Equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID)

We oppose discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, and injustice in all their forms, and since our establishment in 1996, we have expanded our commitment to support equity, diversity, inclusion, and, more recently, decolonization.

This work is ongoing, and we want to do it with you. Check back for more updates or email contact@federationhss.ca.

2024 –


*new* The Federation releases 2024 EDID Action Plan

The Federation releases its plan outlining current equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization commitments and actions for 2024. Read the plan.

2023 – 


The Federation releases third EDID progress update

The Federation just released its third update on the recent steps taken in support of the Federation's commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. Read the progress update.


The Federation launches new EDID Initiatives Fund

In February, the Federation is piloting the EDID Initiatives Fund, a new funding opportunity that will support member associations in developing initiatives that advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID). Learn more.

2022 –


The Federation releases second EDID progress update

In October, the Federation shares its second update on the progress that has been made so far in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. Read the progress update.


The Federation releases first EDID progress update

In April, one year after the release of the “Igniting Change” report, the Federation shares the progress that has been made so far in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. Read the progress update.


The Federation introduces the Virtual Congress Child and Dependent Care Subsidy for Congress 2022

The program is part of the Federation’s commitment to creating a more accessible, equitable, inclusive, and decolonized Congress experience for all attendees. This program provides financial support up to $200 to enable Congress presenters with dependent care responsibilities to participate in virtual Congress activities.


The Federation develops a position for a Research Assistant – EDID 

In March 2022, the Research Assistant – EDID role is created to conduct research on initiatives to promote and support the creation of an EDID coalition to bring together Indigenous, Black and Racialized students, staff, faculty, community members, and external stakeholders.


The Federation hosts accessibility breakout room discussion at Member Forum

On March 15, leaders of 26 member associations were joined virtually by Fizza Haider and Kim Ashbourne of the University of Victoria for a discussion on improving accessibility in association activities and at Congress.


In January, the Federation waives Congress fees for students who identify as Black or Indigenous; community passes are complimentary for community members who identify as Black or Indigenous.

See all registration categories.


The Federation issues a Request for Proposals seeking university partners to host a future Congress with a theme centered on Black Studies in Canada, anti-Black racism, and decolonization.

Learn more about hosting a future Congress.

2021 –

The Federation establishes agreement with the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) for Congress 2022

In December 2021, the BCSA announced its participation in Congress 2022. The Federation re-affirmed its  commitments to the BCSA, including “the waiving of fees, a future in-person Congress theme focusing on Black Studies/anti-Black racism, eventual grant support, and technical assistance for virtual Congress.” 


The Federation holds its first virtual Member Forum for associations on EDID 

On November 23, 2021, leaders of 33 member associations gathered virtually to discuss issues facing the HSS community; actions being taken to support equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization both at the Federation and in associations; and questions about upcoming Congresses. 

The Federation establishes a new standing Committee on EDID and creates a new staff position of Senior Advisor, EDID

On October 27, 2021, the Federation releases an update on its EDID work and commitment.

The Federation releases its EDID Action plan

On April 8, 2021, the Federation announced concrete steps to turn the Committee’s words into action, to be accountable to its community for the results, and to sustain progress over time via its five-point Action Plan.

The Federation endorses the Charter on EDID in the Social Sciences and Humanities

On April 8, 2021, we endorsed the Charter on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization (EDID) in the Social Science and Humanities.

Our goal in supporting the Charter is to address obstacles that negatively affect the career trajectories and lived experiences of individuals from diverse communities, including women; First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples; members of racialized communities; persons with disabilities; members of LGBTQ2S+ communities; and linguistic, religious, and cultural communities. 

We encourage our member associations, institutions, affiliates, as well as individuals to read, discuss, support, and promote the Charter.

The Congress Advisory Committee on EDID releases “Igniting Change”

The Charter was developed by the independent Congress Advisory Committee on EDID, and is a key component of “Igniting Change”, the Committee’s final report and recommendations. Both a call to action and a valuable resource, “Igniting Change” is helping us to identify and address barriers to equitable, diverse, and inclusive participation in our events, particularly the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Canada’s largest academic conference. 

Guided by the Committee’s work, we have expanded our historic support for EDI to encompass decolonization — the "second D” in EDID — and we are supporting critical conversations about colonialism, anti-Black racism, and other pressing social and racial justice issues.

The Federation makes a number of commitments with regards to Congress

On February 11, 2021, we announced Congress 2021 fees will be waived for students who self-identify as Black or Indigenous. In addition, community passes are complimentary for members of the general public who self identify as Black or Indigenous.
We committed to a future face-to-face Congress theme centred on Black and Indigenous experience and scholarship in Canada, building on the advocacy of the BCSA and in consultation with Black scholars, First Nations, Inuit and Métis scholars and communities, and with scholarly associations.

2020 –

The Federation appoints a Congress Advisory Committee on EDID

“As Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress annually empowers more than 8,000 scholars to have critical discussions, build and strengthen networks, and showcase the incredibly valuable work happening within the Humanities and Social Sciences. We have a duty to make the opportunities and benefits of Congress as accessible as possible to all members of our community.” Read the announcement

The Federation launches a review of its Canada Prize program

The Canada Prizes are currently under review to make all necessary changes to support reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, better address anti-Black racism, and more fully imbed the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization in the program.

2019 – 

The Federation adopts a new Code of Conduct

The Federation requires that all members, affiliate members, participants, and those accompanying participants to Federation activities, whether in-person or virtual, comply with the Code of Conduct as set out herein and as may be amended by the Federation from time to time. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from Federation membership and/or participation in Federation activities. Read our Code of Conduct and Complaints Investigation Procedure

The Federation commits to change following incident of racial profiling and anti-Black racism at Congress

On June 2, 2019, a disgraceful act of racial profiling and anti-Black racism occurred at Congress 2019. 

The Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA), along with several other member associations, alerted the Federation to issues of bias, discrimination, and systemic racism. These associations played—and continue to play—a fundamental role in sparking change at the Federation, in Congress and in higher education as a whole. 

Following the incident at Congress 2019, the Federation completed a full, independent investigation and took decisive action based on the findings, including moving swiftly to fully address the four requests put forward by the BCSA.

2015 – 

The Federation adopts the Touchstones of Hope Principles and Processes

In 2015, the Federation adopted the Touchstones of Hope Principles and Processes to guide its work on reconciliation. In this framework, reconciliation is recognized as being a movement that must be built and sustained — it is not an event or a short-term project.

The five core Touchstone of Hope Principles include:

  • Recognizing Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination;
  • The need to take a holistic approach to promoting reconciliation;
  • Respecting Indigenous cultures and languages and acknowledging the academy is heavily influenced by Western cultures;
  • The need for structural interventions to address systemic disadvantage and historical wrongs; and
  • Non-discrimination: ensuring that the right of Indigenous peoples to be free of discrimination is respected throughout the academy.

These Principles are situated in a four-phase reconciliation process: truth telling, acknowledging, restoring and relating.

Read the Federation’s media release announcing our commitment

2010 – Present

For the past decade, our Equity Matters blog series has received hundreds of contributions from scholars engaging in informed dialogue on the complex challenges faced by members of equity deserving groups. The blog series serves as an important platform for teaching and scholarly debate on equity and diversity issues in Canada.

You can find all Equity Matters contributions by selecting the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Decolonization tag in the Resource hub.

In support of the United Nation’s International Decade for People of African Descent, the Federation recognizes the need to strengthen national, regional, and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights by people of African descent, and their equal participation in society. Further, the Federation recognizes the obligation to advance the spirit and intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to advance reconciliation and decolonization, and to engage meaningfully with Indigenous peoples, cultures, and ways of knowing. 

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