American Indian Projects | Department of Social Work


You are here

American Indian Projects develops projects that enhance the contemporary social work skills of American Indian students, while providing an opportunity to participate in cultural activities that enhance their cultural knowledge. This program hopes to assist American Indian Students in the following areas:

  • To enhance student abilities to deal with the complex challenges of policy and practice issues while working within Indian communities.
  • To create a network of American Indian social workers that are able to interpret social work practice using the unique worldview and knowledge of Indian people.
  • To assist and support American Indian students who return to work in leadership roles serving Indian children, families, and communities.

Current Projects

Curriculum Development

Courses that contain American Indian content (history, policy, Indian Child Welfare, etc.) are part of the MSW curriculum at UMD. These courses are: Dynamics of American Indian Families, American Indians and Social Policy, and Health in the American Indian Community. The Trauma-Informed Practice With Children and Adolescents course (available for BSW students) also includes American Indian specific content, including historical trauma and best practices for working with American Indian families with a history of trauma.

Student Support

Recruitment activities are designed to attract American Indian students to the MSW and BSW programs.  Activities include attending regional meetings, presentations at local, regional, statewide, and national conferences; community outreach with tribal human service professionals; and developing materials with an American Indian child welfare focus.

Community Outreach Activities

American Indian Projects community outreach activities focus on the development of partnerships on the tribal, state and national level to address critical issues in American Indian child welfare practice in our communities.  We partner with tribal communities to identify and design targeted, culturally relevant trainings for tribally based child welfare programs.  

American Indian Community Advisory Council

Our AICAC was established to provide culturally based guidance and advisement in the development of all projects. Council members represent tribal and urban child human service organizations in Minnesota and have been a consistent part of American Indian Projects for over 20 years.