Open Norm Classrooms

Workbook (PDF)





Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Plus the Guide
Speak Truth to Power Canada
Canadian Museum of Human Rights
The Ontario Human Rights Code (Ontario Human Rights Commission)
Teaching Human Rights in Ontario (Ontario Human Rights Commission)
Steps to Justice (CLEO)
Human Rights at Work 2008 - Third Edition (Ontario Human Rights Commission)
Policy on Removing the “Canadian experience” barrier (Ontario Human Rights Commission)



White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh (1988)
New Yorker Interview with Peggy McIntosh (May 2014)

What’s whiteness got to do with it by Sue Shore

Why White Instructors Should Explore Their White Racial Identity by Stephen Brookfield

Response by Shantih E. Clemans

"Race"ing White Instructors: Beyond the Black-White Binary by Edith Gnanadass

Response to Edith Gnanadass and Shantih E. Clemans by Stephen D. Brookfield

Intersectionality Theory
Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics (1989) by Kimberlé Crenshaw:
New Statesman Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw (April 2014)
“We’re all just different!” How Intersectionality is Being Colonized by White People (April 2017) 


Kimberlé Crenshaw defines intersectionality in 2 minutes
Kimberlé Crenshaw TED Talk

Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
Your Legal Rights: Abuse and Family Violence 
Learning and Violence by Jenny Horsman and

'But I'm Not a Therapist' - The challenge of creating effective literacy learning for survivors of trauma. In S. Shore, (Ed.) Australian Council for Adult Literacy 21st National Conference: Literacy on the Line. Conference Proceedings. Adelaide, University of South Australia, 1998.

What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom
Decolonizing the classroom is more than just a checklist
Ryerson educators discuss the need for true collaboration and respect during panel discussion, January 30, 2018

Developing Your Teaching Statement:
Exploring Your Teaching Philosophy: Sample Exercises:
Writing a Teaching Statement:

Reflective Practice: 

A teaching philosophy inventory (Essentialism, Behaviorism, Progressivism, Existenialism, Perennialism, Reconstructionism) you can try - you do not have to enter any personal information to get a score but I am not sure if you will find the result all that interesting:


Exploring Identity Markers

Use this activity to explore your concept of your identity.



Some resources for learning, co-learning and creating open norm classrooms. Not a complete list.

Learning for Justice’s teaching strategies on facilitating community discussions

Liberating Structures - discussion structures that enhance participation and inventiveness

Land back

Territorial acknowledgement (Government of Canada)
This job aid provides ideas and tips on how to acknowledge Indigenous territories before meetings. There is a downloadable PDF available on this page. 
Territories by Land - Click on Where am I? and allow location services to see what territory you are on. 

Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory by the Canadian Association of University Teachers - includes acknowledgements used by universities in Canada. 
Toronto Acknowledgements PDF (TDSB)

Virtual Land Acknowledgements by the University of British Colombia

Online Meetings by Engineers of Canada

Roseanna Deerchild and Hayden King discuss tension about the politics of territorial acknowledgements. Unreserved Podcast (CBC)

Beyond territorial acknowledgments
Posted on September 23, 2016 by âpihtawikosisân   


  Pronouns Matter - some pronouns and a grammar and usage guide

Pronpoun stickers

Rainbow Health Ontario: Discussing Trans and Gender Diverse People

Rainbow Health Ontario: Glossary - This LGBT2SQ terms and definitions Glossary was created by The 519 Church Street Community Centre, with some additional terms added to this website by Rainbow Health Ontario.

The Gender Unicorn - The Gender Unicorn is an infographic that illustrates four main concepts: gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, physical and sexual attraction.

What does it mean to be Two Spirit - who can use this term to describe their identity and how they use it.


Getting Started With Culturally Responsive Teaching
Multicultural Teaching: Information and Strategies
MIT Diversity resources

Teaching for Inclusion: Diversity in the College Classroom

Learning for Justice
A site geared to students of all school levels – grade school to high school activities and readings. 

Addressing Bias

Harvard University’s Project Implicit has an online test you can take to examine your implicit bias.

9 Questions for Unbiasing Teams:

New Canadians to pledge honour for Indigenous treaties
in revised citizenship oath
February 2, 2017
"We call upon the government of Canada to replace the Oath of Citizenship with the following: I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, including treaties with Indigenous peoples, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen."

The Oath of Citizenship  until June 2021
I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her Heirs and Successors and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

New citizenship oath to acknowledge rights of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples October 22, 2020
Proposed change:
“I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, including the Constitution, which recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.” 
Ottawa approves new truth and reconciliation legislation on National Indigenous Peoples Day 
June 22, 2021
New Canadians will soon have to affirm their commitment to respecting treaties with Indigenous peoples when they are sworn in as citizens. ... Bill C-8, will change Canada's oath of citizenship to include a new line acknowledging the country's treaties with Indigenous communities.

New citizens will be asked to affirm their commitment to Canadian law, "including the Constitution, which recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples."

That change reflects the 94th and final recommendation in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's landmark 2015 report.
Canada’s citizenship study guide for newcomers is getting an ‘unvarnished’ makeover. Here’s how it’s evolved — from 1947 to today (TorontoStar, june 26, 2021)

How Canada set up Aboriginal treaties to keep First Nations down
Indigenous Ally Toolkit aims to fill knowledge gap
  • The toolkit is broken down into three steps that non-Indigenous people can take to have a better relationship with Indigenous people.
    The first step focuses on best practices for folks who feel inclined to join Indigenous causes. It recommends making sure one’s involvement is not driven by ego or funding possibilities, and to not hijack space from Indigenous voices. ... Step two of the tool kit provides a breakdown of proper terms, grammar and common misconceptions. ...
    As for the ultimate goal of the Indigenous ally toolkit? It’s listed in the third step – have allies absorb the knowledge within, and then take action.

The Indigenous Ally Tool Kit  PDF

 Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization
Canadaland Commons Podcast on iTunes
Unreserved Podcast at CBC
Other resources
Liberating Structures
This website offers an alternative way to approach and design how people work together. It provides a menu of thirty-three Liberating Structures to replace or complement conventional practices. Some of these can be used in classrooms. For a guide to the structures, look at the last section of this document: 
How to tell someone they sound racist IllDoctrine by Jay Smooth:

Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable by Black Girl Dangerous

Calling In: A Quick Guide on When and How
Mosaic Institute (John Monahan)

Diaspora Studies at University of Toronto (Rima Berns-McGown)
The Change Agent

Supporting Students with Disabilities in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Companion Resource:


Canada - Imported Conflict?

In 2011, the federal government launched a $10 million initiative to advance its understanding of the causes of terrorism. As part of that project, the Mosaic Institute has released its study examining the perceptions and reality of imported conflict in Canada. The Agenda asks: To what extent do residents from conflict zones bring that tension with them?

In this video the participants discuss the study which concluded that although 57% of Canadians  believe that people who come from areas where conflict exists do import that conflict, this does not actually happen but people do import trauma and can be retraumatized by systemic racism.

A majority of Canadians believe that people who have experienced conflict hold onto intercommunity tensions after coming to Canada, and many fear that those tensions may result in violence.  
However, the findings from our study show that communities of Canadians who come from conflict – regardless of community, conflict or generation – repudiate violence in Canada as a means of resolving or responding to conflict.  
While Canadians often remain invested in the overseas conflicts to which they have personal, family or community connections, living in Canada dramatically transforms their perceptions of those conflicts, as well as their view of possible solutions. These transformations reflect Canadian modes of dealing with diversity and fostering social cohesion.
Systemic racism and exclusion that prevent people from fully participat- ing economically, socially, or politi- cally in Canadian life can cause them to withdraw attachment to Canada. Similarly many Canadians continue to suffer from untreated conflict-related trauma, and untreated trauma can impede people’s ability to integrate and begin to reframe their perspectives of conflict. These challenges, not “imported conflict” per se, damage social cohesion.

“As an Immigrant Kid, You Have This Internalized Racism”: Why Adjusting to a New Life in Toronto was Difficult
A new map from the Toronto Star reveals that in every single part of Toronto police stop more black people than white people—on average 3.2 times more often. 
More about race and policing

Sacrifice Zones By Rosemarie Frascella
An English language teacher uses Naomi Klein’s concept of sacrifice zones — from This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate— to help her immigrant students understand connections between oppression in their home countries and in the United States.
Running an economy on energy sources that release poisons as an unavoidable part of their extraction and refining has always required sacrifice zones — whole subsets of humanity categorized as less than fully human, which made their poisoning in the name of progress somehow acceptable.
Cautionary Tales
Exclusive: Mozilla CEO Eich says gay-marriage firestorm could hurt Firefox (Q&A):

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Resigns After Protests from Gay Marriage Supporters:
Justine Sacco, Fired After Tweet on AIDS in Africa, Issues Apology (December 2013):
How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life (February 2015):
Thatcher axed by BBC's One Show:

Carol Thatcher made other offensive remarks in 'golliwog' incident: