"Honestly, I am surprised where I am at in my life today because I barely graduated from high school and then to graduate with honors from a prestigious college such as ASU is amazing."
Natasha Peacock, MSW '18 , graduate from the OAIP Weaving Native Perspectives traineeship program.
Together, we can support social work students at ASU to be qualified behavioral health providers that serve Tribal and urban American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
The Office of American Indian Projects (OAIP) is housed within the School of Social Work at Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Founded in 1977, OAIP was established through the advocacy of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the Indian Health Services, the Navajo Nation, the Phoenix Indian Center, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
At our recent May 2019 graduation 12 AI/AN students recieved the Bachelor of Social Work and 18 AI/AN students recieved a Master of Social Work.
The School of Social Work prepares social work practitioners committed to social justice and to serving and empowering individuals, families, and communities with an emphasis on the unique social, political and cultural diversity of the Southwest. American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are one of the important populations that our School emphasizes. On a yearly basis, our School leads the nation in the number of American Indian and Alaska Native Master of Social Work graduates and is among the top producers of American Indian and Alaska Native Bachelor of Social Work graduates.
We focus on capacity building and supporting students in their aspirations to support Tribal communities.
OAIP supports students in their pursuit of a social work career with a focus on capacity building for Tribes and urban AI/AN-serving agencies. This includes addressing the critical shortange of highly trained social work professionals with cultural competency and awareness needed when working within Tribal settings. In addition to supporting students within their coursework, we also engage students within the American Indian Social Work Student Association (AISWSA) creating a community of leading and learning for student members Students that participate in OAIP programs have a demonstrated interest in working with Tribal families and communties and they come from AI/AN communties themselves or have a strong affinity to become an ally and intent to establish their careers in working there.
What support is needed?
Tribal scholarship funding varies based on their resources. While some students may receive full or partial funding from their Tribe, many of our students do not. Additionally there are non-Tribal students that have a demonstrated interest in working with Tribal populations and need scholarship support. This valuable support is needed to ensure students are able to continue their schooling and in-field work placements as well as to lessen the burden of the cost of applying for social work credentials needed to work and excel within the field.
In the words of the O'odham people, whose Indigenous lands are where the ASU School of Social Work is located, Sapo Masma (Thank you) for your support of our students which will in turn, have a continued impact on our community throughout their social work careers.