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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 27, 2016
Canadian Excellence


MSW Aboriginal Field of Study

One Year Full-time and Two Year Part-time (Advanced Standing) MSW Aboriginal Field of Study. Our part-time programs are offered in partnership with community-based First Nation institutions, First Nation Technical Institute and Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute.

Inaugurated in 1966, the MSW program was first accredited in 1974 by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work and was most recently reaccredited in 2012.

The needs most commonly identified by Aboriginal people, as seen often in their public statements and political processes, include self-determination, cultural preservation, and respect for the wholistic healing worldview. The MSW Aboriginal field of study, therefore, will fully and dramatically root itself within the Aboriginal worldview and have as its goal the development of social work practitioners who can seek empowerment for Aboriginal populations so that they can meet the needs that they have identified for themselves.

Students in this Aboriginal field of study are expected to respect and seek to practice within the Aboriginal worldview. This means that along with intellectual development students will also engage in the development of their spiritual, emotional, and physical selves. They will learn from a diversity of teachers including academic instructors, Elders, Aboriginal ceremonies, and the Aboriginal community. They will be expected to involve themselves in all aspects of the specialized program, which include; cultural camps, classroom work, presentation of themselves to Elders, and in practice settings. They will be evaluated on their academic knowledge and their ability to practice from the Aboriginal worldview.

In July 2006, the Faculty of Social Work moved to a new autonomous building in the heart of Kitchener, which offers sufficient space for all the new students and faculty, as well as facilities to meet other elements of the program such as a spiritual room and a circular classroom where the Aboriginal Field of Study classes are held.