Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work (IBSW)

The Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work is an accredited specialty degree that applies Indigenous knowledge to social work practice.

Be aware of your environment, be observant

Program Details

2 Years
Main Campus
semester start dates
September 5, 2022
Application Deadline
July 15, 2022

Admission Requirements

Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s)

University level Diploma

Completed a diploma program (20 university courses or 60 university credits)

Culturally Infused curriculum

The curriculum integrates Blackfoot traditional teachings about relationship building, and personal and community healing.

Culturally Infused curriculum

Course Completion

Diploma upon completing 20 courses in the field of Blackfoot language and culture.

Course Completion


All the courses for this program.
ISWK 3605

Indigenous Worldviews

3 Credits

ISWK 3000

Application of Blackfoot Ethical Principles and Cultural Protocols

3 Credits

ISWK 3600

Relational Approaches to Interpersonal Communication (Social Work Communication Skills)

3 Credits

ISWK 3700

Healing Theories and Practices

3 Credits

ISWK 3110

Blackfoot Language and Philosophy

3 Credits

ISWK 3100

Life Paths/Rhythms

3 Credits

ISWK 3120

Relational Engagement with Families and Groups

3 Credits

ISWK 3503

Critical Analysis of Generalist SWK Theory and Practice

3 Credits

ISWK 3300

Community Practice (300 hrs. in community + 24 seminar hrs.)

3 Credits

ISWK 3203

Healing Within the Sacred

3 Credits

PSYC 450

Neurobiology of Drug Abuse and Addiction

3 Credits

ISWK 4000

Application of Blackfoot Ethical Principles and Cultural Protocols

3 Credits

ISWK 4120

Organizational and Community Wellness

3 Credits

ISWK 4601

Applying Indigenous Knowledges: Health Loss and Recovery

3 Credits

ISWK 4603

Critical Analysis of International Social Work Practice

3 Credits

KS 150

Kainai Tribal Governance

3 Credits

ISWK 4505

Indigenous Research Methods

3 Credits

ISWK 4300

Community Practice (85 hours in community + 9seminar hrs.)

3 Credits

ISWK 4300

Community Practice (150 hours in community + 15 seminar hrs. + 20 capstone hrs.)

3 Credits

now accepting applications

Ready to Enrol?

If you have everything ready, apply now. Or check out how to apply.
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Funding Available

Contact a Student Funding Advisor to complete the funding application process.
Note: Continuing students must apply for funding every academic year.
Main Campus: Campbell Eagle Child - / (403) 737-2400Satellite Campus: Gerald Wright - / (403) 327-6984
Funding is limited.

Apply for Funding

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to our most commonly asked questions. If you don't see your answer please contact:

How long is the IBSW program?

The IBSW has a duration of 2 years.

What credentials will I obtain upon completing the IBSW program?

This program awards a bachelor's degree in Social Work.

Will my degree be valid off-reserve?

Yes. Our IBSW credential is valid on and off-reserve and will make you eligible to work for both tribal and mainstream agencies.

Can I become a Registered Social Worker after completing this program?

Yes. Our IBSW graduates have successfully applied for and been accepted as RSW (Registered Social Worker) in the province of Alberta.

Can I apply to the IBSW directly after completing my high school courses?

An application requirement for the IBSW is to have completed a Diploma. This means that applicants must have 20 university courses before applying to the IBSW.

What Diplomas do you accept to apply for the IBSW program?

You are welcome to apply to the IBSW if you have completed a Diploma (20 university courses or 60 university credits) in the fields of Social Work, Mental Health, Arts and Science, or other relevant areas related to fostering individual and group well-being.

What makes the IBSW different from other social work degree programs?

Our program is based on the Indigenous Paradigm of Social Work. The curriculum integrates Blackfoot traditional teachings about relationship building, and personal and community healing. Our courses are tailored to meet the needs of Indigenous families and individuals and provide critical skills to identify mainstream social work practices that misunderstand and disrupt Indigenous ways of living.

"The program’s uniqueness is it incorporates our Niitsiitapi culture, values, and beliefs. Students are exposed to Elders and tradition. That’s why I applied.”
Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work (IBSW)
Nicole Tailfeathers
Pretty Bear Woman

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Curriculum is delivered by Alberta Education Certified Instructors and Blackfoot Eminent Scholars Adult learners receive credit through Alberta Education.
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