The Department of Equity Studies (DES) offers a safe learning environment that provides students with an understanding of social issues that shape Canada and our Global community; in Indigenous Studies we also engage in Indigenous cultural knowledge and languages. Our courses help introduce students to diverse communities within Canada and globally, using critical thinking and current events which considers the lived experience within scholarly research. Students will gain a critical grounding in theories, and research methods in ways that allow them to link their education with several degrees and certificates. DES welcomes students who are interested in Indigenous Studies, Human Rights, Refugee and Diaspora Studies, Race, and Racism.  DES also provides General Education courses in Social Sciences. Topics include Male Female relations, Indigenous People in Global Contexts, Urban Indigenous Communities, Health and Equity, Sexuality, Gender & Society, Globalization & the Human Condition, and Justice for Children, as well as three upcoming General Education courses: Indigenous Culture and Language, Indigenous Land and the Environment, and Indigenous Peoples, Settlers and Race.

The Department of Equity Studies offers two programs, Indigenous Studies (INDG) and Human Rights and Equity Studies (HREQ). Some of our students choose to do a double major combining our two degrees. Alternatively, you can do a double major with any major program outside DES, within the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, or in other Faculties across the university.

Both of our degrees are very important in enabling you to continue your studies in areas of law, education, health, human rights, policies studies with governments, and social justice organizations.

In addition, DES has negotiated access into the accelerated program in Social Service Worker Program in Seneca College and upon completion of that you will be eligible to be licensed by the Ontario Association of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

DES also provides you with the option of pursuing a number of different certificates, including a Certificate in Indigenous Studies, a Certificate in Anti-Racist Research and Practice (CARRP) and a Certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies (in conjunction with the Centre for Refugee Studies).  These certificates will be acknowledged on your degree when you graduate, demonstrating the extra knowledge you have acquired.

You have all these options to consider and we are here to help you explore these opportunities. Please feel free to contact us at 416-736-5235 or email to deqs@yorku.ca or just drop-in and see us in Room 302 Atkinson, Pond Road.

In DES we have a student association (Equity Studies Student Association, ESSA) that works with our faculty and staff to assist you throughout your university career. Our Indigenous students and their allies frequently are also involved with the Aboriginal Students Association (ASAY) with its offices at the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services (CASS).  Both of these organizations will be very happy to hear from you, and have you join them. You can find both organizations on Facebook. You can also follow DES on twitter and Facebook.

You can make an appointment to speak to our UPD or our Chair via the department. If you have questions about our programs, please feel free to contact us.