The first global meeting of the IFSW Indigenous Committee will be held in Calgary on the 30th September and 1st and 2nd October. The meeting will comprise social work representatives from indigenous nations from each of the five IFSW regions and two Committee coordinators, Shannon Pakura and Robyn Corrigan.
Robyn Corrigan from Aotearoa New Zealand said, ‘I am delighted that we are having our first meeting in Calgary ahead of the 2020 world social work conference. Indigenous identity and approaches in social work have been overlooked, misunderstood, colonised and or abused for generations. The formation of this IFSW Committee and the strategic prominence that indigeneity will have in the global conference are major steps the profession is taking in addressing historic wrongs and we look forward to sharing our experience and wisdom in shaping the future of social work’.
As well as the IFSW Indigenous Committee meeting to set its objectives, the committee will also meet with IFSW President Silvana Martinez and Secretary-General Rory Truell to discuss how the role and voice of the Committee can be advanced within the profession’s structures. The Indigenous Committee will further meet with the Steering Group of the Calgary conference to enhance discussions on how indigenous social work representatives worldwide can share their experiences with all the conference participants.
Shannon Pakura an Indigenous Committee Coordinator commented, ‘It is an impossible task gaining social work representation from all tribes and nations and we have no intention to speak for other peoples. We see this meeting as a starting point and a new standing place in which we hope to grow our networks and gain recognition within the social work profession’.
Silvana Martinez and Rory Truell jointly commented saying, ‘We are so happy that during our time as officials of IFSW that we will witness a significant growth of the profession. Indigenous social work has produced some of the most powerful approaches and constructive challenges for the global profession to learn from. We are in no doubt that social work will be stronger, more human, more holistic, more competent as it shares space in its policy formation and in its actions with our indigenous colleagues’.
The Indigenous Committee will be welcomed to Calgary by representatives of the Blackfoot Nation. For more information about the 2020 World Social Work Conference in Calgary with the theme The Global Agenda: the Next Ten Years visit: https://swsd2020.com/