University of Calgary

Betty Jean Bastien

  • Associate Professor Emerita of Social Work

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Degrees: PhD (California Institute of Integral Studies), MSW (Calgary), BSW (Calgary), BA (Lethbridge)

Interests: Aboriginal issues, curriculum design, social justice, Indigenous education.

Dr. Betty Bastien is a member of the Piikani First Nation, one of the four Tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy. She has worked for both the provincial and federal governments in the areas of social development and services for 10 years. She taught Native American studies at the University of Lethbridge and in the social work diploma program for Mount Royal College and Kainai studies at Red Crow Community College before coming to University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work in 1999.

Currently, she teaches in the Faculty’s Southern Alberta region, working with students from both the Virtual Learning Circle the and Learning Circle programs, and the International Indigenous Studies program in the upcoming MSW cohort, which has been launched in the summer of 2007 at Red Crow Community College.

Bastien co-developed the Learning Circle curriculum and delivery, as well as online courses for the Virtual Learning Circle. She has been site coordinator for BSW Learning Circle delivery to communities at Red Crow Community College, Medicine Hat College, and Hobbema Cultural College.

Her publications include a study on indigenous epistemology, Blackfoot Ways of Knowing, as well as publications on such topics as the impact of the colonization of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous epistemology, anti-oppressive and rural social work, northern social work practice and Aboriginal child welfare.

Bastien’s research and service interests include violence and trauma among First Nations, child welfare among First Nations, Indigenous research methodologies and Indigenous social work education.

She has presented at professional association conferences, nationally and provincially, and international Indigenous conferences on healing and education and the international “Healing Our Spirit” conference in 2006- and the Indigenous Peoples Conference on education in 2005.

Bastien was honoured to receive a Women of Distinction award in 2004 from the YWCA Lethbridge and District, and an Esquaro award from the Edmonton Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women in 2007.

 Research Projects:

  • Bastien, B. (Co-I). Making Our Heart Sing. (Center of Excellence for Child Welfare Health Canada; 2004-2007).
  • Bastien, B. (PI). & Pelech, W. (Co-PI). Intergenerational Trauma of First Nation Peoples. (Canadian Institutes of Health Research; 2004-2006).


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