Our School

The school was built in 1971 and is situated on 14.64 acres. Our building is unconventional in its design and includes individual classrooms, large open areas, small conference rooms, and a variety of specialized program offerings to take full advantage of the unique spaces available. The original part of the building opened in 1971. In 1990, an addition was made on the southeast corner to add a second gymnasium, science and math classrooms, and the Mall area. A space enclosed under the gymnasium in 1990 allowed for relocation of the communications technology room. The school has 43 classrooms, 2 gymnasiums, 3 computer labs, and many independent computer workstations for student use, all of which are networked through the central hub. The school also has a music room, a newly developed drama facility, home economics, industrial arts labs, and a library. We are a culturally diverse school with 40 different languages being spoken in student's homes.

Learn more about the man himself John G. Diefenbaker.

School Motto

"Freedom, Choice, Responsibility"

School Mission Statement

“As a learning community, we promote excellence, provide opportunity, and value diversity.”

We believe…

  • students have the right to access a meaningful education that will provide them with opportunities to become productive citizens;
  • teachers provide meaningful, relevant learning that meets the diverse learning styles and needs of our students;
  • learning is a lifelong pursuit;
  • successful learning occurs when:
    • a safe and secure learning environment exists;
    • high expectations are shared by students, staff and the community;
    • positive relationships, based on mutual respect and integrity, are fundamental to learning;
    • inquiry is the basis of learning;
    • timely interventions promote learning, support and encourage; and
    • students regularly and punctually attend, as this is the cornerstone of success.

We envision a school community where we…

  • engage students with a variety of individual and collective learning opportunities;
  • teach students to responsibly use learning technologies;
  • foster attitudes that help our students to be flexible and responsive to change, take ownership for their own learning, think independently, and recognize the value of life-long learning;
  • promote partnerships among students, teachers, parents, guardians, and community that support meaningful education;
  • recognize and celebrate students’ curricular and co-curricular achievements; and
  • promote active citizenship.

Who was John G. Diefenbaker?

John G. Diefenbaker High School was officially opened in February 1972 by the Right Honorable John G. Diefenbaker, Canada's 13th Prime Minister, for whom the school is named. First elected Prime Minister in 1957, Diefenbaker served until 1963. One of Diefenbaker's most cherished achievements was the Canadian Bill of Rights. A Diefenbaker quotation from the Parliamentary debates about the Bill appears on our gymnasium wall, "I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."

John George Diefenbaker, a lawyer, a politician, and Canada‘s 13th Prime Minister (1957- 1963), dedicated his life to pursuing fairness and equality. To this end, Diefenbaker introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960). Ground breaking at  the time, this bill promoted equality before the law; freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly; and it guaranteed legal rights. It was the Canadian Bill of Rights that formed the foundation on which the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) was built. Diefenbaker looked to repair past governmental injustices; thus, in 1960 Diefenbaker extended the right to vote to the First Nations of Canada. Diefenbaker believed that all First Nations deserved a voice in government. Diefenbaker appointed Canada’s first Indigenous person, James Gladstone, to the Canadian Senate (1958). Also in the spirit of equality, Diefenbaker appointed Canada’s first female cabinet minister, Ellen Fairclough (1957).
Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia

With the blessing of our Blackfoot Elder Randy Bottle and the Elders of Siksika Nations, we are proud to call ourselves “Dief Chiefs”. During his role as our Canadian Prime Minister from 1957-1963, John G. Diefenbaker passed the Canadian Bill of Rights, ensuring our First Nations and Inuit people had the right to vote. During his time of leadership, Diefenbaker appointed our first female minister to his Cabinet as well as appointing our first Aboriginal member to our Senate. For these reasons, John G. Diefenbaker was recognized as an Honourary Chief by many of the First Nations Chiefs. Our school has been blessed and feel honoured to carry John G. Diefenbaker’s name and will continue to proudly call ourselves Dief Chiefs! 

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​​​Our School's Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

We are committed to acknowledging and supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action specific to education. Our school, along with all CBE schools, made a TRC Commitment to Action. On June 21, we renewed our commitment, which can be found under Resources.​​

Acknowledging the Land

We would like to acknowledge the traditional territories and oral practices of the Blackfoot Nations, which includes the Siksika, the Piikani and the Kainai. We also acknowledge the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, the Métis Nation, and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.​​

​​​School Development Plan

​Each year, our school prepares a development plan with input from teachers, school staff, students and parents. We review many sources of data, including report cards, provincial achievement test results and school surveys. Based on this information, we create our plan identifying targeted areas for growth. Our school development plan is not meant to represent all of the work that takes place in our school, but rather it focuses on specific areas for improvement.​​​

​​​​School Improvement Results Report

Our school also prepares a results plan, which looks at our previous school year. It shows our students’ achievement and progress in meeting the goals and outcomes as set out by the CBE and Alberta Education, outlines some of the highlights of our school development plan and gives an overview of our school. You can look on the CBE website for system-wide results​.