The College has identified the need to understand the relationship between social work in indigenous communities in British Columbia and the College. Through this understanding it is hoped that social work and the College can move towards developing a respectful relationship with Indigenous people and communities within BC.
The College acknowledges the deep intergenerational harm that social work has contributed to within Indigenous populations in BC through colonization and is committed to ensuring that no such practice occurs again in the future.
The College’s mandate is to protect the public from harm caused by Registered Social Workers.
The profession of social work has a role to play in initiating reconciliation efforts, including the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.
Justice Murray Sinclair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has said, “Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships. There are no short cuts.”
Towards Developing a Respectful Relationship (TDRR) initiative seeks to:
- open a dialogue with self-identified professional Indigenous Social Workers in BC,
- understand the perception of social workers in the Indigenous Community,
- understand the concerns and barriers to registration and regulation, and
- develop a collaborative and respectful plan to address the delivery of social work services by Registered Social Workers to Indigenous people and communities in BC.
The long-term outcome is to better understand the current context of social work in Indigenous communities, and in the spirit of reconciliation build meaningful, respectful relationships between the BC College of Social Workers, Indigenous social workers, and Indigenous communities across the province.
The College has contracted with Nashwito Creek and Associates who will engage with individuals and communities to commence this important initiative.
The College and Nashwito Creek are guided by an Indigenous Elder and a dedicated group of Indigenous and non-indigenous social workers. You may read more about these individuals here:
Richard Vedan – Elder
Colleen Spier – Chair, BCCSW Board
Leya Eguchi, RSW
Liz Jones, RSW
Ursula Katic, RSW
Jennifer-Lee Koble, RSW
Kelley McReynolds, RSW
Jenny Morgan, RSW – BCCSW Board
Jeane Riley, RSW