Diefenbaker Youth History and Governance Camps

The Diefenbaker Canada Centre invites grade 5-9 students to join us to explore the links between democracy, Canada's history, and current events. These week-long programs provide future parliamentarians with a strong understanding of the inner workings of the Canadian government.

Program objectives include:

  • simulations such as debates, caucus meetings, and creating legislation
  • sessions that foster an understanding and appreciation of Canada's governing institutions
  • discussions on relevant issues, and their effect on Canada and around the world
  • interactions with local experts
  • and much more! 

With each week featuring a distinct theme, there is sure to be stimulating debate and discussion this summer for camp participants.

Week 1 (Decisions that Count): July 23 - 27, 2018, 9am - 4pm
Cost: $225/person

Explore the decisions that shaped Canada in a week-long odyssey through Canadian history and politics. Campers will examine key flashpoints, such as the signing of the Numbered Treaties, Confederation, and the 1995 Quebec referendum, and analyze the decision-making processes that led to these events as well as their outcomes and far-reaching consequences. Campers will hone their critical thinking and rhetorical skills through debates, simulations, and engagement with expert guest speakers. Don’t miss your chance to discover what it takes to shape Canadian history!

Week 2 (A Century of Conflict): August 13 - 17, 2018, 9am - 4pm
Cost: $225/person 

Immerse yourself in historic wars and groundbreaking struggles for justice as you examine the legacy of Canadian conflict in the twentieth century and beyond. From world-spanning military conflicts such as the First and Second World Wars and the War on Terror to social issues such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Oka Crisis, campers will improve their critical thinking ability, develop speechwriting skills, and hone their negotiating prowess as they engage in debates, simulations, and interactive exercises. Sign up now to begin your journey to Canadian leadership.


Past Camps

2017 - Shaping a Nation: The Road to Canada at 150 and Indigenous History: Campers examined the influence and power of diverse groups and explored significant historical events that have impacted Canadian identity and the path to reconciliation. Highlights included a visit from Larry Chartrand, the director of the Native Law Centre at the U of S, who spoke about Metis history and culture.

2017 - Canada on the Battlefield: Patriotism, Sacrifice, and the Commemoration of the Great War: Investigated key events and the lasting impact of the Great War, including significant battles, life on the home front, recruitment efforts, and monuments. Campers enjoyed getting a sneak peek at exclusive Diefenbaker artifacts with Curator Teresa Carlson and forming their own political parties for debate.

2016 - Demonstrating Discountent: Protest and Social Movements in Canada: Focusing on individual and collective powers that influence change. The camp covered key social movements in Canadian history, such as the War Measures Act, October Crisis, and Idle No More.

2016 - Media and the Message: Communications in Canadian History: Throughout the week the campers discussed various types of media and communication styles. Each day focused on a branch of media, historical events, and the related implications.

2015 - Creating Canada: Confederation to the First World War: This camp explored events and issues that shaped our nation such as the creation of the Trans-Canada railway, western immigration and women's suffrage.

"As long as there is a drop of blood in my body they won't stop me from talking about freedom."

- Diefenbaker (Sudbury, Ontario, June 2, 1958)