How have the 44 Schools of Social Work responded to Call to Action # 1? 75% have delivered. 25% have not.


Of the 44 Schools of Social Work across Canada, 33 have addressed the three specific elements identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call to Action # 1: 3, 4 and 5:

We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care by: 

  1. Monitoring and assessing neglect investigations
  2. Providing adequate resources to enable Aboriginal communities and child-welfare organizations to keep Aboriginal families together where it is safe to do so, and to keep children in culturally appropriate environments, regardless of where they reside.
  3. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the history and impacts of residential schools.
  4. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family healing.
  5. Requiring that all child-welfare decision makers consider the impact of the residential school experience on children and their caregivers.

The main focus of the following table is which Schools of Social Work offer a MANDATORY course on the three items identified above: 3 4 and 5.

Social Work Schools

University Mandatory Course # of Topics % of Topics Description CASWE recommendations Commitment to Truth & Reconciliation
Algoma University Yes 3 of 3 100% 4 courses 2/2 Yes
First Nations University Yes 3 of 3 100% Multiple courses in 3 programs 2/2 Yes
Laurentian University Yes 3 of 3 100% 12 courses with Indigenous content in Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work 2/2 Yes
Nicole Valley Inst. of Tech.1 Yes 3 of 3 100% 5 courses 2/2 Yes
Nipissing University Yes 3 of 3 100% 5 courses + integrated content in other courses 2/2 Yes
Trent University Yes 3 of 3 100% 3 courses + content integrated in other courses 1/2 Yes
Thompson Rivers University Yes 3 of 3 100% 3 courses 2/2 Yes
Mount Royal University1 Yes 3 of 3 100% 3 courses 2/2 Yes
Lakehead University Yes 3 of 3 100% BSW = Year 3; Honours BSW w/Major Concentration in Indig. Learning (4) 2/2 Not explicit
University of Manitoba Yes 3 of 3 100% 3 courses 2/2 Yes
St. Thomas University Yes 3 of 3 100% BSW: Intro course for applicants; Content integrated in multiple Upper Year courses 1/2 Yes
Memorial University Yes 3 of 3 100% Content integrated in multiple courses 2/2 Yes
University of Victoria Yes 3 of 3 100% BSW = 2 courses; Child Welfare specialization = multiple 2/2 Yes
Vancouver Island University Yes 3 of 3 100% Social Work practice = 1 course; Child Welfare specialization = multiple 1/2 Yes
Carleton UNiversity Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course + content integrated in multiple courses 2/2 Yes
Wilfrid Laurier University Yes 3 of 3 100% 2 courses 2/2 Yes
York University Yes 3 of 3 100% BSW = 2 courses; MSW = 1 course 1/2 Not explicit
McGill University Yes 3 of 3 100% 2 courses 2/2 Yes
Toronto Metropolitan University Yes 3 of 3 100% 2 courses 1/2 Not explicit
University of Waterloo Yes 3 of 3 100% 2 courses 1/2 No
Université de Saint-Boniface Yes 3 of 3 100% 2 courses 1/2 No
University of Northern BC Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course +mandatory pre-registration for BSW & MSW 2/2 Yes
University of Regina Yes 3 of 3 100% BSW = 1 course; Pre-Social Work semester = 2 courses 2/2 Yes
University of Toronto No/Yes BSW: O of 3 MSW: 3 of 3 BSW = 0% MSW = 100% Adv. & 2 yr. = 1 course; MSW: Indig. Trauma & Resilience=multiple 2/2 Yes
Dalhousie University Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course = 3 credits 2/2 Yes
King's University Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course = Full course 5 .0 1/2 Yes
McEwan University Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course in Year 3: 3 crdits 2/2 No
McMaster University Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course: 3 units 2/2 No
Université du Québec en Outaouais Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course 0/2 No
University of BC -Vancouver Yes 3 OF 3 100% 1 course 2.2 Yes
University of BC -Okanagan Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course 2/2 No
University of Calgary Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course 2/2 Yes
University of Fraser Valley Yes 3 of 3 100% 1 course - 3 credits 1/2 Yes
Laurentian University No 0 of 3 0% BSW: 1 elective course 1/2 Not explicit
Université d'Ottawa No 0 of 3 0% 3 optional courses; New program in Sept. 2024 2/2 Yes
Université de Moncton No 0 of 3 0% 1 elective course 1/2 Yes
Université de Québec à Chicoutimi No 0 of 3 0% 3 optional courses 1/2 No
Université de Montreal No 0 of 3 0% 2 modules (3 Hours) mandatory in Fall 2024 .5/2 No
Université de Québec à Montréal No 0 of 3 0% 1 ourse on diversity and immigration MIn Progress Mo
Université de Québec à Rimouski No 0 of 3 0% No Mandatory course 0/2 No
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue No 0 of 3 0% No mandatory course 1/2 No
Université de Laval No 0 of 3 0% 2 optional courses 1/2 Yes
Université de Sherbrooke No 0 of 3 0% No mandatory course 1/2 No
University of Windsor No 0 of 3 0% No mandatory course 1/2 No
Very strong Indigenous focus to program
At least 2 mandatory Indigenous courses and/or content integrated into multiple courses
One mandatory course with Indigenous content
Offer no mandatory Indigenous course or only electives

The detailed information on how each school has responded to Call to Action # 1 can be found under Social Work Schools – English and Social Work Schools – French. Each document was sent to each of the Schools of Social Work for validation and approval before being posted to the Indigenous Watchdog website. Although 33 of the Schools did respond to our inquiries, the following 11 schools did not respond to our multiple inquiries for validation and approval so these documents have not been officially endorsed:

  • Dalhousie University School of Social Work
  • First Nations University of Canada, School of Indigenous Social Work
  • McMaster University School of Social Work
  • University of Waterloo School of Social Work
  • University of British Columbia – Okanagan School of Social Work
  • University of Windsor School of Social Work
  • Université de Saint-Boniface École de travail social
  • Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue École de travail social
  • Université de Sherbrooke École de travail social
  • Université du Québec en Outaouais École de travail social
  • Université du Québec à Rimouski École de travail social

Of the above schools that did not respond, the seven highlighted above in BOLD were still ranked at 100% for completing the three elements of Call to Action # 1 based on information found on their respective websites.

11 Schools of Social Work (25%) have NOT implemented a mandatory course: 2 English and 9 French.

  • Laurentian University BSW program offers only one elective course. Laurentian also offers a Bachelor of indigenous Social Work ranked at 100%
  • 6 schools offer elective courses
  • 4 schools do not offer any mandatory or optional courses at all

One main question based on the above responses is why Reconciliation is doing so poorly in Québec? Only 2 of the 11 École de travail social have a mandatory course or 18%. Of the 31 English schools who were approached, 81% have mandatory courses.

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