Aboriginal Social Work in Canada

by Gord Bruyere (Amawaajibitang), Michael Anthony Hart (Kaskitémahikan) and Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew)  

This 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.

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  • September 2009
  • ISBN: 9781552663172
  • 256 pages
  • $43.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB May 2020
  • ISBN: 9781773633145
  • $42.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF May 2020
  • ISBN: 9781773633169
  • $42.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

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. It goes on to explore issues and aspects of social work practice with Indigenous people to assist educators, researchers, students and practitioners to create effective and respectful approaches to social work with diverse populations. Traditional Indigenous knowledge that challenges and transforms the basis of social work with Indigenous and other peoples comprises a third section of the book. Wícihitowin concludes with an eye to the future, which the authors hope will continue to promote the innovations and creativity presented in this groundbreaking work.

Indigenous Resistance & Decolonization Social Work


Gord Bruyere (Amawaajibitang)

Gord Bruyere is Anishinaabe, originally from Couchiching First Nation, Treaty #3 in northwestern Ontario. He has lived and worked across Canada in the ancestral migratory ways of countless generations before me. Gord is a well-travelled educator who’s on a mission to make a difference in the lives of Canada’s Indigenous people. He has taught at several universities including Manitoba, Lakehead, Laurentian and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

Michael Anthony Hart (Kaskitémahikan)

Michael Anthony Hart is the vice-provost - Indigenous Engagement advocating for the Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, at the University of Calgary. He is a citizen of Fisher River Cree Nation. Michael has been supported throughout his life journey with the guidance of Elders from various nations and has spent several decades learning about his own peoples’ traditional values, beliefs and practices. His approach is about connecting with and learning from Indigenous Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers to explore how these philosophies can guide us, transcend boundaries and take incremental steps to change the conversation between different cultures. Previously, Michael held a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledges and Social Work and was the acting director of the Master of Social Work in Indigenous Knowledges program at the University of Manitoba. He is a founder and board member of the Aboriginal Social Workers’ Society.

Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew)

Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew) is Cree/Assinniboine/Saulteaux from Gordon’s First Nation. She is a professor of social work at the University of Regina.


  • Foreword (Richard Vedan)
  • SECTION 1: History and Theory
  • Thoughts Make Dreaming: Historical and Theoretical Aspects for Indigenous Social Work by Gord Bruyere (Amawaajibitang)
  • Bridging the Past and the Future: An Introduction to Indigenous Social Work Issues by Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew)
  • Anti-Colonial Indigenous Social Work: Reflections on an Aboriginal Approach by Michael Anthony Hart (Kaskitémahikan)
  • Indigenous-Centred Social Work: Theorizing a Social Work Way-of-Being by Gail Baikie
  • SECTION 2: Practice
  • Dreaming Makes Action: The Practice of Indigenous Social Work by Gord Bruyere (Amawaajibitang)
  • A Holistic Approach to Supporting Children with Special Needs by Rona Sterling-Collins (Quistaletko)
  • Identity or Racism? Aboriginal Transracial Adoption by Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew)
  • Beyond Audacity and Aplomb: Understanding the Métis in Social Work Practice by Cathy Richardson (Kinewesquao) and Dana Lynn Seaborn
  • Evolution and Revolution: Healing Approaches with Aboriginal Adults by Cyndy Baskin (On-koo-khag-kno kwe)
  • For Indigenous People, by Indigenous People, with Indigenous People: Towards an Indigenous Research Paradigm by Michael Anthony Hart (Kaskitémahikan)
  • SECTION 3: Traditional Knowledge
  • The Spirit of Dreaming: Traditional Knowledge for Indigenous Social Work by Gord Bruyere (Amawaajibitang)
  • Navigating the Landscape of Practice: Dbaagmowin of a Helper by Kathy Absolon (Minogiizhigokwe)
  • Kaxlaya Gvila: Upholding Traditional Heiltsuk Laws, Values and Practices as Aboriginal People and Allies. by Michelle Reid (Juba)
  • Gyawaglaab (Helping one Another): Approaches to Best Practices through Teachings of Oolichan Fishing by Jacquie Green (Hemaas, Moosmagilth, Ungwa, knewq Kundoque of the Helkinew clan, knewq Haisla, Kemano and Kitselas)
  • Conclusion by Michael Hart (Kaskitémahikan), with Raven Sinclair (Ótiskewápíwskew)
  • Closing Words
  • Notes
  • References


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