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COVID-19 and BLM: Humanitarian Contexts Necessitating Principles from First Nations World Views in an Intercultural Social Work Curriculum

journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-07, 04:16 authored by Annie TownsendAnnie Townsend, Mishel McMahonMishel McMahon
Unprecedented trends of complex humanitarian contexts are unfolding globally, and they are driven by numerous humanitarian crisis drivers. Two of the more recent and ongoing crisis drivers are the Coronavirus Pandemic 2019 and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. While the pandemic has already caused a direct impact on unprepared health systems and caused secondary havoc on already fragile countries, the BLM movement has exposed the deeply held structural inequalities experienced by populations who do not identify as Western European. Both crisis drivers have also exposed the structural problems that have long underpinned humanitarian responses. To prepare for these complexities in humanitarian contexts, social work educators need to respond to the loud outcry for holistically educated and critically reflective social work practitioners. We argue this can be achieved through an Intercultural Social Work Curriculum informed by First Nations world views to enable a shift in student mindset from Western thought, setting the foundations for professional intercultural practice in complex humanitarian contexts.


Publication Date



British Journal of Social Work






19p. (p. 1820-1838)


Oxford University Press



Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (

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