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Social Service Work with Indigenous PeoplesAnalysis Paper
“Together, [we] must do more than just talk about reconciliation; we must learn how to practice reconciliation in our everyday lives – within ourselves and our families, and in our communities, governments, places of worship, schools, and workplaces. To do so constructively, [we] must remain committed to the ongoing work of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships.” – Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015, p. 21.
Learners will assess the role of social work in the history and legacy of colonialism in Canada, deepening their understanding of the historical, political, and social implications endured, such as the inter-generational impacts of colonialism, attempts at assimilation, and cultural genocide on Indigenous Peoples.
Through a case study analysis, learners will critically analyze social work practices and explore Indigenous perspectives of helping and healing. Learners will identify and apply traumainformed and culturally safe practices through the provision of social service work with Indigenous/FNMI communities.
Written Assignment – between 6 to 7 pages (excluding cover page and references) in length with APA style formatting – double-spaced, Times New Roman, size 12-point font, one inch margins.
SSWR205 Indigenous Approaches to SSW
Part 1: Where We Have Been (2-3 pages)
As Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew) explains, “Our Elders remind us that in order to know where we are going, we have to know where we have been” (Hart et al., 2009, p. 19).
As an emerging social service worker, it is critical for you to contextualize “where we have been” historically in our social work profession in relation to Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Drawing on course readings/materials and your own secondary research:
1. Provide one clear example of the historical (and continued) impact of colonialism on Indigenous individuals, families, and/or communities.
2. What was the role of social work within this context?
3. Identify the impacts of inter-generational trauma on Indigenous Peoples as a result of these encounters.
Part 2: Where We Are Going (3-4 pages)
“People become impatient with the repeated references by [Indigenous] peoples to history and past injustices. “You cannot change the past,” the argument goes. The point that is obviously missed is that the past is still with us in many ways and must be acknowledged in order to be accountable and responsible for the present and future” (Bruyere, 1999, p. 177).
Read the following case study and answer the questions below in response:
You are a case manager at an urban Indigenous social service agency in Toronto. You are meeting with a client who is mandated to work with you by a child welfare worker. Your community member’s (client) name in Carrie; she is a 36-year-old woman and mother who identifies as Indigenous but does not know her lineage because she was taken and placed in childcare from the ages of 4 to 18. Carrie has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and has communicated to her counsellor that she is remembering things from her childhood that is causing her to self-medicate with alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. Carrie recently used cocaine and disappeared from her home for 3 days, leaving her 13-year-old daughter to care for her 5 and 3-year-old siblings. A call to child welfare was made by a neighbour and the children were removed from Carrie’s care. Carrie needs support in complying with the child welfare worker, addressing her addiction and her recent eviction notice.
SSWR205 Indigenous Approaches to SSW
1. Why is an understanding of the legacy of colonialism important for social service work practice with Carrie today? Provide examples to support your answer. 2. How would you apply trauma-informed, culturally safe, and/or Indigenous approaches to relationship building and healing when working with Carrie? Identify two practices/strategies you would use and explain the significance of each. 3. “Social Work has negative connotations to many Indigenous people and is often synonymous with the theft of children, the destruction of families, and the deliberate oppression of [Indigenous] communities” (Sinclair, 2004, p. 49). a) How does your understanding of the history and reputation of social work with Indigenous Peoples influence how you approach your practice with Carrie?b) How will you work towards reconciliation with Carrie and other Indigenous Peoples as an emerging social service worker? Provide examples to support your answer.
Bruyere, G. (1999). The Decolonization Wheel: An Aboriginal Perspective on Social Work Practice with Aboriginal Peoples.” In R. Delaney, K. Brownlee, and M. Sellick (eds.), Social Work with Rural and Northern Communities: Northern and Regional Studies Series, 8. Thunder Bay, Ontario: Centre for Northern Studies, Lakehead University.
Hart, M., Sinclair, R., & Bruyere, G. (2009). Wícihitowin: Aboriginal social work in Canada. Black Point, N.S: Fernwood Publishing.
Part 1: Where We Have Been (2-3 pages) • One example of the impacts of colonialism and the role of social work (6 marks) • Impacts of intergenerational trauma (4marks)
Part 2: Where We Are Going (3-4 pages) • Legacy of colonialism important for SSW practice today (4 marks) • Two examples of trauma-informed, culturally safe, Indigenous approaches (6 marks) • History/reputation of social work and the process of reconciliation (4 marks)
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