“Unless we are Native, we are all immigrants to Canada”: Tensions between multicultural inclusion and settler-colonial consciousness among Canadian social workers

Bhuyan, R., Osazuwa, S., Hanley, J., Schmidt, C., & Park, Y. (2023, décembre)

Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work


This paper presents a discourse analysis of how social work values, knowledge, and attitudes toward immigrants are represented in 173 open-ended responses to a national survey (n = 1125) of Canadian social workers attitudes toward immigrants. Through discourse analysis of social workers’ commentary, we discuss notable tensions between social workers’ affinity for multicultural inclusion and their critiques of Canadian settler-colonialism. While respondents broadly emphasize “respect for diversity” and the need to advocate for immigrants as expressions of their Canadian and social work identity, some suggest that inequalities facing Indigenous communities should be addressed before Canada continues to increase its investment in immigration. We consider how dichotomizing concerns for Indigenous and immigrant communities reflect the limits of multicultural inclusion and the need to further decolonize social work education and practice. Paper to be submitted to Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work