In June 2021, the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) announced the launch of the Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights (IEHR) Department. Within this department, there are three branches: Indigenous Education, Equity and Inclusion, and Human Rights.
Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights Department
The Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights Department (IEHR) engages with students, staff, and community partners. As a department, their 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.
Through a decolonizing, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive lens, the IEHR Department cultivates 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 innovate 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 three branches of the IEHR Department foster equity consciousness and nurture inclusive practices across the organization to promote positive student outcomes. An integral part of this work is supporting WRDSB staff, both directly and through the provision of a library of resources. This includes material available for educators, so they may incorporate important topics like Black History Month, Holocaust Education Week and Transgender Awareness Week in their teaching.
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.
Resources and Supports
You will find the WRDSB Territorial Acknowledgement on each of the IEHR pages, along with a link to a page with more information about this important acknowledgement, and resources to help begin an ongoing process toward understanding our relationship to this land.
On the Policies page, you will find our policy documents that build on the legislative foundation and guide the development and implementation of all policies, programs, and structures to ensure consistency with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
On the Legislation page, you will find the legislative documents which provide the foundation of our commitment to Indigenous education, equity, and human rights.
Human Rights Incident Reporting Form
The Human Rights Incident Reporting Form is available to any members of the Board community to report a complaint, issue, or matter of discrimination or harassment that is believed to go against the Board’s Human Rights Policy. Submitting an Incident Reporting Form does not start a complaint resolution process – it notifies the Human Rights Branch of the incident and a member of the HRB team will follow up to explore appropriate next steps.
Interested in learning more about the work of the IEHR Department? Explore our pages on the WRDSB website, and see all the resources available to the WRDSB community.