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Dr. Cindy Blackstock

Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

Hokenstad International Lecture—Thursday, November 19

Colonialism in 2020: Seeking Equity for Nations Within Nations 

We live in a world where First Nations continue to be the victims of violence inflicted on them by the nations in which they are geographically located. This is the ongoing legacy of settler colonialism. This lecture will discuss this situation and also offer some examples of how social workers can successfully advocate for the human rights of First Nations peoples. It will connect work being carried out around the world in the defense of the human rights of First Nations and discuss the role of social workers in making positive social change to advance human rights and social justice, including using cultural equity as a basis for reconciliation. The Hokenstad Lecture is generously supported by the CSWE Commission on Global Social Work Education.

About Dr. Blackstock 

A member of the Gitxsan First Nation, Cindy is honored to serve as the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and a professor at McGill University’s School of Social Work. She has over 30 years of experience working in child welfare and Indigenous children’s rights and has published more than 75 articles on topics relating to reconciliation, Indigenous theory, First Nations child welfare, and human rights. Cindy was honored to work with First Nations colleagues on a successful human rights challenge to Canada’s inequitable provision of child and family services and failure to implement Jordan’s Principle. This hard-fought litigation has resulted in hundreds of thousands of services being provided to First Nations children, youth, and families.  

She recently served on the Pan American Health Commission on Health Equity and Inequity and fundamentally believes that culturally-based equity is fundamental to meaningful reconciliation. Cindy is frequently sighted in the company of the Caring Society’s reconciliation Am-bear-rister, Spirit Bear, engaging children in meaningful actions to implement the TRC Calls to Action.