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TDSB Appoints First Indigenous Student Trustee

Monday, December 16, 2019
Categories: News Releases

Clarity M. Smoke has taken her seat as the first ever Toronto District School Board Indigenous Student Trustee. A Grade 9 Anishnaabe student from Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, she has been actively involved in raising awareness of Indigenous history and cultures within post-secondary institutions, political agencies and community organizations.

Clarity Smoke


The addition of an Indigenous Student Trustee will provide Indigenous students, families and communities with additional representation at the highest level of the TDSB. This step will help improve the Board’s decision-making process by raising Trustees’ awareness of our collective responsibility to collaborate in a Nation to Nation relationship as Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples. It will also serve to increase understanding about Indigenous ways of knowing and being, as well as the issues that matter most to Indigenous students and their families.


Clarity is an active member of the Toronto Indigenous Youth Council as part of her advocacy in Toronto area. During her spare time, Clarity attends Indigenous cultural celebrations, singing on the Pow Wow Trail and dancing Northern Women’s Traditional.


Indigenous Education is a priority at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and significant work has been done to demonstrate our ongoing commitment. An Elders Council has been created to guide the work of the Board in all matters dealing with Indigenous Education. Five new action plans specifically related to Indigenous Education were added to the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan this year to provide focused support for students and families. The plans focus on leadership development, pathways and transitions, special education, suspension and expulsion and the early years. For more information, please visit


Quick Facts:

• The TDSB is the fourth school board in Ontario to establish the position of Indigenous Student Trustee, following Thames Valley, Lambton Kent and the District School Board Ontario North East.

• Clarity M. Smoke was chosen by the Toronto Indigenous Youth Council for the position of Indigenous Student Trustee. She joins Ivy Deng and Adnan Habib as Student Trustees.

• The Board decision to establish the position of Indigenous Student Trustee was made at the October 2019 meeting. Read the decision.


“It’s an honour to join the Toronto District School Board as the first ever Indigenous Student Trustee. I want to use this position to introduce more Indigenous knowledge into our curriculum and to inspire others, like me, to use their voice and to be heard.”

- Clarity M. Smoke, Indigenous Student Trustee, TDSB

“We need the voice of Indigenous youth at the Toronto District School Board. We are in an era where youth are leading and speaking the Truth. Clarity’s voice and leadership is needed as a youth representative.”

- Elder Pauline Shirt, Founder of Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School, TDSB

“On behalf of all Trustees, we are so pleased to welcome Clarity to the Board. Her voice will be very important as we make decisions in the year ahead.”

- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB


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