September 2001 Volume 21, No. 1
Citizenship Education :
Citizenship education refers to the use of education for training people
to become citizens. Education can refer to formal schooling, at any
level, or to public information more broadly disseminated, e.g. through
the media, through legislation, through formal adult education, etc. It
also assumes that citizenship is more than a matter of legal status or
political identity, but involves a set of values and commitments as
- Citizenship Education,, The Centre for Canadian Studies at
Mount Allison University, 1999
Citizenship education involves information about our national history,
geography and other basic facts about our economy and people that
are associated with our national identity. It also involves learning Citizenship
about our political, legal and social institutions and acquiring the
knowledge required to participate fully in the democratic process.
Citizenship education helps Canadians to understand the rights and
duties that go along with citizenship.
I I Am Canadian 2
N On Being Canadian 3
Canadian Government 4
Swearing Allegiance to the Queen 4
E History of the Canadian Flag 7
Usually citizenship education aims to achieve not just knowledge, but an emotional commitment to or identification with
one's nation, a sense of loyalty and duty...Citizenship and citizenship education are especially important in Canada,
which is characterized by a vast geographical area, a scattered population, cultural and linguistic diversity, regional
identities, and a system of divided political authority. In these circumstances, a sense of shared citizenship is one of the
key links that join Canadians in all parts of Canada and provides a sense of Canadian identity.
- Citizenship Education,, The Centre for Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University, 1999
I Am Canadian Oath of Citizenship
Legally speaking, there are a few
“I swear / affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty
different ways to gain Canadian
Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors,
citizenship. Generally, persons born in
according to law and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my
Canada are Canadian citizens, as are
duties as a Canadian citizen.”
children of a Canadian parent born
outside of Canada after February 15,
Persons born outside Canada to non-
Canadian parents can also become
citizens by applying for Canadian
citizenship. Persons applying for
Canadian citizenship must meet certain
requirements under the Citizenship
Act, have a general knowledge about
Canada and its history, and know at
least one of the official languages
(English or French) well enough to
make themselves understood in their
community. Successful applicants must
also take and sign the Oath of
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Follow these maple leafs in this issue of The PLEA to find
Phone: 653-1868 Fax: 653-1869
research questions about our great country!
See Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s publication
Canadian Publications Mail “A Look at Canada” for answers.
Sales Agreement No. 0489263
The Public Legal Education Association of
Saskatchewan, a non-government, non-
profit organization, funded by the Law
Foundation of Saskatchewan, is dedicated
to serving the public legal information and
law-related education needs of
Saskatchewan people. The PLEA is The origin and meaning of the name Canada has been a matter of surmise
published quarterly and distributed to
since the arrival of the first explorer. Jacques Cartier, reporting on his 1535-36
every elementary and high school in
Saskatchewan and to members of PLEA. voyage, noted that "kanata" was an Iroquois word meaning town, or cluster of
dwellings. Other reports have it that early Spanish or Portuguese explorers,
PLEA Staff disappointed in not finding gold or other riches, derided the country as aca
nada or cà nada (here nothing). Yet others have ascribed the word to Latin or
Joel Janow, Co-Director Sanskrit. The weight of opinion to date, however, favours the Aboriginal origin
Doug Surtees, Co-Director noted in Cartier's report. Whatever the source, the Constitution Act, 1867,
Pam Miller, Comptroller Canada's original constitution, announced that the name of the new dominion
Allyson Gagne, Legal Writer
would be . . . Canada.
Lee Cutforth, Legal Writer
Shelly Simons, Administrative Coordinator
See: Canada: A Portrait (Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 11-4030XPE) and
Chantelle McKerlie, Program Assistant
Riannon Kindrachuk, Program Assistant
available from the Statistics Canada website at
Colleen Gnyp, Project Staff HTTP : / / WWW .STATCAN .CA /
Bob Green, Project Staff
On Being Canadian
Canadian citizens are entitled to all the rights and freedoms guaranteed under The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Sometimes, we may take these rights and freedoms for granted, but we need not look any further than nightly news coverage of
international events to remind us of the importance of our constitutional rights. These rights and freedoms fall into six broad
1. 2. 3.
Fundamental Democratic Mobility Rights
Freedoms Rights of Citizens These include the
right to enter,
These include freedom of These include the remain in and leave
conscience and religion, right to vote and Canada, as well as
freedom of speech, hold office. the right to move
freedom of freely within Canada and
peaceful to take up residence
5. and work in any
association. Legal Rights territory.
These include the
4. right to life, 6
Equality Rights liberty and
security of the
Language R ghts
person; the right
Include the right to equal protection and The official languages of Canada
to be free from
equal benefit of the law without (English and French) have equality of
discrimination based on status and equal rights and privileges as
search, seizure or
race, national or ethnic to their use in all institutions of the
arbitrary detention or
origin, colour, Parliament and Government of Canada.
imprisonment; rights upon arrest
(including the right to remain silent and
age or mental
the right to be presumed innocent); and
the right not to be subjected to cruel or
unusual treatment or punishment.
These rights and freedoms are some of The right to vote is both a privilege and Some of these rights and freedoms are
the privileges of Canadian citizenship. a responsibility of Canadian citizenship. extended to all persons in Canada,
The Oath of Citizenship highlights our Although no one is required to vote, it while others are restricted to Canadian
corresponding responsibilities as is part of our civic duty. Voting is the citizens. In particular, only Canadian
Canadians, whether we were born in most widely exercised method of citizens have the right to vote, the right
Canada or later became a new political involvement through which to enter, remain in and leave Canada,
Canadian. Canadians are expected to citizens build and strengthen our and the right to minority language
be loyal to Canada itself and to lawful government's institutions. Our democratic education. The remaining portions of the
authority in Canada. Canadians are system of government depends upon Charter apply to “everyone.” What does
expected to work within the framework informed and involved citizens. Becoming the Charter tell us about Canadian values?
of Canadian law and respect and care informed and getting involved is what Discuss.
for Canada's heritage. citizenship education is all about.
Need more information about the structure of
our government for your class?
In what electoral district
Contact PLEA to order copies of our
do you live?
September 1999 issue of The PLEA, Election
How can you contact your 1999 which contains information about the
Member of Parliament? federal, provincial and municipal
governments as well as well as information
about the electoral process.
What part of the Constitution
Discussion : Swearing Allegiance
legally protects the
basic rights and freedoms For some time now, Canadians have At the same time, Britain and France
of all Canadians? debated our tradition, and in many were battling for control over North
cases our requirement, of swearing America. Although the Acadians were
allegiance to the Queen. Many French citizens living in a new land, the
swearing-in ceremonies include French willingly gave up these colonies
reciting, in some fashion or another, to the British in 1713. In order to keep
one's allegiance to our Head of State, their land, the Acadians were required
Queen Elizabeth II. To understand this to swear their allegiance to the British
Government debate, it is important to
have a general
knowledge of our past as Should all
Crown and become British
citizens. For the most
part, the Acadians resisted
in Canada well as a vision for our
future. An in-depth
history lesson is beyond
Canadians be and rebelled to keep their
land while refusing to
swear allegiance to the
the scope of this article,
forced to pledge British Crown or become
Canada is a democracy and has a
parliamentary system of government. but a few highlights are allegiance to British citizens.
Federally, Parliament is made up of required.
three parts: the Queen, represented
During the early 1600's,
by the Governor General; the House of
French settlers arrived on
Commons, elected by voters; and the
the shores of what would later become
Senate, appointed on the advice of the
Nova Scotia and settled throughout the
present-day Maritime Provinces. Over
The Queen, Her Majesty Queen the next 150 years these French
Elizabeth II, is Canada's Head of State. settlers, known as Acadians, developed
The Governor General is appointed by their own culture and traditions and a
the Queen, on the advice of the Prime flourishing economy.
Minister, to represent her as Head of
State in Canada. The position of the
Governor General is linked to our past
Give an example of how you can show your
as a colony of Britain and our present
as a monarchy. The role is largely by participating in your community.
symbolic as the Governor General does
not actually govern, but rather
performs duties such as formally
appointing the Prime Minister following
an election and giving "royal assent" to
bills that have passed through
The Citizenship Act
Parliament, making the bills official Prior to 1947, Canadians were considered to be
laws. British subjects living in Canada, not Canadian
citizens. The Citizenship Act came into being largely
The House of Commons is made up of
through the efforts of a Cabinet Minister by the
all the elected representatives, called
name of Paul Martin Sr. While visiting a military
Members of Parliament (M.P.'s).
cemetery in France during the closing months of the
Members of Parliament belonging to
war, Martin was moved by the rows of wooden crosses
the governing political party are
marking the graves of Canadians who had sacrificed their lives in the fight for
government members; those belonging
peace and freedom. Martin was particularly struck by the different ethnic and
to political parties that are not in power
religious backgrounds of the names on the graves. He realized that despite the
are opposition members. The leader of
differences, these soldiers had all fought and died together to defend the country
the governing party is the Prime
they cherished. Martin began a tireless crusade to establish a separate
Minister, who governs through cabinet
citizenship that would serve as a tribute to their memory. On January 1, 1947,
ministers selected from other elected
the Canadian Citizenship Act came into being, bringing with it a separate
Canadian identity, new rights for Canadian women and our own Canadian passport.
Source: A Brief History of Canadian Citizenship (Middle Years)
Other handouts available:
Citizenship; British Subjects; The Citizenship Act; Citizenship Laws Today;
Applying for Canadian Citizenship
Other Lesson Plans available:
Glorious and Free; Defining Citizenship; Decision-making in a Democracy; Rights
and Responsibilities in a Democracy; History of Canadian Government Structure;
Levels of Decision Making in Government; Active, Informed Citizenship; Reaffirm
to the Queen
Matters came to a head in 1755, when In 1867, the British North America Act In fact, the matter has come before the
British troops invaded Acadia. The created a united Canada. Following government in the form of a Private
British took the Acadians as prisoners World War I, the Dominion of Canada Members Bill urging Canada to update
of England, seized their land and was gradually granted autonomy and in our oath of allegiance. In part the Bill
property and began deporting them 1931 was granted full legislative states… “The purpose of this oath and
from Acadia. By 1763 the French- authority. At this time the Governor any oath of allegiance is to pledge
British war was over and the Acadians General became a Crown allegiance to assure loyalty and to
were allowed to return, if they so representative, although it would be assure good citizenship. Consequently,
desired, provided that they pledged another twenty years before Canada one would expect that the principal
their allegiance to Britain. Most had a Canadian-born Governor thrust would be allegiance to Canada,
who returned were forced to re- General. to assure loyalty to Canada and good
establish themselves all over again. Canadian citizenship and not loyalty to
Recently, the debate over Queen Elizabeth II.”
By the late 1700's, allegiance to the Queen
American independence hit the news when a But others disagree, arguing that
left two British colonies government employee Canada's Parliamentary system,
in the north - Quebec refused to swear loyalty traditions, and history as a Monarchy
and Nova Scotia, to the Queen, even should be respected. They argue that
followed by the creation though it was a the Crown is the foundation of our
of Lower Canada (Quebec) requirement of his political, legal and social practice, a
and Upper Canada (Ontario). employment with the unifying force for all Canadians and the
By 1814, following the war federal government. Pierre guarantor of our rights and freedoms.
of 1812, an agreement had Vincent, a federal civil Queen Elizabeth II is, after all, the
been reached with the United States servant, complained that the Queen of Canada.
establishing the 49th parallel as the requirement of pledging allegiance to
the Queen violated his constitutional Discuss the role that history and
U.S. / Canadian border.
