First Nations and Native Americans
Chair: Lisa Byers (University of Oklahoma)
APM Assignment: 2017–2019
Co-chair: Debi Thibeault (East Tennessee State University)
APM Assignment: 2019–2021
This Track presents information on First Nations peoples, including Native Americans and other indigenous peoples. First Nations peoples are the original inhabitants of the land. Their societies, cultures, and nations predate the founding of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other countries that have been established in their territories. As documented by the United Nations, First Nations peoples are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the world. They also have many strengths in their communities and cultures that must be recognized and incorporated into social work education. Presentations within this Track include content on First Nations peoples indigenous to the United States (including Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives) and from other regions. Topics include culturally relevant and respectful research with indigenous peoples; recruitment and retention of indigenous students in social work programs; indigenous faculty and staff members in social work academia; contemporary social issues in indigenous communities; the roles of social workers in indigenous communities past, present, and future; and training social work students to work respectfully and effectively with indigenous clients.