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Cyndy Baskin

Associate Director, Undergraduate Program and Associate Professor
EducationBA, BSW, MSW, PhD
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 556217
Areas of ExpertiseIndigenous knowledges; Social work with Indigenous Peoples and communities; Violence against Indigenous women, girls, 2-spirit and trans Indigenous Peoples; Impacts of colonization on Indigenous Peoples such as homelessness and child welfare.

I am of Mi’kmaq and Celtic Nations, originally from NB, belong to the Fish Clan and carry a spirit name which translates as something like The Woman Who Passes on the Teachings. I began my journey in the School of Social Work in 1997 as a sessional instructor, then became a tenure track faculty member in 2001. Also, during this latter year, I began a PhD program, worked full-time at a job that required a huge learning curve for me and my youngest child was 3-years old. Four years later, I was awarded a PhD, earned tenure, and was promoted to Associate Professor. I share this challenging journey to encourage other marginalized people to realize how much they can do even though they may have been told they cannot be successful.

Prior to entering the academy, I was a social work practitioner for many years in both Indigenous agencies in Toronto and First Nations communities across Canada. My areas of practice were in community development, child and family services, sexual and physical healing for both survivors and those who did the harm, and creating community-based, cultural programing. My work in First Nations communities focused on the latter work as well as training workers in the areas of my experience. I continue to do this work today as well as trainings for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers in the helping professions in urban and First Nations communities. Meanwhile, today, my youngest child is 22 years old and in university and I have 5 grandsons from my older children. 

  • History of colonization and its current impacts
  • Indigenous knowledges in social work
  • Spirituality in connection to social justice
  • Social work theories and practice
  • Clinical social work
  • Teaching Indigenous students in the School of Social Work’s partnership with First Nations Technical Institute
  • Developing elective courses
  • 2018 – 2023:  Family Factors Surrounding Aboriginal Homelessness  
    • Co-Principal Investigator
    • Funded by SSHRC
  • 2017 – 2019: An Indigenous Collaborative Care Best Practices Model (ICCBPM): Using Simulated Participant Simulations to Promote Culturally Safe Healthcare along the Cancer Journey 
    • Co-Principal Investigator
    • Funded by CIHR 
  • 2015 – 2020: Understanding Social Work Practice in Northern Canada 
    • Co-Principal Investigator
    • Funded by SSHRC 
  • 2013 – 2015: Understanding and Reducing the Impact of Vehicular Injury in First Nations, Inuit and Metis Communities  
    •          Co-Principal Investigator
    •          Funded by CIHR and AUTO21
  • 2012 – 2014: Expanding the Circle: Aboriginal People with Disabilities Focus on Rights 
    •          Co-Principal Investigator
    •          Funded by SSHRC
  • 2007 – 2011: Development of Culturally Appropriate & Collaborative Relationships for Pregnant/Parenting Aboriginal Women, Drug Treatment Counsellors & Child Welfare Workers 
    •          Co-Principal Investigator
    •          Funded by CIHR
  • 2008: Mobilizing and Leveraging Knowledge on Homelessness through Arts-informed, Community-based Research 
    •           Co-Principal Investigator
    •           Funded by CIHR
  • 2007: Which of the Following is NOT an Essential Service ∙Roads ∙Schools ∙Food? Exploring Food Security with Young Aboriginal Moms 
    •           Principal Investigator
    •          Funded by CIHR


  • Profitt, N.J. & Baskin, C. (2020). (Eds.), Spirit in the Quest of an Equitable World: Spirituality, Social Justice, and Social Work. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
  • Baskin, C. (2016). Strong helpers’ teachings: The value of Indigenous knowledges in the helping professions (2nd edition). Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Book chapters:

  • Baskin, C., Andrews, C. & Razavi, S. (2020). Spirituality and social justice through art: Inspiration, unity and action. In N.J. Profitt & C. Baskin, C. (Eds.), Spirit in the Quest of an Equitable World: Spirituality, Social Justice, and Social Work. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
  • Baskin, C. (2020). Conclusion. In N.J. Profitt & C. Baskin, C. (Eds.), Spirit in the Quest of an Equitable World: Spirituality, Social Justice, and Social Work. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
  • Baskin, C. & Sinclair, D. (2017). Social work and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Encyclopedia of Social Work. New York: National Association of Social Workers and Oxford University Press. 
  • Baskin, C., Strike, C. & McPherson, B. (2014). Towards the wellbeing of Aboriginal mothers and their families: You can’t mandate time. In Lavell-Harvard, D. M. & Anderson, K. (Eds.), In Mothers of the nations: Indigenous mothering as global resistance, reclaiming and recovery (pp. 109-129). Toronto: Demeter Press.
  • Baskin, C. & Cornacchia, C. (Accepted). Classrooms as circles: Sharing Indigenous worldviews in education. In R. Csiernik & S. Hillock (Eds.), Teaching Social Work: Pedagogy and Practice. University of Toronto Press.
  • Baskin, C. (Accepted). The role of social work in the lives of Indigenous Peoples. In N. Ives, M. Denov & T. Sussman (Eds.), Introduction to social work in Canada: Histories, contexts and practices (2nd Edition). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press. 
  • Baskin, C. (Accepted). Systemic oppression, violence and healing in Aboriginal communities. In Alaggia, R & Vine, C. (Eds.), Cruel but not Unusual: Violence in Canadian families A sourcebook for educators & practitioners. (3rd edition). Wilfred Laurier University Press.

Journal articles: