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Taking Part in Our Democracy
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CHAPTER 1: WHAT GUIDES YOUR DECISION MAKING?

The Alberta Government website presents online multimedia learning materials directly related to the Alberta curriculum. The material is free of charge to Alberta teachers, students, and parents. Passwords can be obtained from your local jurisdiction.

This article discusses how to coach kids in good decision making.

This research paper on decision making addresses the importance of students’ decision making, value of decision making skills training, and decision making myths.

 

CHAPTER 2: WHAT DO GOVERNMENTS DO FOR US?

 

Wikipedia provides information on functions and purpose of government, types of government, origins of government, positive and negative aspects of government.

This PBS Kids interactive site explores different aspects of government in a town. Note: This is an American site using local, state and federal government examples, however there is merit in using this site with teacher guidance.

 

CHAPTER 3: WHAT WAS DEMOCRACY IN ANCIENT ATHENS?

 

For background information on Athenian democracy, see

 

CHAPTER 4:  WHAT WAS THE IROQUOIS CONFEDERACY?

 

This site has information about the Native Peoples of the Great Lakes Region.

Visit these pages for information on the Haudenosaunee, the Great Law of Peace, Six Nations Treaties, and the Two Row Wampum belt.

Read the complete text of the Gayanashagowa—the Constitution of the Iroquois Nations.

The Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace website is currently under construction, but check back as it should be completed soon.

This wampum fact sheet answers the question ‘What is wampum?’

This BBC guide has an entry on the role of women in Iroquois culture.

See illustrations and descriptions of wampum belts.

Read the text of interviews with Cayuga Chief Jake Thomas in which he discusses the following:

For information about the Great Law of Peace and the U.S. Constitution, see

  • this paper on the influence of the Great Law of Peace on the U.S. Constitution, written by an Onondaga/Mohawk university student

  • the Peacemaker, the Iroquois Constitution and its influence on the development of the U.S. Constitution

  • a Comparison/Contrast of the Great Law of Peace and the United States Constitution, including the role of women

Emergence of the Chief is a sculpture at Concordia University’s Loyola campus, which sits on Mohawk land. This site has background information on the creation of the sculpture and on the Iroquois Confederacy nations.

Background information about the First Nations in the Great Lakes region can be found at the Great Lakes Information Network site.

The Neighbours of the Onondaga Nation website has information on Two Row Wampum treaty, the Haudenosaunee, and the Great Law of Peace.

This Wikipedia page includes history, beliefs, features of the Confederacy, member nations, modern population, Haudenosaunee clans, government, as well as links.

See historical background and information about Hiawatha’s Belt at Six Nations of the Grand River.

Clans of the Six Nations has a summary of clan characteristics and rights and duties of clan membership, as well as the role of the Clan Mother.

Read about the role of the Iroquois Chiefs and the women within a clan at Proud to be Iroquois.

 

CHAPTER 5: WHY ARE CANADA’S RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS IMPORTANT?

 

At the Charter of Rights website, sections include inside the charter, a virtual charter, history, impact, and your rights.

Background and content information about the Magna Carta is available from Wikipedia.

See information about the Great Peace of Montreal, including sections on wars, the prelude to peace, the entente, the aftermath, and specific signatories.

View maps and information about the pre- and post-Confederation Numbered Treaties.

Learn more about the Numbered Treaties, which recognize the rights of First Nations peoples. (Note: students might need some guidance in navigating this site)

 

CHAPTER 6:  WHAT DOES REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY INVOLVE?

The website of L’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta has information about the ACFA, including special programs, organization, and projects.

Read about the development of the ACFA from 1955 to 2000.

Since 1928, the Métis Nation of Alberta has advocated on behalf of and met the needs and aspirations of Métis people in Alberta.

 

CHAPTER 7:  WHAT DOES PARTICIPATION INVOLVE?

 

The Calgary Homeless Foundation works to reduce homelessness in Calgary, and the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness site outlines future long term plans.

