Creating a Culturally Safe Learning Environment with Indigenous Students
Cultural safety is an under-appreciated dynamic in cross-cultural education environments. Building upon the concept of cultural safety, first applied by Maori Nursing professionals in New Zealand, this study explores the experience of Social Work students of Aboriginal descent and relates it to the descriptive terminology of cultural safety. The Inner City Social Work program (ICSWP) at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Canada is an ACCESS program which seeks to provide Bachelor level education to students with a disadvantaged educational history. ICSWP invites indigenous students (amongst others) to undertake a Bachelor of Social Work(BSW) degree, with intentional community supports, to support successful outcomes. This program has two streams (Inner City, and Aboriginal Child Welfare) which involve significant Aboriginal student participation. Graduates of the ICSWP were interviewed to explore whether the learning environment felt culturally " safe enough" for them, and what factors contributed to that sense of safety. The presenter will share responses of graduates and their recommendations for creating " safe enough' learning environments.
Keywords: Cultural Safety, Canadian, Aboriginal, Indigenous, Social Work, Students, Bachelor of Social Work, Inner City, Cross-cultural, Education
Prof. Eveline Milliken
Assistant Professor, Inner City Social Work program Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba