Social Work Education Circle

The National Indigenous Accreditation Board (NIAB) utilizes the Wisdom-Based Practices and Responsibilities for Social Work Education Programs to accredit Baccalaureate and Master level social work education programs.

Acknowledging the importance of ensuring that these programs live within healthy and supportive environments, post-secondary institutions that are interested in applying to NIAB for accreditation of a social work education program must first secure institutional accreditation from an Indigenous accreditation body such as NIAB or the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC).

The process of accrediting social work education programs is managed by the Social Work Education Circle (SWEC), a national body with representation from a variety of treaty territories, which is responsible for assessing, affirming and supporting social work education programs. The SWEC is comprised of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, community members, alumni and students of social work education programs with an Indigenous foundation, practicing social workers and social work educators.

The activities related to the assessment of social work education programs are grounded within NIAB’s commitment to the healthy growth of dynamic education programs that are responsive to community needs, locally controlled, and are sourced within Indigenous knowledge systems.

Social Work Education Circle Members

Invited guests and the first Social Work Education Circle members at the inaugural meeting in Calgary, AB, 2019.

Gratitude and Appreciation

for the heartfelt contributions of past SWEC members:

  • The Late Heather Green – Yontennonha
    Wolf Clan, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
  • Ann Rose Kerkovius
    Copper Inuit Nation
  • Chevi Rabbit
    Montana Cree Nation
  • Gord Bruyere
    Couchiching First Nation

Knowledge Keepers

Banakonda Kennedy-Kish Bell,
Anishinaabe, Batchewana First Nation
Elder-in-Residence, Wilfred Laurier University Faculty of Social Work

Jerry Saddleback,
Samson Cree Nation
Elder-in-Residence, Maskwacis Cultural College

  1. Alumni and Students
    • Shawn Singer
      Blood Tribe
      Indigenous Relations Consultant

      Indigenous Relations Office
      City of Calgary
    • Terri Suntjens
      Saddle Lake Cree Nation
      Director, Indigenous Initiatives

      MacEwan University
  2. Community Members
    • Ray McGuire
      Choctaw Nation
      Board Member

      BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society
    • Joanna Vautour
      Serpent River First Nation
      Cultural Teacher
      MSW Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency Program
      University of Toronto
    • Dr. Henry Yu
      Associate Professor, History
      Principal, St. John’s College
      University of British Columbia
  3. Social Workers/Community Organizations
    • Shauna Kegecho-Nichols
      Director of Clinical Care and Intensive Services
      Atlohsa Family Healing Services – London, Ontario
    • Steve Teekens
      Nipissing First Nation
      Executive Director

      Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence in Toronto)
  4. Educators
    • Shane Young
      Qalipu First Nation
      Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
      Toronto Metropolitan University

Current Approved Social Work Education Programs

    • Maskwacis Cultural College: Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work
    • Red Crow Community College: Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work
    • University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills:  Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work
    • Yellowhead Tribal College:  Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work

Current Social Work Education Programs in Candidacy

    • University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills: Indigenous Master of Social Work (IMSW)
    • First Nations Technical Institute: Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work (BISW)
    • Old Sun Community College: Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work (IBSW) Program