Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




equity, decolonization, well-being, Compassionate Systems Leadership, decolonial leadership, internal accountability, system success


Decolonization, equity, and well-being in K-12 education have become pivotal aims for educational leaders in the province of British Columbia, in Canada, and around the globe. By dismantling coloniality in pedagogical praxes and learning leadership structures within school and district systems, this paper maps a bold and essential journey for change and presents a disruptively anti-colonial amalgam of theory and practice for well-being and equity. In the central Problem of Practice, these complex system leadership goals are investigated through the case of a small and innovative BC school district. Learners—both student and adult—are at the centre of this powerful vision for educational transformation as empowered community change makers, and as beneficiaries of anti-colonial, equitable, and flourishing learning environments articulated in the plan for change. The wisdom of Indigenous and critically oriented epistemologies undergird action. Complex Adaptive Systems organizational theory supports emergence, responsivity, and interconnectedness. Leadership lenses of adaptive leadership are deepened by decoloniality, relationality, and systems thinking. Compassionate Systems Leadership and collaborative inquiry grow capacity for change hand in hand with students, parents, Elders, Indigenous families, community, teachers, and school and district leaders. Well-being and human flourishing are cultivated through networked collaboration, relational accountability, and systemness. These transformative elements cradle a coherent change vision, support solutions, and ultimately embrace an anti-colonial plan for system change focused on decolonizing pedagogy and learning leadership structures. This paper presents vision and action for collective difference-making, so critical for education now—and for a sustainable future. Transforming together is powerful alchemy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.