Indigenous social work scholar to launch book in Whitehorse; bring message of hope
October 06, 2016
WHITEHORSE—Dr. Cyndy Baskin believes Indigenous knowledges can save the planet. In particular, when applied to health care, social work, mental health support, and education—the helping professions—connecting with Indigenous knowledge and values can bring about a great deal of healing for those working in such fields and the people they are helping.
“I am asking people to consider other ways of doing this work,” said Baskin. “So many people are disconnected from themselves, each other and society. There are so many troubles and crises happening. Why do we, as helpers, commit actions that are not working for vast numbers of people over and over again?”
Dr. Baskin is of Mi’kmaq and Celtic Nations and an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Ryerson University. She is of the Fish Clan and also known as The Woman Who Passes on the Teachings.
Baskin will be in Whitehorse Tuesday October 11 to launch the second edition of her book, Strong Helpers’ Teachings: The Value of Indigenous Knowledge in the Helping Professions. The book draws on over 20 years of personal social work practice to illustrate the importance of Indigenous knowledges for all peoples, and models a possible path to reconciliation, relationship building and ally-ship.
First published in 2011, this thoroughly updated edition includes four new chapters on holistic approaches to mental health, two-spirit experiences, self-care for helpers and responses to suicide and providing community support.
“Feedback to the first edition was very positive. Educators, students and practitioners have responded to share their appreciation and how they are incorporating what they have learned from the book into their practice. This feedback also provided direction when I began revising and expanding the book,” said Baskin.
“The book is a timely resource for those interested in sharing, listening, and teaching Indigenous worldviews and helping practices. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action last year show how much work we have yet to do in this area. Hopefully people will take away specific actions they can undertake to help heal one another and the planet,” added Baskin.
Baskin will give a reading from her book, sign copies and answer questions from the public at a free event at the Whitehorse Public Library at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11.
While in Yukon, Baskin will also give the keynote address at the Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada annual general meeting on October 14, and connect with a research team she is part of.