Prairie grass at sunset

Indigenous Social Work Circle & Lodge

You can find us in the Faculty of Social Work, on the 3rd floor of MacKimmie Tower. All are welcome!

Oki, Tânisi, Tawnshi, Âba wathtec, Danit'ada, Aaniin, Kwe’, She:kon, Bonjour, Hello:

Welcome to the Indigenous Social Work Circle and Lodge (ISWCL or Lodge). The Faculty of Social Work’s Lodge is led by Metis/Cree Elder Kerrie Moore, Director Natalie St-Denis (Acadian/Mi’kmaq and Quebecois/Algonquin) and Advisor Deandra Neufeld (Mohawk). The Lodge seeks to enhance the learning journey of Indigenous social work students by providing Elder and counselling supports, ceremonies and cultural activities. Our hope is to create a sense of belonging and community – a family away from home for Indigenous students. The ISWCL is also committed to providing many learning opportunities for all faculty, staff and students about Indigenous histories, cultures, current realities, languages, knowledges and teachings. We seek to create decolonizing spaces that align with the University’s ii’ taa’poh’to’p principles that honour Indigenous ways of knowing, being, doing and connecting.

At this time, ISWCL is offering a Lunch and Learn Series called “Indigenous Ways of Knowing” that is held virtually twice a month that features local Elders, Knowledge Holders and community members who share their traditional knowledge, wisdom and stories to support students, staff and faculty in furthering their understanding of Indigenous worldviews within their social work practice and pedagogy.

We welcome all students, staff and faculty into the Lodge for a place to study, learn, engage in ceremony, develop meaningful relationships and to build community together.

The ISWCL is located on the third floor of the MacKimmie Tower. Currently, we are in the process of transforming into a welcoming, earth-based Lodge and ceremonial space.

Please stay tuned in the coming months for our naming ceremony and the official opening of our space.

Upcoming Events

Indigenous Awareness Week events around Alberta

Calgary and area events

AAWC - Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary Public Events

Travel Alberta - National Indigenous Peoples Day: Film Screening & Panel Discussion

Telus Spark - Indigenous Science Days

Lethbridge events

National Indigenous Peoples Week - NIPD poster 2022-06-01

Edmonton events

City of Edmonton - Indigenous History Month | City of Edmonton

Edmonton City Centre - National Indigenous History Month |

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Key Resources

Who We Are

ISWCL Metis/Cree Elder, Kerrie Moore, MSW, RSW

ISWCL Metis/Cree Elder, Kerrie Moore, MSW, RSW

ISWCL Director, Natalie St-Denis, MSW, RSW, PhD(c)

ISWCL Director, Natalie St-Denis, MSW, RSW, PhD(c)

ISWCL Advisor, Deandra Neufeld, MSW, RSW

ISWCL Advisor, Deandra Neufeld, MSW, RSW

Previous “Indigenous Ways of Knowing” Series Videos

Cultural Protocols and Land Acknowledgments

The first in our series of lunch time conversations about Understanding Indigenous Ways of Knowing. These conversations will include Elders, knowledge keepers and guest speakers from across Turtle Island, to support the University of Calgary community, including Social Work students, staff and faculty to increase their knowledge and awareness about Indigenous peoples and Indigenous communities – so we can walk together in a good way and work towards creating decolonizing practices and spaces.

Elder Kerrie Moore will shared her knowledge and teachings about cultural protocols and Indigenous medicines, and how they are used for developing good relations with others, including why we use tobacco for an offering, why we start with smudge, and how Indigenous medicines are essential in holistic well-being.

Madelaine Robillard, who is of Blackfoot, French and Scottish ancestry, will provided her knowledge, wisdom and guidance on why we do a land acknowledgement, when to do a Land acknowledgment and how to provide this in a respectful way that values Indigenous people’s contributions and ways of knowing, and honors the stories and songs that have lived on the land for thousands of years.

Understanding Indigenous Cultural Gatherings and Social Dances

Have you ever wondered what Pow wow’s and Round Dances are and why Indigenous people do these? Join Traditional Knowledge Keeper Hal Eagletail, a well known Master of Ceremonies of social dances, as he shares his knowledge about Pow wows and Round Dances, and the importance for Indigenous people to gather for these cultural practices. He will also explain the cultural evolution of our Social Dances and how they have changed over time.

Hal says there is much that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can gain by engaging with the other’s culture and values.

Hal’s Bio

Hal Eagletail is a member of the Northern Dene Tsuu T’ina Nation, which is located in the Treaty 7 area of southern Alberta. Hal is a Traditional Knowledge Keeper and is a residential school survivor.