The website of the Edmonton Joint Planning Committee on Housing includes community plans, success stories, research and information about homelessness, and newsletters.

This article discusses how elementary school children can impact their communities through activism.

This introduction to the Young Activists Network includes ideas on youth participation, community projects, the use of technology, storytelling, and recognition of participants.

 

CHAPTER 8:  HOW CAN CITIZENS PARTICIPATE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT?

 

Note: Information about specific Alberta municipalities can be found by using a directory-type site such as Wikipedia (e.g., info on Lethbridge) or the Peace Country site (e.g., info on La Crete).

Information about specific municipalities is available at the Alberta Municipal Affairs website.

The Treaty 8 First Nations site includes a map of the Treaty lands and biographical information about the Grand Chief.

For specific information and statistics about all of Canada’s individual Aboriginal Communities, see Aboriginal Communities: First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.

Wikipedia has information about Alberta’s municipality types, their cumulative populations and references, alphabetical demographic tables which include the seat of local government and population figures, maps, and external links.

Read about Blackfoot Crossing, the site of the signing of Treaty Number 7 and a national Heritage Site.

See an alphabetical listing of First Nations in Alberta, including populations and Reserves, links, and references

Alberta Municipal Affairs provides a wealth of information on local and municipal government in Alberta, including

  • a map of Alberta showing municipal boundaries (basic municipal profiles can be accessed by clicking on each municipality on the boundary map)

  • detailed municipal profiles showing location, population, elected officials, history, revenues, tax rates, and more for each municipality in Alberta

  • statistics that include population lists and the population history of municipalities in Alberta (1913 to 2007). Students will find these statistics useful in exploring how their own municipality’s population has changed and helps build an understanding of changes in municipalities.

  • information about the Local Authorities Election Act, which establishes guidelines for municipal elections, including those that candidates must follow

Building Communities Through Local Government is a teacher and student resource developed by Alberta Municipal Affairs. It includes a teaching and learning resource, poster, student trading cards and a CD with PDF files of the resources, tools for assessment, and website visuals. Templates and forms for a Student Participation Committee election are provided.

  • A simulation asks students to vote for a representative at the ‘Vote for a Representative!’ interactive activity - part of the ‘Participation’ feature on the website. Information and instructions for the activity are provided when students click the icon beside the character with the voting booth.

  • Students are provided with a ‘Voice Your Opinion!’ interactive activity through the ‘Participation’ feature on this site. Information and instructions for the activity are provided when students click on the icon beside the character with the sign that says “All for One and One for All.”

  • Students can also research different strategies for participating with local government. Students can access this information in the Participation feature of the website. When students enter the ‘Participation’ feature, they can click on an icon beside each character. Text windows provide information on different participation strategies. This information gives students the opportunity to explore different perspectives about, and ways to engage in their community.

  • This site provides models of different options for student involvement with municipal government. Three decision-making storylines, one in each of the three municipalities on the website, can be found by clicking on the red star icon. Each of the storylines provides a decision-making process that a student in each municipality has followed.

Teachers and students can explore local government, land use issues, architecture, citizenship, and social responsibility at Calgary’s City Hall School.

Edmonton’s City Hall School is week-long program that offers students the opportunity to interact with civic administration and politicians.

 

CHAPTER 9: HOW DOES THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT FUNCTION?

 

The Government of Alberta site has information about government programs and services, MLA contacts and biographies, a telephone directory, and provincial government news.

Service Alberta has information about many subjects, including government ministries, the Legislative Assembly, protocol office, and the Speech from the Throne.

The Legislative Assembly of Alberta site has news and information about bills, legislation, Alberta MLAs, Hansard, and live audio of proceedings.

Wikipedia has a listing of current MLAs, plus a seating plan and photos of the Legislature.

Read about the position of Lieutenant Governor of Alberta—its history, duties, and symbols.

See the Office of the Lieutenant Governor official site for more information about the role and history of the position, and read biographies of past Lieutenant Governors here.