Through the Indigenous Knowledge Based Social Work Research Centre and the CRC program, students will be provided the unique opportunity to not only learn about Indigenous knowledges, but also to incorporate these knowledges into practice. In particular, students will be taught about Indigenous research frameworks, have the opportunity to work as research assistants, and be able to pursue their graduate projects based in Indigenous knowledges and social work. As noted, a key component of the research program will be the staging of an international Indigenous social work conference. Students will have the opportunity to get involved in the organization and delivery of this event, meet and work with knowledge keepers and leading international scholars in the field, and contribute intellectually on the international level by presenting their own research. Financial support will be made available to students through several research assistant positions and graduate student support. In addition, research travel for students to related conferences will be provided.
No similar research program exists for social work students in Canada. Students working with Dr. Hart will have the opportunity to learn and employ Indigenous research frameworks, Indigenous helping knowledge practices from Elders and knowledge keepers, Indigenist theory and practices in social work, anti-colonial social work, and decolonization. They will also be trained in Indigenous protocols associated with Indigenous research, reaching out to Elders and knowledge keepers for guidance, and Indigenous cultural practices for helping. Through Dr. Hart’s research program, students will have unique opportunities that will help prepare them for careers in social work or in research on Indigenous social issues.