Indigenous Perspectives on Social Work Practice Issues

Course Description:

The course will critically examine the historical process of colonization in Canada, the resulting barriers embedded in policy and practice, and alternative ways of viewing the social-psychological position of Indigenous peoples in Canadian Society. Specifically, this course will look at colonization and the implications for contemporary social work practice with Indigenous children and families.  Contemporary issues and the movement toward sovereignty and self-determination will be discussed in relation to social work theory and practice.


COURSE OBJECTIVES and what the paper should cover in some what so the teacher understands i have completely understood the objective

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

>Recognize the impact of historical and contemporary colonial policies and practices in Canada and hence appreciate the present socio-economic positions of Indigenous people today.

> Demonstrate a solid theoretical background understanding of the historical and present structural barriers (social policy as well as attitudinal) that exist for Indigenous people in Canada, and the restructuring that is taking place.

>Display an awareness of the issues, resources and goals of contemporary Indigenous people and the movement toward sovereignty and self-determination.

>Understand the contemporary context of social work practice with Indigenous children and families.

>Examine the professional and personal values in relation to the impacts of racism, colonization and differing cultural models of helping

>Understand your personal position gained through socialization (social, educational and professional), with regard to the issues discussed.

>Understand the diversity of Indigenous peoples and begin to develop frameworks for working across difference.




Instructions to Assignment


Research/Reflection Paper ( Please reflect on all questions asked below while writing this paper)

• This assignment is intended to demonstrate your learning from the course in application to a topic of your choosing related to Indigenous people and human services. (please pick a topic that alines with the course description and objective)

• Your paper should contextualize and provide an overview of your chosen research topic.

• You must also include a personal purpose statement for exploring the topic that explains why you have chosen this topic/why it is important to you (i.e. your intentions and motivations).( Please let me know when you pick a topic for this work, i will include a little story about myself so you can link it up to why your picked topic is important to me)  


• Additionally, your paper should include reflective commentary on how you are personally engaged with the topic areas as you read, write, think about and sit with the topic.

•  What does it mean for you to explore and speak about this topic?

• What responsibilities, opportunities, limitations or challenges arise for you in taking up this topic?

• In this paper, you are expected to go beyond descriptive writing to offer a critical analysis of the knowledge you have gathered and its implications for decolonization and for your social work practice.

• Be sure to articulate the implications of your research and learning from the paper for your future role as a social worker with Indigenous children, families and communities.

• Your paper should address the uniqueness of the working with Indigenous peoples and any structural barriers that may create challenges.


Research papers are expected to be 10-12 pages in length; 12 pages is the maximum page length for this assignment with references being excluded from this length. Your instructor reserves the right to stop reading after 12 pages. As per APA formatting guidelines, please be sure that your paper utilizes the following: 12 point font, double-spacing, page numbers, title and reference pages.


Grading Criteria

▪ A clear introduction that contextualizes and provides an overview of the topic, including a purpose statement and articulation of why this topic is of interest or important to you;

▪ An analytical critique that demonstrates an understanding of Indigenous peoples and human services and makes links to a decolonizing approach to practice;

▪ Self-reflexivity, including a commentary on what you were seeking to learn about the topic, the implications of your social position in addressing the topic and anything that was especially meaningful/insightful to you in engaging with the topic;

▪ Use of external references (minimum of 8) to demonstrate your engagement with external research and resources to support some of the ideas in your paper (external references means resources outside of those used in the required reading/viewing of the course)

▪ A section on the implications of this exploration for your practice as a social worker with Indigenous children, families and communities;

▪ A conclusion that ties together your ideas and addresses your learning from the process of preparing the paper;

▪ Demonstrated ability to present information in a clear, cohesive and organized manner;

▪ Adherence to APA guidelines for formatting and referencing.





Rubric for Grading of Research Paper

A clear introduction and rationale for paper: /5

Analysis, discussion and critique that demonstrate this particular aspect of working with Indigenous people /15

Self-reflexivity and meaningful insights that you have gained through this paper: /10

Important aspects of social work practice with Indigenous peoples: /10

APA and clarity of writing and conclusion: /5

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