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MSW – Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency

The Master of Social Work, Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency (ITR) field of study emphasizes and focuses on the strong connection between personal, cultural, professional, and academic development. Students will develop self-awareness and personal skills to become effective and competent professionals by studying the history of trauma in their own family, community, racial, and cultural group. They will also discern individual resiliency through values, ceremonies and teachings of their cultural heritage.

Through internships with Elders, respected cultural mentors and skilled professionals and credible organizations, students will be able to experience hands on learning in one or more specific areas of trauma intervention and treatment: program development; individual, couples and family counseling; traditional teachings and ceremony; trauma-informed schools, political advocacy and/or community intervention.

All students must complete 7 half-credit courses in the first year and eight half-credit courses in the second year, which includes a 450-hour summer practicum worth 1.0 full credit. Students entering the program with B.A. or B.Sc. courses must complete an additional 1.0 credit (two half courses – SWK 4102H and SWK 4616H (MSW ITR Practicum – 450 hours) in year one.

Year One:

SWK 4102H Social Policy and Social Welfare in the Canadian Context (BA/BSc Students only)
SWK 4101H Understanding Historical and Multigenerational Trauma
SWK 4106H Social Work Ethics and Indigenous Communities
SWK 4108H Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault and the Family
SWK 4109H Trauma and Human Development
SWK 4110H Trauma and Addiction
SWK 4510H Research for Evidence-Based Social Work Practice
SWK 4902H Indigenous on Grief, Loss and Unattended Sorrow
SWK 4516H MSW ITR Practicum – 450 hours (BA/BSc Students only)

Year Two:

SWK 4517H Indigenous and Participatory Research Methods
SWK 4901H Facilitating Training in Indigenous Communities
SWK 4903H Program Development and Healthy Leadership – the importance of ceremony and ritual
SWK 4904H Working with Couples and Families in Indigenous Context
SWK 4111H Trauma informed Organizational and Community Intervention
SWK 4905H Seeing the need, creating the solution
SWK 4703Y MSW ITR Practicum II (450  hours)

Program Length

6 sessions (two years) full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S)
Time Limit: 3 years


Izumi Sakamoto

Core faculty

Suzy Goodleaf

Jane Middelton-Moz

Ashley Quinn

Indigenous trauma and resiliency competence infographic: