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Shane Young

Shane Young

Assistant Professor of Social Work and Academic Coordinator, Indigenous Knowledges and Experiences Certificate
EducationBSW, MSW, PhD Candidate (Trent)
OfficeEPH-241, Eric Palin Hall
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 556220

Shane Young is an educator, PhD Candidate (ABD, Trent) and Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholar who has ancestral ties to both the Mi'kmaw and Newfoundland settler communities. Originally from the southwestern coast of Newfoundland, he has been residing in Tkaronto since 2006.

Currently, Shane is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work and serves as the Academic Coordinator for the Indigenous Knowledges and Experiences Certificate at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Shane's extensive research interests include critical Indigenous studies, urban Indigenous identities, colonial and decolonization theories, Indigenous research and knowledge methodologies, and Indigeneity. In particular, his doctoral research explores the influence of digital environments such as social media, Instagram, and TikTok on Indigenous identity formation, maintenance, and resurgence. His work also seeks to evaluate the role of these digital spaces in supporting Indigenous futures and revitalization projects.

Shane’s professional social work practice has been in educational and community-based settings, with a strong background in building relationships with service groups and organizations in the broader community to provide services to diverse populations. His work has included populations that experience systemic marginalization and oppression in areas such as Deaf culture, homelessness, mental health and addictions, child welfare, and Indigenous communities.


  • CINT 910: Indigenous Peoples, Politics and Reconciliation
  • CINT 922: Introduction to Indigenous Worldviews
  • CINT 923: Canada’s Story: An Indigenous Perspective
  • CVSW 15A: Foundations of Social Work Practice II


  • SWP 201: Preparing for Social Work Practice
  • SWP 301: Decolonizing Anti-Oppression Social Work Practice
  • SWP 435: Indigenous Approaches to Social Work
  • SWP 538 Social Work Research: Part I
  • SWP 638 Social Work Research: Part II
  • SWP 933: Indigenous Health and Wellbeing


  • SK 8208: Indigenous Knowledges in Social Work

Course Coordination:

  • SWP 435: Indigenous Approaches to Social Work
  • SWP 301: Decolonizing Anti-Oppression Social Work Practice

Shane's research interests, shaped by his teaching approach, encompass Indigenous research methodologies, cultural identities, colonial theory, community development, family dynamics, decolonization, social sciences, social policy, social justice, anti-oppressive, and anti-racist practices. Emphasizing the significance of the research process, his work is grounded in relationships with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

For his Master of Social Work degree, Shane delved into the impact of colonial interference on Indigenous identities in urban contexts, focusing on healing and cultural sovereignty. This research, conducted in collaboration with the urban Indigenous community in Toronto, addressed the formulation and maintenance of Indigenous identities within the context of neoliberal ideologies.

As part of a research group, Shane contributed to a study led by Dr. Jeanette Schmid and Dr. Marina Morgenshtern, examining the contextualization of Western social work knowledge and its effects on local populations in South Africa and Canada. This work was presented at conferences in 2018 and 2019.

Shane's ongoing doctoral research explores the resurgence of Urban Indigenous Identities in digital spaces. Against the backdrop of contemporary struggles in defining Indigenous identity post-colonialism, he investigates how digital spaces, particularly social media, influence identity formation, maintenance, and resurgence. This mixed-methods study aims to provide insights into the role of digital spaces in supporting communities to renew or reconstruct their Indigenous identities and community understandings, offering perspectives on how to best support Indigenous futures.

Research interests:

  • Critical Indigenous Studies
  • Urban Indigenous Identities
  •  Indigeneity
  • Indigenous Research and Knowledge Methodologies
  • Colonial and Decolonization Theories
  • Social Justice
  • Mental Health and Wellness


  • Young, S., N. (2019). Attaining Wholeness Through Re-claiming Indigenous Identity & Spirituality. In Njoki Wane, Rose Torres, and Dionisio Nyaga, eds., Transversing & Translocating Spirituality: An Epistemological, Theoretical and Pedagogical Conversation. Nsemia Inc. Toronto, Ontario. 

Oral Conference Presentations:

  • Schmid, J., Young, S. N., Morgenshtern, M. (2019). Circles of Conversations: Contextualized Social Work Education. Paper presented at: Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS), Vancouver, BC.
  • Schmid, J., Young, S. N. (2019). Contextualized Social Work Education: Multiple Perspectives. Paper presented at: Canadian Conference on Medical Education, Kamloops, BC.
  • Young, S. N. (2018). Critical Social Work with Indigenous Peoples; Redefining Reciprocity & Healthy Relationships. Paper presented at: Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS), Saskatoon, SK.

Poster Conference Presentations

  • Hui, C., Parsons, M., Young, S. N., Hillier, S., Stratton, T.G. (2020). Beyond mending bridges: Decolonising research structures through co-creating respectful and equitable Indigenous-settler PLHIV partnerships. Poster presented at: The 29th Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research Le 29e Congrès annuel canadien de recherche sur le VIH/sida, Quebec City, QC.
  • Hui, C., Parsons, M., Young, S. N., Hillier, S., Stratton, T.G. (2020). Beyond building more bridges: Decolonizing research structures through co-creating respectful and equitable Indigenous-settler PLHIV partnerships in a multi-site Canadian Cohort. Poster presented at: AIDS 2020: 23rd International AIDS Conference (Virtual)