Webinar event date: 
Mar 26, 2018 1:00 pm EDT
Webinar Presenters: 

Carolyn Campbell

As a retired social work professor Carolyn is shifting her focus to citizenship based education and is particularly passionate about joining with other non-Indigenous people as they explore their roles and responsibilities for truth and reconciliation with Indigenous people. As part of this work she has facilitated the Blanket Exercise, an experiential exercise that illustrates Canada’s colonial history; co- organized a Questioning Canada 150 event; and designed and facilitated an eight hour course Stepping Up: Non-Indigenous Peoples Roles in Truth and Reconciliation.

As a Settler of British descent Carolyn is privileged to live as a guest on unceded Mi’kmaq territory outside of Woflville, where she swims, boats, reads, gardens, plays with clay, and welcomes visitors.


Sheri M McConnell, MSW, PhD, RSW

Sheri is white settler and a genderqueer lesbian feminist. She was born and raised in Regina, SK on Treaty 4 land, lived the next 20 years in Saskatoon, SK on Treaty 6 land, then moved to St John’s, NL, where she currently lives on the traditional lands of the Beothuk.

Sheri has worked and volunteered primarily with women, Indigenous people, and queer folk around their experiences with the criminal justice system, substance use, child sexual abuse, and other forms of personal and systemic oppression. She currently works as a social work educator, with a primary focus on field education, at the Memorial University School of Social Work.


Joan Davis-Whelan

Joan sits on CASW's Executive Committee as Treasurer, and wil be moderating this presentation. Joan is a graduate of Memorial University, completing her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1979, and her Bachelor of Social Work in 1981. She completed her Master of Social Work in 1992.

Well known in the Social Work community, Joan has experience in clinical practice including Adult and Child Mental Health and Addictions, Family Violence, Oncology, Palliative Care, Dermatology, Medicine, Nephrology, Surgery, Emergency/ Trauma, Women's Health and Child, Youth and Family Services. She has worked in Quality and Risk and in Human Resources –Organizational Development.




In response to your requests, Sheri has requested that we attach a PDF copy of her piece to this archived webinar. She would like you to know that “I am trying to get this piece published – so that I can share it more widely with people. As my goal is to share it and to be a part of changing our relationships with each other, I am open to people sharing my work with others – as that is the whole point of doing this work. I would be honoured if this piece were to be a conversation starter – and if it were to inform some of how we view our role as settlers in the process of decolonization and reconciliation.”

Workshop Objectives:

  • To surface some historical truths of Canadian ‘settlement’ and the stories that obscure this truth
  • To reflect on the complexity and immensity of colonialization efforts
  • To consider the implications for the profession of social work and for each of us as social workers
  • To explore everyday strategies and steps toward decolonizing and reconciling

Description: There has been much discussion as of late about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Settlers on Turtle Island (North America) - with a particular focus on colonization, decolonization, and reconciliation. Over the past 500 or so years, under British and French then Canadian rule, and through a process of colonization, the settlers who immigrated to (what is now known as) Canada have directly and indirectly participated in the elimination and assimilation of Indigenous peoples through physical, biological, and cultural genocide. The time for decolonizing (reversing the policies, practices, and impacts of colonization) and for reconciling is long overdue.

In this workshop Sheri and Carolyn assert that, as Settlers, we need to turn our gaze inward to expose the colonial foundations of our ‘Settler Identities’. Without doing this difficult, self-reflective work there is little hope of transforming social work from a colonial project to a transformative process of reconciliation.