Photo by the UN
The IFSW Message on World Indigenous Peoples Day
Today on World Indigenous Peoples Day, IFSW acknowledges the indigenous social workers that have for decades worked patiently to steer the profession towards understanding, respecting and celebrating diverse cultures.
IFSW acknowledges that in many places around the world social work as a profession has been a proponent of a dominant Western ideology that has often ignored or undermined indigenous cultures and peoples, thereby contributing to significant pain and derailment in many people’s lives. We acknowledge that to varying extents this legacy remains in each of the IFSW regions and also that the tide is turning. In addition to traditional ways of helping and healing, indigenisation of social work education and practice is taking place in many countries leading to more respectful and effective helping practices. Increasingly, non-Indigenous social workers are adapting their practices or stepping aside to make space for indigenous social work to flourish. National Associations of Social Work are likewise acknowledging the harms caused by our profession, apologizing, and developing reconciliation strategies with indigenous peoples.
IFSW commits to support and promote indigenous social work and recognizes the fundamental importance of indigenous wisdom to humanity, and skills for sustainability, and our shared futures.