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Welcome to the Native American Social Work Studies Institute

NASWSI is situated within New Mexico Highlands University.

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NASWSI has a unique curriculum for future social workers centered on tribal issues

We aim to be a resource for new and enrolled NMHU School of Social Work students. Check out our list of Helpful Links below:

Helpful Links

NASWSI is proud to partner with these great institutions:

UNM School of Medicine, National Trial Tribal College, Advocacy, Inc. and Southwest Center for Law & Policy

Native American Social Work Studies Institute

Cultivating Resiliency in Social Work

A Message from the Director of NASWSI

The Native American Social Work Studies Institute (“Institute”) was conceptualized several decades ago by Dr. Evelyn Blanchard who spent her life’s long work helping others. The efforts of a small group of social workers and other helping professionals in partnership with New Mexico Highlands University established the Institute within the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work. The Institute continues to offer education and training to social workers, students, and other helping professionals that support Native American social work practices and preserve our culture and values.

-Melissa E. Riley, Ph.D. Director, Native American Social Work Studies Institute

News and Updates

Stay up to date with the latest information and news on the Native American Work Studies Institute through our blog.

Category: Institute, Staff

November 15, 2023

Rock Your Mocs: A Celebration of Native American Culture and Unity

Have you ever wondered what those colorful and intricate shoes that some Native Americans wear are called? They are moccasins, or mocs for short, and they are more than just footwear. They are a symbol of Native America

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Category: Institute, Staff

November 14, 2023

Indigenous Tribal Social Work Educators Association Meeting in Atlanta

Dr. Riley attended the national CSWE Conference in October for the sole purpose of meeting with Indigenous and tribal scholars from around the country. A small room with extensive discussions surrounding social work edu

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Category: Institute

November 14, 2023

November is Native American Heritage Month

November marks the commencement of National Native American Heritage Month, an occasion in the United States that acknowledges and celebrates the contributions, culture, and accomplishments of Native Americans. The comm

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The History of NASWSI

NASWSI was founded by the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University to fill a need for a university program developed with advanced practice on the complex social issues of Native Americans to educate future social workers. Since 2017, the Institute has been supported by the State Legislature.

NASWSI aims to be the leader in research and practice in Native American social work and is known for having the expertise to make an impact on how tribal communities are served by social workers and other helping professionals.
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