Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 1: Child Welfare (1-5)

University of Regina School of Social Work

May 23, 2024

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from the University of Regina is accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education. Our curriculum incorporates essential field education components that enables students to develop the skills learned in the classroom through direct experience in Social Work practice even before they graduate.

Practice Model

Our BSW program is generalist in approach and oriented particularly to the Saskatchewan context, emphasizing preparation for work in urban, rural and remote areas including diverse individuals, families and communities with various circumstances.  Generalist social work practice as a model is focused on strengths, and utilizes a range of approaches including assessment, intervention and connection to available resources.

School of Social Work Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Faculty of Social Work 2021-2015 Strategic Plan
Truth and Reconciliation (One of 5 Goals)

Goal 2: Take significant actions on the TRC’s Calls to Action specific to social work education and practice. 


  1. Improve supports for Indigenous students, faculty, and staff 
    • Strengthen closer connections with FNUniv (e.g., course sharing, student advising, intergroup dialogue groups). 
    • Explore peer mentorship for Indigenous social work students across the province (e.g., ACE). 
    • Explore possibility of UR Saskatoon student access to USask Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. 
    • Create a scholarship for Indigenous students focused on social work research and practice. 
    • Review the online presence to ensure inclusive for Indigenous students. 
  2. Provide educational opportunities and experiences across SK 
    • Enhance collaboration with other universities with Indigenous social work programs. 
    • Provide more opportunity for different delivery modalities. 
    • Develop and deliver social work certificate/diploma withing community to meet community needs
  3. Incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into teaching and research 
    • Create classroom spaces that reflect Indigenous worldviews (e.g., circle). 
    • Review all social work classes to determine the extent to which Indigenous ways of knowing are integrated. 
    • Schedule pedagogical meetings to discuss decolonization, Indigenization and reconciliation. 
    • Explore Elder Support at UR Campus. 
    • Explore possibility of smudging room at Saskatoon campus. 
    • Include a required course on child welfare with specific focus on the impact on Indigenous communities. 
    • Include Indigenous ways of knowing into all courses. 
    • Develop a FSW procedure on hiring of Elders for class / meeting presentation (includes protocols and budget guidelines). 
    • Explore a required land-based course in the undergraduate program. 
    • Include Elders regularly within courses and FSW meetings. 

Success Measures (by 2025) 

  • Increase in number of shared courses and student advising with FNUniv. 
  • Number of students involved in peer mentorship. 
  • Involvement of FNUniv. students in IGD initiative delivered by the UR FSW. 
  • Audit FSW website to ensure that language inclusive of Indigenous students. 
  • Increase number of collaborations across Canadian post-secondary institutions. 
  • Increase HyFlex delivery course and number of registered students outside two main campuses. 
  • Increase number of certificate and diplomas available. 
  • Create classroom space to reflect Indigenous world views. 
  • Create and deliver a required course on child welfare with specific emphasis on Indigenous world views. 
  • Ensure all FSW courses integrate Indigenous ways of knowing. 
  • Offer land-based course. 
  • Invite Elders into classrooms and FSW meetings. 
  • Develop smudging room at Saskatoon campus. 

The Faculty of Social Work strives to make our programs accessible to all students, whether they live close to one of our urban campuses, near a regional college in rural Saskatchewan, or even in the remote regions of Northern Canada.

First Nations University of Canada BISW and MISW are sister programs to the University of Regina Faculty of Social Work but are accredited separately from the UR FSW. 

  • Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work: 4 years
  • Certificate of Indigenous Social Work: 2 years

TRC Call to Action # 1

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.

Mandatory Course: Yes.  

SW 405 Social Work with Indigenous Peoples 

This has been a required course since May 2019.

This course investigates theory and practices for social workers to support Indigenous individuals, families and communities in a variety of settings. The course explores the history of oppression experienced by Indigenous peoples by government policies.  Emphasis is placed on individual self-determination, cultural safety, Indigenus self-governance and societal decolonaization. 

The following courses are offered in the Pre-social work semesters only. 

INDG 100 3:3-0 Introduction to Indigenous Studies

This course introduces the subject of Indigenous studies with a survey of Indigenous peoples in Canada from their origins, through European influence, and to the present

INDG 200 3:3-0 Introduction to International Indigenous Issues.

This course is an introduction to current issues, developments, and concepts affecting Indigenous peoples

Faculty of Social Work Commitment to Call to Action # 1 # 3, 4 and 5: 2.5 out of 3 = 83.3%

3History and impact of residential schools (theory)
 Yes. Covered by SW 405: Social Work with Indigenous Peoples
4Potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family healing (practice)
 Limited. See Success Measures above.
5All child welfare decision makers consider the impact of the residential school experience on children and their caregivers
 Covered in the elective SW 414 Child Welfare Practice. However, plans are highlighted in FSW Strategic Plan 2021-2025 to develop “a required course on child welfare with specific focus on the impact on Indigneous communities”,

Compliance with CASWE/ACFTS Statement of Complicity and Commitment to Change

At the May 27th, 2017 Board meeting, the Board of Directors of CASWE-ACFTS committed to ensuring that social work education in Canada contributes to transforming Canada’s colonial reality and approved a “Statement of Complicity and Commitment to Change”. “This is an important step in engaging social work education in the reconciliation process and supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action” affirms CASWE-ACFTS President, Dr. Susan Cadel.Of the 12 actions articulated in the “Statement of Complicity and Commitment to Change, the following two are directed at Schools of Social Work
7Will encourage institutional members to post a territorial acknowledgement on their School’s website and post a link to the CAUT guide to territorial acknowledgement on the CASWE-ACFTS website to assist Schools with this task
 The University of Regina and its federated colleges are on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 — the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda peoples, and the homeland of the Michif/Métis nation.We recognize that, as an institution founded by settlers, we benefit from being on this land. We are grateful for the privilege to learn, teach, and work here. We demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation by incorporating Indigenous knowledge and world views in our research, teaching, and studies to ensure that there are increased economic, social, and creative opportunities for current and future generations. It is our responsibility to strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities and build a more inclusive future.Located under Indigenous Engagement on the University of Regina – Home Page
8Will encourage and support Canadian schools of social work in revising mission statements, governance processes, curriculum, and pedagogy in ways that both advance the TRC recommendations and the overall indigenization of social work education
 See Faculty of Social Work Strategic Plan 2021-2025 above
All content has been submitted to the respective faculty for validation to ensure accuracy and currency as of the time of posting. The University of Regina School of Social Work reviewed and approved the document.

Managing Editor: Douglas Sinclair: Publisher, Indigenous Watchdog
Lead Researcher, Julia Dubé