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Indigenous World Views and Social Work Field Practice: Reflections from Social Workers Advancing through Grounded Education Program (SAGE) Educators

Abstract

Social work plays a significant role in defining, implementing, and ensuring access to and accountability for human rights and human rights violations from direct practice to policy level issues. Examples in Indigenous communities include environmental destruction, inadequate access to clean and safe water and food, political disenfranchisement, limited access to healthcare, unlawful removal of children, racism, educational inequities, and restricted religious autonomy, to name a few. Field education provides opportunities to social work students to understand and practice human rights work. Students work within Indigenous organizations and cultures to better understand violations within these communities, as well as these communities’ strengths. The Social Workers Advancing through Grounded Education (SAGE) program increases the number social workers prepared to provide culturally respectful services and become leaders in social service settings to eliminate disparities and other human rights violations within Indigenous communities in the USA. The SAGE program creates applied learning opportunities and reduces student financial burden so students can train to be culturally respectful social workers who address human rights issues within Indigenous communities. This article provides reflections from SAGE program staff and field faculty.

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Correspondence to Kellie Thompson.

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Thompson, K., Harpring, J. & Whitegoat, W. Indigenous World Views and Social Work Field Practice: Reflections from Social Workers Advancing through Grounded Education Program (SAGE) Educators. J. Hum. Rights Soc. Work 6, 49–53 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-020-00144-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-020-00144-y

Keywords

  • Social work
  • Field education
  • Indigenous
  • Native American
  • American Indian
  • Human rights