Welcome to the Department of Equity Studies

We recognize that many Indigenous nations have longstanding relationships with the territories upon which York University campuses are located that precede the establishment of York University. York University acknowledges its presence on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. The area known as Tkaronto has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat, and the Métis. It is now home to many Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.

The Department of Equity Studies (DES) is a learning environment that values cultural diversity,and  promotes and supports political, cultural, social and economic equalities. Together, students and professors create an environment that enhances voice, empowerment and identity. Professors teaching in DES explore critical theories and real life practices in the areas of human rights, and Indigenous studies. Their teaching, informed by critical pedagogy, also reflects their rich and vibrant research.

We offer undergraduate degree programs in Indigenous Studies (INDG), and Human Rights and Equity Studies (HREQ). The undergraduate programs offer General Education courses which prepare students to focus on our INDG and HREQ programs. Additional offerings include a Certificate in Indigenous Studies, a Cross-disciplinary Certificate in Anti-Racist Research & Practice (CARRP) and a  General Certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies. A graduate degree, MA/PhD, in Equity Studies is currently in development as is an MA/PhD in Indigenous Studies.

Graduates of the Department of Equity Studies are well positioned to work in a wide range of areas with organizations/agencies, governments, industry and communities that have programs, policies and procedures around the equitable treatment and experiences in the areas of human rights, Indigenous peoples, racialized peoples, immigrants and refugees.