to all the documents included here.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Created to preserve the memory of Canada's residential school system and legacy.

Reconciliation Canada

Born from the vision of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Gwawaenuk Elder, Reconciliation Canada is leading the way in engaging Canadians in dialogue and transformative experiences that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. Our model for reconciliation engages people in open and honest conversation to understand our diverse histories and experiences. We actively engage multi-faith and multi-cultural communities to explore the meaning of reconciliation. Together, we are charting a New Way Forward.

Reconciliation Canada has developped Community Action Toolkits, which are intended to provide you with some guidelines and ideas on how to start the reconciliation conversation: www.reconciliationcanada.ca/resources/toolkits/

Statement: CASWE-ACFTS

2017: CASWE Board of Directors Endorses a Statement of Complicity and Commits to Change.

“Transforming our colonial reality must be a responsibility shared by all Canadians. As beginning steps in embracing this shared responsibility, the members of the Board of Directors, of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education- Association canadienne pour la formation en travail social herby announces the Statement of Complicity and a Commitment to Change.”


Provincial Resources: 

British Columbia Association of Social Workers: 

2015: BC Social Workers welcome Truth and Reconciliation Report

“BCASW commits to engaging and consulting with Indigenous peoples and communities on the process”

2016: Towards a New Relationship

“As part of our commitment to social justice, we all have a responsibility to be part of the reconciliation process. This will not be an easy process, nor will it happen overnight. It will require our commitment and active participation over the coming years to move forward towards a respectful and collaborative relationship with First Nations communities. BCASW is committed to supporting its members through this process, and providing tools and resources to help social workers take concrete steps towards reconciliation.”
 

British Columbia Ministry of Child and Family Development: 

Aboriginal Policy and Practice Framework in British Columbia

First Nations Health Authority:

Many resources on Jordan's Principle including informative infographics and links to other resources


Alberta College of Social Workers: 

2013: Indigenous Social Work Practice and Social Work Competence - Declaration of Guiding Responsibilities for Indigenous Social Work Practices

2018Indigenous Social Work Committee (Committee of Council)

The Indigenous Social Work Committee advises Council on matters related to Indigenous Social Work practice. Membership on the committee includes up to seven Indigenous Social Workers appointed by Council and up to three ex-officio members invited for their wisdom/expertise. For further information contact Heather Johnson, Membership Activities Coordinator - South at heatherj@acsw.ab.ca .

2019: Indigenous Social Work Practice Framework  - Honouring Sacred Relationships:  Wise Practices in Indigenous Social Work 


Manitoba College of Social Workers

2016: MCSW is partner to Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord

“The College declares a commitment to reconciliation by taking steps to implement the Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada specific to Social Workers through the promotion of education related to the history and culture of indigenous peoples.”


Ontario Association of Social Workers

2015: Letter to Editor re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report


New Brunswick Association of Social Workers

Indigenous Guidance Committee

 

Further Reading and Educational Resources

The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The two volume report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country.
 
Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
 
In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to action. 

Alanis Obomsawin's 52nd film tells the story of how the life of Jordan River Anderson initiated a battle for the right of First Nations and Inuit children to receive the same standard of social, health and educational services as the rest of the Canadian population.

  • ReconciliACTION: The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund
    Do you have a ReconciliACTION idea that you need support to get going? The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund is always looking for great grassroots, community-based ReconciliACTION projects to fund.  Projects funded in our ReconciliACTION grant program typically range between $5,000 - $10,000.
     
  • The Reconciliation Manifesto – Arthur Manuel
    “For Manuel, this leads to the third element of colonization, oppression, which is especially cunning considering the Canadian system results in “our poverty and misery [being] administered by our own people.” 
     
  • Wicihitowin: Aboriginal Social Work in Canada
    "Wícihitowin is the first Canadian social work book written by First Nations, Inuit and Métis authors who are educators at schools of social work across Canada. The book begins by presenting foundational theoretical perspectives that develop an understanding of the history of colonization and theories of decolonization and Indigenist social work." 
     
  • Strong Helpers' Teachings: The Value of Indigenous Knowledges in the Helping Professions
    "Strong Helpers’ Teachings skillfully illustrates the importance of Indigenous knowledges for students, practitioners, and scholars in the human services. Making space for the voices of many Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, practitioners, and service users, Cyndy Baskin’s text models possible pathways towards relationship building and allyship."It’s Our Time AFN Education Tool Kit
     
  • It’s Our Time AFN Education Tool Kit by Assembly of First Nations
    This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.
Meaningful reconciliation engages young people in learning about Canada’s history of colonization, thinking creatively about the future, and providing them with opportunities to make a difference.

The Caring Society supports educators and schools across Canada in nurturing citizenship, agency and self-confidence by providing opportunities for students to take part in activities that foster reconciliation and culturally based equity for Indigenous children and youth. The resources below offer ideas for engaging students to understand and address inequalities experienced by First Nations children through three interrelated campaigns: Shannen’s Dream, Jordan’s Principle, and I am a witness.

 

A Framework for Cross-cultural Dialogue - The 4Rs Youth Movement centers on engaging diverse Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people in important conversations that in both process and content, aim to promote respect, reciprocity, reconciliation and relevance.

  • Indigenous Reconciliation Group: Resources
    The IRG is a national Indigenous company with a vision to support the capacity for understanding and relationship between Canadians and Indigenous peoples, and to support the leaders and allies and change makers in reconciliation.
     
  • Indian Horse and #Next150
    Richard Wagamese’s book, Indian Horse, follows the story of young man sent to residential school in Northern Ontario:

    "With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he's sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement."

    The book has recently been released as a movie, and is part of the #Next150 Challenge: a year-long series of events and opportunities that is about "setting a different tone in 2018 than what we've seen in the first 150 years of our country" and involves many different opportunities to discover new books, music, movies, art and even make connections in your own community