Toronto schools drop 'chief' from job titles to avoid offending indigenous people

Canada's largest school board decided last week to remove the word "chief" from job titles to avoid offending indigenous peoples.

The Toronto District School Board—which oversees all secular, English-speaking schools in the city—is following the recommendation of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to document past abuses of indigenous children in Canada's former residential school system and to make recommendations to address and right any wrongs, the Canadian Press reported.

Accordingly, titles like "chief financial officer," "chief academic officer," and "chief communications officer" will be renamed, despite the use of the word "chief" in those instances not referring to indigenous Canadians.

"It may not have originated as an indigenous word, but the fact is that it is used as a slur in some cases, or in a negative way to describe indigenous people," Ryan Bird, a school board spokesman, said in an interview last Wednesday.

"With that in mind, as it has become a slur in some cases, that's the decision the administration has made to be proactive on that," he added.

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