rights and was offensive to him tradition play in defining who we, as a
By the mid-1800's, “Indian Treaties” because some of his ancestors were nation, are. Is there any harm in
were being granted, offering limited Acadians - the same Acadians who hanging on to traditions for tradition's
financial compensation and land rights were deported from Canada almost sake? Is there any benefit? Could a
to First Nations people affected by the 250 year ago for refusing to take the compromise be reached? For two
European acquisition of their lands. Some same oath. He also argued that his opposing views, see www.monarchist.ca
English and French treaties preceded complaint went beyond respect for the and www.monarchyfreecanada.org
these Canadian ones. First Nations people past and involves the basic democratic
had been living on this land for thousands rights of all Canadians. And he is not
of years before the Acadians arrived. alone.
Canada's Citizenship Week will be celebrated October 15-21, 2001. It will provide an occasion
to recognize the value of citizenship and immigration and to focus on the privileges, rights,
responsibilities and obligations of citizenship.
Although Canada's Citizenship Week falls in October, “citizenship” is a concept that deserves to
be celebrated throughout the year. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has developed a year-
round activity kit targeted to primary, middle school and early secondary school teachers and
youth leaders. This fun cross-curricular kit includes an activity guide, a colourful poster and a
sample of Times of My Life. The guide contains activities that will help empower youth to know
themselves better, and to connect to each other, their community and their country. Visit
www.ci.gc.ca to order your copy now.
Most of us were born Canadian, so we may never have to take a citizenship test. But if you did...
. . . how well would YOU do on a citizenship test?
1. In what year did Canada become a country? 6. Which region covers more than one-third of Canada?
2. What do the initials MP stand for in Canadian politics? 7. What do you call a law before it is passed?
3. Which was the last province to join Canada? 8. What level of government basses “by-laws”?
4. Which province has the most bilingual Canadians? 9. To which ocean is Newfoundland closest?
5. Which animal is an official symbol of Canada? 10. Which legal document recognizes the cultural diversity of
(answers on page 6)
Canada Site Citizenship and Immigration What is the population of Canada?
Which Canadian province is the
smallest in land size?
Don't miss the Interactive Zone! Information and fact sheets on Canada
Includes quizzes & puzzles, virtual and Canadian citizenship, how to host a
tours, Kids' Zone. Multimedia resources citizenship ceremony, educational links
and special Teacher / Student section. and more!
www.citzine.ca Gateway to a collection of fun and
An interactive web magazine for young
Canadians. What do you know about
Canada? Learn about how Canada National Archives of Canada
became Canada and how Canadians www.archives.ca
become Canadians and find out more
about our cultural and historical Described as a “treasure house of the
heritage, then take the citizenship test memory of Canada”, this website lets
challenge! you explore the people & politics of
Canadian Heritage, Citizen Canada's past. Includes games,
Participation & Promotion teachers guide & special collections of
Branch Communication Canada - Facts Canada's treasures.
www.pch.gc.ca/progs/participatione.htm on Canada (Featured Topics)
Celebrating Canadian diversity and National Library of Canada
achievements and promoting Canadian Facts on Canada, the Provinces & Confederation for Kids
symbols, our history and our heritage. Territories, our society & culture, www.nlc-bnc.ca/2/2/index-e.html
Take the interactive Canadian Heritage government & law, the land, industry
Quiz, learn about our country, and resources. Excellent background information on
download pictures from the online the history of Canada before
colouring book, including images of the Confederation, facts about our
Snowbirds, RCMP, historical flags, Early Canadiana Online provinces and territories, people,
Canadian Coat of Arms & the www.canadiana.org historical maps and much more.
millennium logo, check out the useful Special Teachers Section too!
A project to provide enhanced access
resource and links section. Be sure to
to Canada's published heritage.
check out the Canadian Studies Prime Minister of Canada
Includes resource centre and lesson
section, including the About Canada
series & EDUaction, a series of
Resource Guides for Teachers. Visit the Kids' Zone and special Youth
Histor!ca section, where you will find games,
Canadianisms @ www.histori.ca quizzes, colouring books, FAQ's and
http://home.istar.ca/~awright/INDEX.HTM (NEW!) Teaching Guides about the
“Giving our Past a Future” Includes working of the federal government and
Just for fun! Browse the considerable youth links, interactive timeline, lots of the role of
list of terms, such as beavertails, fun & games. Canada's
bunnyhugs, kerfuffled, Mounties, P r i m e
toonies, and their distinctively Indian and Northern Affairs Minister.
