School of Social Work and Human Services

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Robert Harding

Robert Harding, BA, BSW, MSW, PhD, RSW

Associate Professor

School of Social Work and Human Services

Abbotsford campus, B165e

Phone: 604-504-7441 ext. 4470

email Robert

Biography

After working in child welfare in Manitoba and Quebec, Robert relocated to Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 1989 and worked in the public health system as a community development consultant and policy advisor. In the mid-1990s, he moved to the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia where he led the university in partnering with the Stó:lō Nation to develop an Indigenous social services diploma program based on traditional principles of healing and helping. He teaches in the Bachelor of Social Work and the Master of Social Work programs and his research focuses on discourse about social policy, poverty, and Indigenous self-governance issues. He has presented his research in Canada, the US, Costa Rica, Scotland, Finland, and Germany, and has published in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Communication, Canadian Review of Social Policy, Discourse and Society, Canadian Journal of Native Studies, and the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

Education

Ph.D.
Faculty of Applied Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC
School of Communication & First Nations Studies Program
Dissertation: Re/framing Aboriginal social policy issues in the news: Old stereotypes and new opportunities (see http://summit.sfu.ca/item/2681)

Master of Social Work
McGill University
Montréal, PQ
Research Report: Ethical considerations for community organizers
Project: Helped organize community council for Côtes-des-Neiges/Snowdon

Bachelor of Social Work
University of Manitoba
Specialization: Clinical social work in a hospital setting

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature
University of Manitoba

Teaching Philosophy

I begin all my classes by asking students to be open to new knowledge and learning and to bring a sense of wonder to their educational adventures. This is not always easy as all of us have had different, and sometimes difficult, experiences (possibly with the educational system itself) and hold unique sets of values that have shaped how we understand the world. It takes hard work, intellectual courage and emotional resilience to be able to look at issues, ideology and personal and professional values from a different point-of-view and open oneself up to considering new knowledge and perspectives. The only way I can ask my students to engage in such a challenging process is by being prepared myself to be open-minded every time I step into the classroom. I believe in facilitating an interactive learning experience and listening to students and really hearing their ideas. 

I believe that learning is a lifelong process for everyone, whether we are engaged in formal education or not. Each student has a gift, a unique set of experiences and personal characteristics and, of course, a specific social location in the world. Many students in our programs are older than undergraduate students in other disciplines (for example, some come back to school after having raised families) and bring a great deal of life experience – with poverty, social services, parenting, racism, sexism, and so on – to the class that directly and indirectly relates to core social work curriculum. My role is to facilitate an educational process and to create a “safe” and respectful space where students can present and critique ideas and share relevant experiences with their student colleagues. In order to do this, I need to have critical self-awareness of the power inherent in my formal position – as professor – and in my social positioning as a middle-class male from a (mostly) White background. 

In part, classes are based on asking questions about core curriculum such as social work with Indigenous peoples or professional social work practice. While I often challenge students’ assumptions, some of the most important learning results from students themselves posing thought-provoking questions such as how does the Indian Act affect social work practice with Indigenous people on reserves? Or how do social workers apply the Social Work Code of Ethics in social work practice situations where a social service agency’s mandate conflicts with one of the Code’s provisions? I employ a variety of teaching methods including interactive lectures, structured small group discussions and exercises, guest speakers (e.g., Social Work practitioners and Indigenous Elders), video presentations and discussions, and occasionally field trips as well as exams and critical thinking essays. This critical and dialectical process yields an educational sum far greater than its parts that is enriching for instructor and students alike.

Teaching Interests

Social policy, community development, and Indigenous research methodology, and Indigenous social work.

Research Interests

Public discourse about social work, social policy, poverty and Indigenous issues.

Presentations

Sponsored Speaking Tours

2009

At the invitation of the Canadian Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, two lectures were given:

  1. Comparative analysis of coverage of Canadian Aboriginal issues in mainstream newspapers and the Aboriginal press (February 18).
    Audience: students and faculty members in the Master of International Conflict Resolution program, United Nations University for Peace, San Jose.
  2. Stereotyping of Aboriginal people in the Canadian news media (February 20).
    Audience: Journalists’ Association of Costa Rica, Colegio de Periodistas, San Jose.

2007

At the invitation of the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, lectures were given in venues across

Germany:
Racism, Aboriginal people and the news media (May 2).
Audience: two Grade 11 classes, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium, Jena.

Historical representations of Aboriginal people in the Canadian news media (May 2).
Audience: students enrolled in The Writing and Rewriting of American History in Literature and Film, a graduate seminar taught by Professor Jutta Zimmermann, University of Jena.

Racism, Aboriginal people and the News media (May 3).
Audience: two Grade 9 classes, Rudolf-Virchow-Oberschule, Berlin.

Images of Aboriginal people in the news: Mainstream Canadian press compared with the Aboriginal media (May 4).
Audience: Greifswald Canadian Studies Conference ("Canada: Centers and Margins"), University of Greifswald.

Stereotyping (May 7).
Audience: Grade 7 class, Hauptschule an der Situlistraße, München.

Images of Aboriginal People in the news: Mainstream Canadian press compared with the Aboriginal media (May 7).
Audience: students enrolled in the Journalism degree program at the Deutsche Journalistenschule (German School of Journalism), München.

Modern representations of Aboriginal people in the Canadian news media (May 8).
Audience: High School Teachers enrolled in a teacher-training seminar ("Canada in the Classroom"), German American Institute, Tübingen.

Racism, Aboriginal people and the news media (May 9).
Audience: Grade 11 and Grade 12 classes, Hans-Sachs-Gymnasium, Nürnberg.

Racism, Aboriginal people and the news media (May 9).
Audience: students who are apprenticing in trades (age 19+), Staatliche Berufsoberschule Nürnberg.

Images of Aboriginal people in the news (May 10).
Audience: members and guests of the Deutsch-Kanadische Gesellschaft (German-Canadian Association), Hamburg.

Invited Lectures and Forum Panel Presentations

2015

Gave a presentation entitled, The construction of Islam as a threat in the news: Parallel experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and served on the panel of the Terror-phobia and counter-terrorism Forum (December 17) at UFV’s Abbotsford campus.

Gave a presentation entitled, The refugee crisis: A social work perspective, and served on the panel of the Caring about crisis: What we can learn about the global refugee crisis Forum (October 27) at UFV’s Abbotsford campus.

At the invitation of the Coordinator of the Native Student Centre, Mount Royal University, presented at the Indigenous Voices Gathering on their Calgary Campus (March 20). Contemporary news representations of Indigenous issues.

2013

At the invitation of Dr. Peter Geller, Vice Provost & Associate Vice-President Academic of UFV, presented at an educational forum on the Idle No More movement at UFV’s Chilliwack campus (January 17). Media representation of the Idle No More movement and the context of the representation of Aboriginal peoples and issues in the media.

2012

At the invitation of Dr. Eric Spalding of UFV’s Department of Social, Culture and Media Studies, a lecture was given to students of MACS/SOC 334: Cultural Policy at the Abbotsford Campus (November 21). Historical representations of Indigenous peoples in the Canadian news media.

2011

At the invitation of UFV’s Elder College, the following lecture was given as part of their “Tapestry of Thought” Lecture Series at the Chilliwack Campus (November 25).

Historical representations of Indigenous people in the Canadian news media.

At the invitation of the organizers of A Conference on North American Critical Discourse Analysis at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (May 20), a lecture was given.

Discrediting Indigenous-controlled child welfare services in Canadian news texts.

2010

At the invitation of UFV’s Research and Graduate Studies Department, the following lecture was given during the UFV Micro-lecture Series. Representations of Aboriginal people in the news (January 28). Audience: Students and faculty, University of the Fraser Valley.

At the invitation of the Burnaby/Delta/Richmond Branch of the British Columbia Association of Social Workers (BCASW), a lecture was given. Indigenous people, the news media and social justice (October 4). Audience: BCASW members and special guests from the Snowchange organization (Finland), Evergreen Community Medical Centre, Vancouver.

2009

At the invitation of UFV’s Indigenous Studies Advisory Committee, gave a lecture on Representations of Indigenous People in the Canadian News Media. Indigenizing our academy: Voices from the inside out, UFV.

Conference Presentations

Harding, R. (May 2017). Controlling land: News representations of treaties in BC. BC Studies Conference: (Un)Settling British Columbia. Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo.

Harding, R. (February 2016). The Role of Opinion Pieces & Editorials in Shaping News about an Indigenous Protest Movement. Annual Conference of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research. Portland, Oregon.

Harding, R. (April 2015). Social workers and poverty discourses in the news: Fostering voices from the margins. Reaching Out Together: Connections Through Social Work Conference. University of the Fraser Valley. Abbotsford.

Harding, R. (May 2013). News representations of child welfare: BC’S provincial children’s ministry compared with an Indigenous child welfare agency. BC Studies Conference: Transforming British Columbia. Douglas College. New Westminster.

Harding, R. (February 2012). News representations of Indigenous peoples in British Columbia: Then & now. Annual Conference of the Society for Cross Cultural Research. University of Nevada. Las Vegas.

Harding, R. (February 2012). Representations of Indigenous people in the Canadian news media. Indigenizing our Academy: Voices from the Inside Out. University of the Fraser Valley. Abbotsford.

Harding, R. (November, 2011). News discourse about child protection social work: Delegated Indigenous agency and provincial child welfare authority compared. Annual Conference of the British Columbia Association of Social Workers. Vancouver.

Harding, R., Ayala, J., MacDonald, J., & Pelech, W. (June 2011). Roundtable on pedagogy online: Promising practices in online social work education. Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Social Work Educators at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities. St. Thomas University/University of New Brunswick.

Harding, R. (June 2011). Vilifying Aboriginal-controlled child welfare services in the news. Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Social Work Educators at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities. St. Thomas University/University of New Brunswick.

Harding, R. (June 2010). Double standards in news reporting on critical incidents in Indigenous child welfare. Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Social Work Educators at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities. Concordia University.

Harding, R.(February 2010). Cross-cultural differences in news reporting on critical incidents in Aboriginal child welfare. Annual Meeting of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research.  University of New Mexico. Albuquerque.

Harding, R. (May 2007). Framing Aboriginal self-governance in Canadian news discourse. International Media Conference: 20 Years of Propaganda? Critical Evidence and Discussion Regarding the Ongoing Relevance of the Herman & Chomsky Propaganda Model. Communication Studies, University of Windsor.

Harding, R. (April 2007). Framing BC treaty issues in the news: Old stereotypes and new opportunities. British Columbia: Inner and Outer Worlds Conference. University of the Fraser Valley and the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre. Harrison Hot Springs, BC.

Harding, R. (May 2005). The media, Aboriginal people and common sense: Discourse about Aboriginal people in Canadian newspapers. Democratic Values: Past, Present and Future Conference. Center for North American Studies. University of Tampere, Finland.

Harding, R. (May 2005). Representations of Aboriginal self-governance issues in the news media. First Nations, First Thoughts Conference. Centre for Canadian Studies. University of Edinburgh.

Harding, R. (April 2005). Media discourse about First Nations child welfare issues in Canada. Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Symposium: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in the 21st Century. Universitat Greifswald, Germany.

Harding, R. (June 2004). Framing Aboriginal child welfare issues in British Columbia. Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW) at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities. University of Manitoba.         

Harding, R. (June 2003). All the news that's fit to print: Aboriginal people, social policy and the media. Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW) at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities. Dalhousie University, Halifax.    

Publications

Book

Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (Co-editors and authors). (under review). Canadian Social Policy for Social Workers. Oxford University Press.            

Articles

Harding, R. (2017). Controlling land: Historical representations of news discourse in BC. American Indian culture and research journal, 41(4).

Harding, R. (2016). Limited and limiting conversations about the poor: Elizabethan prescriptions to poverty in the Canadian press. Canadian Review of Social Policy/ Revue Canadienne de Politique Sociale, 76, pp. 25-51.

Harding, R. (2010). The demonization of Aboriginal child welfare authorities in the news. Canadian Journal of Communication, 35(1), pp. 85-108.

Harding, R. (2009). News reporting on Aboriginal child welfare: Discourses of white guilt, reverse racism and failed policy. Canadian Social Work Review, 26(1), pp. 25-41.

Harding, R. (2006). Historical representations of Aboriginal people in the Canadian news media. Discourse and Society, 17(2), pp. 205-235.

Harding, R. (2005). The media, Aboriginal people and common sense. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 25(1), pp. 311-336.

Harding, R. (2005). Media discourse about Aboriginal self-governance in 1990s British Columbia. First Nations, first thoughts conference (on-line conference proceedings), Centre for Canadian Studies, University of Edinburgh, May, 2005. Available at: (www.cst.ed.ac.uk/conferences.html)

Crawford, M. & Harding, R. (2000). Integrating clinical responses to women abuse: Guiding principles for future development. Journal of Family Social Work, 5(1), pp. 37-55.

Harding, R. (2000). Art and life without borders. Prairie Fire: A Canadian Magazine of New Writing, 21(1), pp. 52-60.  Crawford, M. & Harding, R. (1998). Bridging the chasm between feminist and systemic clinical responses to woman abuse. In H. Stefanakis & A. Hamilton (Eds.) Proceedings of the ACAM Fall Conference, 1998, pp. 15-22, BC Association of Counsellors of Abusive Men.

Book Chapters

Harding, R. & Jenkinson, P. (2018). Poverty reduction strategies in Abbotsford and New Westminster. In T. Kading & C. Walmsley (Eds.), Power and possibility in the small city. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University Press.

Harding, R. (under review). Poverty and social policy. In Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (Eds). Canadian Social Policy for Social Workers. Oxford University Press.

Yellowhorn, E., & Harding, R. (under review). In Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (Eds). Canadian Social Policy for Social Workers. Oxford University Press.

Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (under review). Introduction: A critical perspective of Canadian social policy. In Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (Eds). Canadian Social Policy for Social Workers. Oxford University Press.

Walmsley, C., Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (under review). Access to post-secondary education: “merit”, right or investment? In Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (Eds). Canadian Social Policy for Social Workers. Oxford University Press.

Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (under review). Media and public discourse: Their roles in policymaking. In Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (Eds). Canadian Social Policy for Social Workers. Oxford University Press.

Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (under review). Social policy and the promise of social change. In Harding, R. & Jeyapal, D. (Eds). Canadian Social Policy for Social Workers. Oxford University Press.

Harding, R. (2008). Aboriginal child welfare: Symbolic battleground in the news media. In K. Knopf (ed.), Aboriginal Canada revisited: Politics and cultural expression in the 21st century (pp. 290-329). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

Book Reviews

Harding, R. (2013, October 21). [Review of the book: The media gaze: Representations of diversities in Canada]. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, pp. 1-2, Routledge: London, England. doi: 10.1080/01434632.2013.847626

Harding, R. (2005). [Review of the book: Walking a tightrope: Aboriginal peoples and their representations].  American Indian Culture and Research Journal, University of California at Los Angeles, pp. 174-176, 29(3).

Harding, R. (2001). [Review of the book Coordinating community responses to domestic violence: Lessons from Duluth and beyond]. International Social Work, 44(3), pp. 383-384, London.

Harding, R. (2000). [Review of the book Safety planning with battered women: Complex lives/difficult choices]. International Social Work, 43(1), pp. 137-139, London.

Crawford, M. & Harding, R. (1999). [Review of the book Rural women battering and the justice system: An ethnography]. International Social Work, 42(2), pp. 247-248, London.

Harding, R. & Crawford, M. (1999). [Review of the book Women's encounters with violence: Australian experiences]. International Social Work, 42(1), pp.103-104, London.

Reports

 

Harding, R. (2017). Aboriginal child welfare. In. U. Lehmkuhl (Ed.), A New Country Report Canada (bpb Schriftenreihe Publication Series). Federal Agency for Civic Education, Federal Republic of Germany.

Pierro, R. with Blackstock, C., Harding, R., McCue, D., Metatawabin, M. (August, 2013). Buried Voices: Media Coverage of Aboriginal Issues in Ontario Media Monitoring Report: 2010 – 2013. Toronto: Journalists for Human Right. See http://www.jhr.ca/en/aboutjhr/downloads/publications/buried_voices.pdf

Harding, R. (1999). BC Region Phase One Report (Contributor). In R. Seebaran (Ed.), Anti-racist training and materials project, Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, Ottawa.

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