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.
The AFN Toolkit consists of 22 learning modules that have been designed to enhance the understanding of important First Nations topics to ensure both students and teachers are learning in and out of the classroom.
We all have a role to play in eliminating violence against Indigenous women, girls, transgender, gender-diverse, and Two-Spirit people.
This starts with a better understanding of Canada’s historical and on-going colonial violence against Indigenous peoples. An initiative of the Native Women's Association of Canada, The Safe Passage resources are aimed at individuals, industries, and communities that are directly connected to the MMIWG2S+ genocide and provide speciﬁc and distinctions-based training and tools.
This resource is an overview of the implementation of post-majority support services as part of the immediate measures starting April 1, 2022, towards a larger reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program.
The Health Aboriginal Network has created this free book and video on child protection, entitled Emily's Choice. Emily is struggling with addiction and an unhealthy relationship. She loves her son, Greg, but can’t always take care of him. When Greg goes into foster care, Emily is heartbroken. But by getting legal help and with the support of her family, she gets Greg back. Emily’s Choice is Emily’s story.
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.
The Native Women's Association of Canada’s e-learning program on providing trauma-informed, culturally safe, and intersectional services for, to, and with 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous people with lived experience of gender-based violence.
A 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
Stories of Decolonization is a multi-film interview-based documentary project that shares personal stories in order to explore accessible understandings of colonialism and its continued impact on those living on the lands now called Canada. It also explores notions and actions of decolonization.
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.
Indigenous Story Studio, formerly known as the Healthy Aboriginal Network is a registered non-profit with a mandate of promoting health, literacy & wellness through the production of visual resources for youth.
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.
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.
This is a printable resource for your workplace on how to access services and supports through Jordan’s Principle.
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.
Through engaging storytelling and illustrations, Second Chance, a free graphic novel, introduces Gladue rights for Aboriginal peoples.
Using the Your Care, Your Choices workbook as a guide can help you to begin conversations with your family, friends and health care team. That way everyone knows how you wish to be cared for if you ever become ill or injured, and can no longer make decisions for yourself.
In this emotional film, the profound impact of the Canadian government's residential school system is shown through the eyes of two children who were forced to endure unimaginable hardships.
Canadian Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1 (866) 925 4419)
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former Residential School students. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling 24-Hour National Crisis Line.
On September 30th, CASW will honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day which serves as an important reminder of the profound impact of the Canadian residential school system on Indigenous children, families, and communities. It is a day to honour survivors and to reaffirm our individual and collective commitments to reconciliation. CASW urges all social workers to take the day to reflect and to call for their provincial and territorial government to designate it a statutory holiday. CASW encourages the Government of Canada to remain committed to realizing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
April 5, 2023 – In early 2022, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) recognized the historic agreement, in-principle, regarding harms to First Nations children, families that delivered $20 billion in compensation to victims and survivors, as well as a further $20 billion for long term reforms to First Nations child welfare services.
September 2022 - At this time of deep loss and trauma, the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (SASW) and the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) stand in support and compassion with James Smith Cree Nation and the community of Weldon.
June 20, 2022 – Tomorrow, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) will mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, an important time to celebrate the diverse histories, achievements, and cultures of Indigenous people across the land now known to many as Canada. June 21 is also a day to reflect on how much remains to be done on the journey of reconciliation.
January 5, 2022 – The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) recognizes the historic agreement-in-principle regarding harms to First Nations children, families, and communities. On December 31, 2021, this non-binding agreement was reached between the parties which will provide $20 billion in compensation to victims and survivors, as well as a further $20 billion for long term reforms to First Nations child welfare services.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
“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.”
“CASW pledges support to Aboriginal communities and organizations in implementing all recommendations.”
“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. "
"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."
"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."
“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.”
“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.”
"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."
“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”
"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."
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.
National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit,transgender and gender-diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. Founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people within their respective communities and Canadian societies.
Created to preserve the memory of Canada's residential school system and legacy.
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 developed Community Action Toolkits, which are intended to provide you with some guidelines and ideas on how to start the reconciliation conversation:
“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.”
British Columbia Association of Social Workers:
Towards a New Relationship (2016)
“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
First Nations Health Authority
Alberta College of Social Workers:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Indigenous Social Work Practice Framework - Honouring Sacred Relationships: Wise Practices in Indigenous Social Work (2019)
Land Acknowledgement - Calgary Foundation (2019)
Manitoba College of Social Workers
“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
Land Acknowledgement Guide (2022)
New Brunswick Association of Social Workers
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.
Reconciliation Through Education
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba has created an extensive selection of resources for students, teachers, and the general public. It includes books (with summaries and links), teaching resources, online toolkits, policy documents and legislation all organized by audience.
Social Policy Forum Cultural Safety Resources
The Federation has also shared a collection of resources prepared by Jennifer Charlesworth and Wedlidi Speck for the 2018 Social Policy Forum that took place earlier this year. It includes a series of posters that illustrate key cultural safety concepts as well as recommended articles, books, and TED talks related to issues of cultural awareness, implicit bias, microaggressions, and language.
Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation Canada
A new national, interactive website will now monitor the progress of one of Canada's most important tools for change — the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 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.