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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Kathy Absolon-King, MSW, PhD

Dr. Kathy Absolon-King is the Director for the Centre for Indigegogy: Indigenous Centred Wholistic Development and an Associate Professor, Master of Social Work: Indigenous Field of Study.

Her academic journey has been a pathway of unlearning, healing, re-learning and finding who she is as an Indigenous woman and what her place is in the academy.

I teach in the Indigenous Educators Certificate in Indigegogy, the Decolonizing Educators Certificate and the Wholistic Professional Development  workshops.

Mary-Anne Caibaiosai, MSW, RSW

I am Anishinaabe, Bear clan from Wikwemikong Unceded Territory, Manitoulin Island. My formal education includes a Bachelor of First Nations and Aboriginal Counseling degree from Brandon University and a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

When I offer to help and support others, I draw on lived experience, traditional knowing from my Midewewin teachers, from Lillian Pittawanakwat-baa and my elders Grandmother Irene Lindsay and Grandfather Jim Albert who gave me the sweat-lodge and pipe. I utilize all of these teachings in my model to help and teach others. Because I believe in all of these teachings, I follow them to ensure my own Medicine Wheel is in balance. I live my Medicine Wheel.

I teach in our Wholistic Professional Development workshops.

Ben Carniol, MSW, LLB

Ben Carniol is professor emeritus at Ryerson University, where he served as a professor in the School of Social Work for two decades and, more recently, as program coordinator to implement agreements between First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) and Ryerson University that deliver off-campus Indigenous-based social work education to Indigenous students. He is the acclaimed author of the first six editions of Case Critical: Social Services and Social Justice in Canada.

The 7th edition of the popular textbook Case Critical is an example of mutual respect in Indigenous - settler relationships.

I teach in our Decolonizing Education Certificate workshops.

Bonnie Freeman, PhD, MSW, RSW

Dr. Bonnie Freeman is Algonquin/Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River. She brings many years of experience with connections to Indigenous communities throughout Canada and the United States. Bonnie has been involved with many Indigenous land-based journeys as a way of understanding Indigenous epistemology and Indigenous cultural activism.

Bonnie teaches in our Decolonizing Education Certificate workshops.

Lori Hill, RSW, MSW, PhD

Lori Hill is an assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Master of Social Work program (Indigenous Field of Study). She is a Mohawk woman, turtle clan, from the Six Nations of Grand River territory. Along with teaching, she provides counselling in her Six Nations community. She centres her helping in an Indigenous wholistic worldview.

Banakonda Kennedy-Kish (Bell), Elder-in-Residence

Banakonda Kennedy-Kish (Bell) is the Elder-in-Residence with the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is an Indigenous cultural advisor, teacher, and Traditional Practitioner, and has served Indigenous communities for over forty years.

Banakonda teaches in our Indigenous Educators Certificate in Indigegogy and our Wholistic Professional Development Workshops.

Hilton King, MSW, RSW

My name is Hilton King I am a bi-cultural Indigenous social worker with a blended practice informed by euro-western and Aboriginal knowledge. I originally come from Wasauksing First Nation on the Georgian Bay area but now reside in Kitchener, ON. I am married with a blended family of six grown children and three grandchildren.

I hold a Masters Degree in Social Work obtained from Wilfrid Laurier University in the Indigenous Field of Study Program and I have worked in Traditional Healing as a helper, Justice Co-ordination, Mental Health and Child Welfare.
I carry the teachings of the land and I am a fire keeper who works with the sweat lodge and many other ceremonies. As I journey through this life in a good way I remain balanced through the cultural knowledge that was so freely passed on to me over the years.

I teach in our Wholistic Professional Development Workshops.

Timothy Leduc, PhD

Dr, Timothy Leduc is author of the new book, A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016). It engages the Two Row Wampum to look at the colonial roots of today's climate change-energy issues, which are reconsidered as a spiritual initiation into healing the pain of disconnection at the root of modern culture.

His first book, Climate, Culture, Change: Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North (University of Ottawa Press, 2010), was short-listed for the 2012 Canada Prize and looked at climate science, politics, and economics from the perspective of Inuit cosmology. He is faculty in land-based and Indigenous Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford, and has worked as a social worker in northern Indigenous communities and as an urban land-based educator.

Timothy teaches in our Decolonizing Education Certificate.

Cara Loft, BSc

Cara Loft grew up in a small farming community, called Ilderton, located just northwest of London, Ontario, Canada. She spent summers on Tyendinaga, Mohawk Territory, exploring the land and playing with my cousins. She is from the wolf clan, she is a proud hand drum carrier, woman's traditional dancer, singer, photographer and poet. Currently, Cara works for Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada as the Coordinator for the Master of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study Program.

She graduated from Laurier in 2013 with a Bachelor's of Science, Honors Health Sciences Program and moved into Community Development after attending Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for International Development. Cara's passion and love lay with the land and her people. Her ultimate goal is to foster a sense of understanding and help build relationship between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada. Nya:wen kowa! Thank you!

Cara teaches in our Wholistic Professional Development Workshops.

Laura Mastronardi

Laura Mastronardi is a settler Canadian of Italian and Dutch ancestry. She joined the Wilfrid Laurier Faculty of Social Work in 2006, currently teaches and coordinates field education in MSW Indigenous Field of Study, and is looking forward to teaching in the Indigenous PhD program in fall 2018. Laura brings to her educational practice a social work background in child welfare, mental health and community development. She has had the honour of working and learning in relationship with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples over the past forty years in communities throughout northwestern, central and southern Ontario, and in Nunavik, the arctic region of Quebec. She strives to be a strong ally of Indigenous peoples and is dedicated to decolonizing Indigenous-settler relations through her social work practice, research and teaching.  

Darren Thomas, MA, PhD (ABD)

Darren Thomas is a member of the Seneca Nation; he is a Bear Clan and he currently resides at the Grand River Territory of the Hodinohso:ni.

His research has focused on First Nations community development, Indigenous research methodologies, suicide prevention and colonial trauma. Darren specializes in working with First Nations peoples, inspiring them to be proud of their heritage and take a rightful place in modern society.

Darren teaches in our Decolonizing Education Certificate.

Raven Sinclair, PhD

Dr. Raven Sinclair is a member of Gordon First Nation of the Treaty #4 area of southern Saskatchewan. Raven's academic and research interests include Indigenous knowledge and research methodologies, the synthesis of traditional and contemporary healing theories and modalities, aboriginal cultural identity issues, adoption, colonial and decolonization theories, and mental health and wellness.

Raven teaches in our Decolonizing Education Certificate.


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