Knowing the Source of the Water: An Introduction to Honoring Our Indigenous Elders in Social Work Education

  • Hilary N. Weaver
  • Mary Kate Dennis
Keywords: Indigenous, elders, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Aboriginal, First Nation Peoples, American Indian Alaska Native Social Work Educators' Association, Maori, Aboriginal Australian, Hawai‘i


This is the introduction to the special issue of Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, Honoring Our Indigenous Elders in Social Work Education. This special issue was co-edited by Hilary N. Weaver, University at Buffalo School of Social Work; Mary Kate Dennis, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, and Katie Johnston-Goodstar, University of Minnesota School of Social Work. The issue includes narratives about Indigenous social work educators and/or educational programs who have had a significant impact on the social work profession, social work education and the Indigenous scholars in academia. “Indigenous Peoples” are defined as those peoples and nations which have historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them.