The Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights Department (IEHR) engages with students, staff, and community partners. As a department, our role is to provide support, informed advice, and monitoring for the development of an equity focussed culture that is rooted in human rights and recognizes Indigenous perspectives. The IEHR Department fosters equity consciousness and nurtures inclusive practices across the organization to promote positive student outcomes.

Through a decolonizing, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive lens, the IEHR Department will cultivate capacity across the WRDSB to address systemic barriers and build a community culture that is safe, equitable, and just for students and staff.

We value respect for all. We acknowledge the diversity of lived experiences based on our social identity and privilege. Through compassion and collaboration, we will be innovative in how we address systemic oppression.

The WRDSB is committed to meeting its obligation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code by providing inclusive, safe and caring schools and workplaces that respect the rights of every individual.

The Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights Department is divided into three branches, described here:

Indigenous Education Branch

Indigenous Education Branch staff work to support students and staff by building system capacity to understand Indigenous histories, current realities, and ways of knowing. This branch also works to engage Indigenous communities to support the success of Indigenous students.

Equity and Inclusion Branch

Equity and Inclusion Branch staff work in direct support of school administrators and school staff in the development of school improvement strategies, enhanced and inclusive curriculum and supporting all components of the conditions for learning framework.

Human Rights Branch

The Human Rights Branch works with objectivity and independence from other system structures for the purpose of addressing matters specific to the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) including Code-related harassment and discrimination complaints. It also supports the development and review of Board Policies and Procedures to ensure compliance with the Code.

Guiding Principles of the IEHR Department

We believe:

  • We are all treaty people, and acknowledge both the rights and responsibilities that lie at the heart of the treaties in place in the territory on which WRDSB facilities are located
  • In dismantling existing power structures that marginalize students and staff and community
  • We need to engage with and honour student, staff, and community voices of those who are currently and historically oppressed to be in authentic ways to combat oppression
  • Community, student, and staff voices are important and valued, and students who are marginalized should be at the center of decision making
  • Systemic oppression exists in our system and we have to name it and address it in order to change it
  • An education system should be equitable and fair to all, with supports for those who need it
  • We need to disrupt and dismantle the colonial and oppressive cultures and practices that exist within their walls
  • Proactive training is needed in order to make systemic changes, so that all students have access to equitable opportunities for learning in a culture that is rooted in equity and human rights
  • All perceptions of discrimination are valid and will be reviewed and/or investigated with objectivity and care