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Renee Linklater Workshop

January 9, 2013 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Aboriginal Health and Healing: Developing a respectful practice in social work

Facilitator: Renee Linklater, PhD
Date: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Time:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Participants: 25 Second Year and Advanced Standing MSW students
Location:  Room 100

This workshop is designed to engage social work students in a process of learning that will increase their capacity to offer appropriate services to Aboriginal people. A focus on the history of Aboriginal people in Canada, current healing initiatives, and effective strategies will provide students with valuable knowledge and skills.

RSVP to n.valentine@utoronto.caYear 2 and Advanced Standing students must obtain permission from their field instructor. (Dec. 5 Update – this event is currently at capacity. RSVPs are being taken for waitlist only)  



Workshop Summary

Aboriginal people in Canada have experienced extensive colonization and oppression. Settler needs, social policy, and government legislation are at the root of this experience. This workshop will familiarize social worker students to the history of Aboriginal people, the impact of colonization, and the current movement toward healing and reconciliation.

Topics such as Indian Policy, Residential Schools, and the child welfare system will be explored in the morning session. The afternoon will focus on the Indigenous healing movement with particular attention to the strategies that Indigenous healthcare practitioners utilize to help their clients through trauma.  And finally, students will have an opportunity to put Indigenous theory into practise by creating their own Medicine Wheel that reflects a wholistic and balanced approach to their profession as social workers.


Goals for the Day

• Raise awareness of the impact of the colonization of Aboriginal people in Canada

• Highlight elements of the Aboriginal healing movement and specific healing strategies used by Indigenous healthcare practitioners

• Engage in culture-based participatory learning by providing students with the knowledge and skills to draw on an Indigenous approach that will enhance their practice in the field of social work

• Increase the capacity of social work students to work with Aboriginal people with a respectful and informed approach


Renee Linklater is a member of Rainy River First Nations in Northwestern Ontario. She completed her PhD with the Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Her thesis “Decolonising Trauma Work” explored the ways in which Indigenous healthcare practitioners understand wellness and wholistic health, critique psychiatry and psychiatric diagnoses, and help their clients through trauma, depression, and experiences of parallel and multiple realities.

Renee has 20 years of experience working with Aboriginal healing agencies and First Nation communities. She has worked across the health and education sectors as a frontline worker, program evaluator, curriculum developer, and educator/trainer.

Renee is currently the Manager of Aboriginal Community Engagement for the Provincial System Support Program at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.


January 9, 2013
9:00 am - 4:00 pm




246 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V4 Canada
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