Canadian meanings. Compare similar Canada
terminology elsewhere in the world. www.ainc-inac.gc.ca
Visit the Kids' Stop for great
information about our history, people,
places, languages, FAQ's. Teachers
Section, Information Sheets, Cool Stuff
and much more!
What country is Canada’s
largest trading partner?
answers to citizenship test
territory called Nunavut.
What are the three main
* In 1999, the eastern region of the Northwest Territories become a separate
industries in Canada?
Beaver; 6. The North; 7. Bill; 8. Municipal; 9. Atlantic; 10. The Canadian
1. 1867; 2. Member of Parliament; 3. Newfoundland (1949)*; 4. Quebec; 5.
The History of the Canadian Flag
1. Until the adoption of the maple leaf flag, the - Copies or illustrations of the following flags: Canadian Flag,
flags that flew over Canada represented the St. George's Cross, Fleur-de-lis, Royal Union Flag,
European nations that had power in Canada. Canadian Red Ensign
- 8.5 x 11 paper
2. When Canada designed and adopted its own - Pencil crayons or markers
flag, it reflected a change in the way
Canadians viewed themselves. Note: Illustrations of all the official flags mentioned can be found
1. Ask “What are some symbols of - Red Ensign: Combined the Union
Canada?” Make a list on the board Jack with the Canadian shield of
(eg. our flag, the beaver, maple leaf). Arms. Variations of this flag were
flown from 1870 until 1965.
2. Visit www.pch.gc.ca/ceremonial-
symb/english/index.html to learn To learn more about the Canadian
about more symbols of Canada. (Do flag, visit:
not click onto “Canadian Flag” yet!) www.pch.gc.ca/ceremonial-symb/
B. Main Steps 5. Explain that in 1964, with the
centennial of Confederation in the
1. Ask students: “Who knows what the near future, Prime Minister Pearson
Canadian Flag looks life?” Assuming wanted Canada to create and adopt C. Conclusion
they will describe the current flag, its own distinct flag. 1. Have each student create a personal
agree with them and tape up a - Ask students, “Why do you think flag using 8.5 x 11 paper and
picture of the red and white maple that people wanted to create a markers or pencil crayons. Remind
leaf flag, or preferably, display the new flag for Canada in 1964?” them that the flag should include
actual flag. symbols and colours which are
- Ask students, “What would you important to them.
2. Ask students: “Do you think this include on a flag for Canada?”
was the first flag for Canada?” 2. As a follow-up, have the students
6. Describe briefly the decision-making explain to the class the meaning of
3. Explain very briefly, by way of process, and the people involved in
introduction, that several flags have the flags they created.
selecting the new flag. (The
represented Canada since the Canadian public, heraldry experts, 3. Fly the flags in the classroom!
Europeans came to North America. Members of Parliament.) Stress that
4. Explain briefly the origins of: the design of the new flag was a
collaborative effort involving several
- St. George's Cross: Carried over
by Cabot in 1497 when he
reached the East coast of Canada. 7. Describe the special ceremonies that From whom are the
took place when the maple leaf flag Metis descended?
- The Fleur-de-lis: Flown by the
was first raised in 1965. There were
French when Canadian land was What are the three main groups
celebrations all over Canada to mark
claimed for the King of France.
this event. Ask students, “Why do of Aboriginal peoples?
- Royal Union Flag: Replaced the you think this event was so exciting
Fleur-de-lis after 1759 when for Canadians?” Why are the Aboriginal peoples
Canada was ceded to the United working toward self-government?
* with updated web information
These titles and many more are available online on our web site at www.plea.org.
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