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Courses at NASWSI
Indigenous North American Perspectives and Social Work Practices (16-Week Course)
This course provides an examination of historic and contemporary influences on social, economic, cultural, and political conditions that shape the lived experience of Indigenous populations in North America. This course also emphasizes the linkages between policy and practice and overlays the concepts of the colonization, marginalization, and the negative impact of both historicizing and pathologizing Indigenous North American peoples. The processes of colonization, decolonization, and empowerment are discussed as they relate to: 1) differences between Indigenous North American and majority culture worldviews which also includes social work perspectives; and 2) the role of the social work profession as an agent for advocacy and an ally in the development and delivery of culturally congruent services to Indigenous client populations.
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): Understanding the History (Course)
The course titled “Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): Understanding the History” will offer participants an overview of ICWA and its influence in the field of tribal and state social work. The course will also offer an overview of landmark ICWA cases and government-to-government relations regarding Indian children. Participants will engage in a critical discussion surrounding ICWA, application, and practices that will increase their understanding of the law and ways to enhance response systems, case planning, communication, and relationship-building with tribes.
Navigating Tribal Government Structures in Social Work (16-Week Course)
This course examines a variety of political and governance issues as well as history and politics in Native American governments. We will begin to focus in on the legal and political history of Native Americans, from first contact to the colonial period, and then over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. We will then examine issues of modern intergovernmental relations, focusing on the surprisingly diverse ways in which different Native American governments interact with federal and state governments. We will also explore the many ways in which Native American governments currently manage their own political systems.
Understanding Jurisdiction in Indian Country
This course examines the term “sovereignty,” which broadly refers to the power of governments to make and enforce their laws and its effect on tribal social work. The United States Constitution recognizes three sources of sovereignty: The federal government, states, and Indian tribes. These three governments’ exercise of sovereign authority often influences or impedes the power of others. This is especially so in high-priority areas such as law enforcement and public safety, business taxation, regulating and licensing land and water use, and protecting public health and the environment. This course explores how sovereign Indian tribal governments assert criminal and civil jurisdiction to make and enforce their laws within the American constitutional system.
Social Work Practices in Tribal Communities
This course reviews and analyzes American Indian history and related socio-political factors influencing tribal social work practice. Although this course is focused on social work practice in tribal communities, there is a need to provide a brief background and foundation to how the profession is distinct and unique to Native people and communities.