The NASW Code of Ethics identifies social justice as one of six foundational values of the social work profession. Indigenous communities have long questioned the authenticity of this commitment and rightly so, given the historical activities of social work and social workers. Still, the commitment persists as an inspiration for an imperfect, yet determined, profession. This article presents a theoretical discussion of questions pertinent for social justice in social work practice in Native American communities: Whose definition of social justice should prevail in work with and in Indigenous communities? What can a revisioning of social justice mean to the development of Native communities and for Native youths in particular? What methods or processes of social work are most appropriate for this social justice work? This article presents a case for the practice of youth participatory action research as one method to work for social justice in Native communities.
- Native American
- Participatory action research
- Social justice