Nunatsiavut Government Sponsored Bachelor of Social Work Program

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Nunatsiavut Government Sponsored Bachelor of Social Work Program

Canada
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

To meet its long term social development needs, Nunatsiavut Government decided to build from within-partner with a university to offer a culturally competent accredited social work program to its Beneficiaries in Labrador. Teaming up with Memorial University of Newfoundland's School of Social Work, faculty and NG staff began the job of forging a new path. Inuit students enrolled in the program not only receive instruction in the standardized social work program of study, traditional Inuit knowledge and cultural norms are woven into each course.

About You
About You
First Name

Sandy

Last Name

Kershaw

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Nunatsiavut Government Sponsored Bachelor of Social Work Program

About You, Your Group, or Your Organization
Name

Nunatsiavut Government Post Secondary Student Support Program

Country
Please confirm that this project could benefit First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples

Yes

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What categories best describe who your group or organization serves (check all that apply)

Inuit people.

What best describes your group or organization

Government.

How long have you, your group, or your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Innovation
Define your idea / project in 1-2 short sentences

Inuit with strong academic backgrounds working respectfully with other Inuit in culturally appropriate ways - a new way to offer social supports to our people.

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Growth (the project is up and running and is starting to move forward)

Social Impact
Please tell us about the social impact of your idea or proect

The graduating Inuit social workers will be able to combine western knowledge with Inuit teachings thus creating a new, specialized knowledge that will eventually enable the Inuit of Labrador to develop its own culturally relevant path to healing and health. Our people will have the skills, confidence and knowledge to develop wellness frameworks designed to further our own healing. To support students as they work toward this goal, specialized academic, counselling & cultural supports have been integrated into the program-as students learn to master their studies, they also learn to master themselves, achieving whole new levels of clarity, confidence & sophistication in writing and speech. Many are learning of new and empowering aspects of their culture, teachings which will be passed on.

Your Future Goal(s): Tell us what you hope to achieve with your idea or project in the next year

Our goals are to retain all students, add even more cultural content & further the growth & development of learners.

In 5 years, what will be different as a result of your idea/project?

Our graduates will be working in vastly underserviced Inuit communities offering culturally appropriate and respectful services to both aboriginal and non aboriginal individuals, families and groups. Our team will be on the ground floor, working to develop and implement a wellness framework that forges a path to healing and health. By virtue of their specialized knowledge and education, our students will be leaders locally, provincially and nationally-advocating for social change for Inuit. They will competently complete the all important daily tasks required of social workers while simultaneously working to further our healing. Well supplied with the intellectual, emotional, professional and cultural tools to do the job well, our goal is to see Inuit working respectfully with other Inuit

Sustainability
Tell us about the people/ partnerships that are already involved and why they are important to your idea or project.

Central to the program's success is the partnership between Nunatsiavut Government and Memorial University. Memorial works with Nunatsiavut to ensure the program reflects Inuit culture while preserving academic and accredition integrity. On a daily basis Nunatsiavut staff and MUN administrators, faculty and sessional personnel work together on program planning and course content. A tremendous amount of work is done in order to ensure the Inuit culture is reflected in each course's content as well as the processes used to implement culturally relevant practices/traditions. Without the genuine respect and professionalism shown by each group to the other, a true partnership could not be forged nor could history be made.

If there are other people/partners that you will reach out to tell us who they are and why they will be important to your idea or project.

Integral to the program's success are the Labrador Institute who hires non-social work instructors and the College of the North Atlantic who provides classroom and office space.

Describe the kinds of support you receive (other than money) or will need to support your idea or project (e.g.: donated, space, equipment and volunteers)

The Nunatsiavut Government Department of Education and Economic Development is the sole funder of the Labrador based Bachelor of Social Work Program; volunteers & community based agencies (e.g. RCMP, Child Youth & Family Services) have proven to be the lifeblood of the program, working with staff & instructors to supplement course teachings free of charge. Elders from all aboriginal groups (Inuit, Innu, Metis, First Nations) have presented in class. Community based agencies such as the Friendship Centre, Family Justice Services & 19 others have all supervised students during the first of two four month long field placement experiences(a MAJOR feat in a small northern community). To ensure our continued success, organizers must maintain & grow partnerships between the program & community.

Do you currently have funding for your idea or project?

Yes (answer the next two questions)