The Federal Elections of 1957 and 1958
The activities in this program encourage students to think critically about messages they see in the media. Students will evaluate and critique images, ask questions, and confer with their classmates about what they mean. A follow-up activity encourages students to create a visual identity for themselves and participate in a mock election campaign. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources.
The Crown and Canada
This activity is designed to introduce students to the complex relationship which exists between Canada and the British Monarchy, and conceptualize the relationship between Commonwealth nations and the Crown. The focus of the activity is a simulated Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (similar to a model United Nations activity), where students must balance their own national interests with the pressures exerted by other nations as represented by their classmates. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about some of the key issues in British relations in which the Diefenbaker government was involved. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources.
The Canadian Bill of Rights
This activity is designed to familiarize students with the evolution of human rights in Canada. Students will look at and discuss various primary documents provided by the Diefenbaker Canada Center. These documents will look at the first stages of development of the Bill of Rights, what Diefenbaker's government accomplishes, and some of the negative reactions to the Bill. This activity is best done in conjunction with the human rights timeline activity, also provided by the Diefenbaker Canada Center upon request. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources
Enfranchisement of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples
This activity provides students with varied viewpoints on the issue of extending the franchise to the First Nations. Students will have the opportunity to examine documents and materials related to the position of the Canadian government, the First Nations, and international organizations like the United Nations. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources.
Appointment of Ellen Fairclough
This activity covers broad areas of learning, including Canadian history, government, and human rights. Students will have the opportunity to discuss Fairclough's plans, goals, and intentions throughout her political career. This activity also encourages students to examine the struggle for women's rights in Canada and the role of women in Canadian government today. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources.
Canada's Role During the Cuban Missile Crisis
This activity is designed to help students gain a thorough understanding of the events that constituted the Cuban Missile Crisis. Prime Minister Diefenbaker hesitated when President Kennedy told him to raise Canada's military status to DEFCON 3, drawing a variety of responses from the public. Students will have the opportunity to examine letters addressed to the Prime Minister that express both support for and criticism of his decision. This activity also provides an ideal forum in which students can discuss current events related to the nuclear issue. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources.
The Nuclear Question in Canada
This activity will introduce students to the workings of the Cabinet and its Ministers, as well as the historical debate over nuclear weapons in Canada. A follow-up activity encourages the students to analyze the changing stance of Canada on nuclear armament and develop personal responses to the issue. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources.