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Indigenous Pathway through the BSW Programs

B.S.W.Indigenous Pathway through the BSW Programs

Indigenous Pathway through the McMaster Bachelor of Social Work program

The McMaster School of Social Work has a broad mission to structure social work education, research, and practice in pursuit of social justice and collective welfare. This includes a desire to focus on Indigenous experiences, knowledge, and approaches towards disrupting colonialism. To this end, the School is identifying Indigenous Pathways through the BSW program.

All incoming BSW students have the opportunity to pursue an Indigenous Pathway through the BSW program. Honours BSW students can complete the Indigenous Pathway as well as a Minor in Indigenous Studies.

As part of the Pathway (and as a requirement for all BSW students), students will take Introduction to Indigenous Studies (INDIGST 1A03). This course is offered through a partnership between the School of Social Work and the Indigenous Studies program. The course focuses on the histories, societies, and politics of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples, the distinctive features of Indigenous worldviews and the history of relationships with European settler societies, with attention to treaties, legislation, and activism.

Indigenous Pathway (Honours BSW and post-degree BSW students*)

The Indigenous Pathway involves nine units of coursework and a focused placement:

  • INDIGST 1A03: Introduction to Indigenous Studies*
  • INDIGST 3Q03: Indigenizing Social Work Practice Approaches
  • INDIGST 4I03: Social Work & Indigenous Peoples
  • A fourth-year placement in an indigenous-focused agency or setting 

* Because post-degree BSW students have only Social Work courses to complete for their degree,  most post-degree students will have to take INDIGST 1A03 in addition to their degree requirements to complete the Pathway, unless this or a similar course was taken in their first degree. Check with the School’s student advisor, Tammy Maikawa, for details.

Indigenous Pathway AND Minor in Indigenous Studies (Honours BSW students only)

The Indigenous Pathway plus Minor in Indigenous Studies involves twenty-seven units of coursework, and a focused placement.

  • INDIGST 4I03: Social Work & Indigenous Peoples (taken as one of the courses towards the Minor)
  • INDIGST 3Q03: Indigenizing Social Work practice approaches (taken in addition to the Minor)
  • A fourth-year placement in an indigenous-focused agency or setting

Participating in the Indigenous Pathway does not result in any formal designation on your degree; however, if you complete the Minor in Indigenous Studies, this is indicated on your transcript.

Still have questions?

Students will have to plan carefully to complete the Pathway. If you wish to follow an Indigenous Pathway through the program, please discuss this early in your BSW with the School’s Administrator and student advisor, Tammy Maikawa:

For more information:
School of Social Work
Kenneth Taylor Hall (KTH), Room 319
(905) 525-9140 ext. 23795
Required Credential:
Program Type:
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry: