Rob Baldwin, a registered clinical social worker and counsellor with over twenty years of counseling experience and a longstanding practice and interest in men’s mental health and holistic wellness will be one of the keynote speakers at the American Men’s Studies’ Annual Conference on Men and Masculinities June 12-14, 2019 at Brandon University. Baldwin recently retired from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada though still maintains a private counseling practice.
Known as an “Uncle” at the University of Guelph’s Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC) because of the role he played as a counsellor there to Indigenous students over many years, from 2015 – 2017, Rob worked directly out of the ARC as part of a partnered research project investigating holistic mental health and wellness supports for Indigenous students in southwestern Ontario.
As a mixed ancestry man (settler and Indigenous) and “Uncle” at the Centre, he has been very involved in helping to develop the kinship model employed by the ARC, involving the creation of an adaptive, multi-generational “family” to support Indigenous students from many different nations and backgrounds.
He has facilitated men’s support and talking circles for over 20 years and has a keen interest in critical Indigenous masculinities, is a Firekeeper in the local Indigenous community, and is currently the lead facilitator in the “Building the Fire: Enhancing Indigenous Men’s Health Through Campus Land Based Activities” research project, which was awarded funding in 2018 through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. For this project, Baldwin is part of a research team that is developing a Sacred Fire program for Indigenous men on the University of Guelph campus, which involves Sacred Fire circles as well as teachings from visiting Elders and Knowledge Carriers on the subject of Indigenous masculinities and holistic wellness.”