Local Government in Saskatchewan

 A Guide for Government Officials

By Loraine Thompson Information Services Limited
SSTA Research Centre Report: 13 pages, $11







Why is Local Government Important?

Working with Students

Appendix – Participating Organizations

Federation of Saskatchewan  Indian Nations (FSIN)

Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO)

Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM)

Saskatchewan Learning (SaskLearning)

Saskatchewan School Trustees Association (SSTA)

Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA)


Back to: Curriculum



The SSTA Research Centre grants permission to reproduce up to three copies of each report for personal use.
Each copy must acknowledge the author and the SSTA Research Centre as the source. A complete and authorized copy of each report is  available from the SSTA Research Centre.
The opinions and recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author and may not be in agreement with SSTA officers or trustees, but are offered as being worthy of consideration by those responsible for making decisions.







This guide is written for:


It describes ways that you can become involved with students as they learn about local and First Nations government.


This guide is a supplement to two new instructional resources that support teachers who wish to enrich their instructional program by teaching about local and first Nations government.


Local Government in Saskatchewan:  An Instructional Resource for Grade 4 and Local Government in Saskatchewan:  An Instructional Resource for Grade 12 were developed through a collaboration among six Saskatchewan Organizations:


Local Government in Saskatchewan:  An Instructional Resource for Grade 4 and Local Government in Saskatchewan:  An Instructional Resource for Grade 12 are intended to supplement the existing Saskatchewan Social Studies Curriculum.  Grades 4 and 12 were selected as focus grades because government is included in the curriculum at these grades.  Students learn about provincial government in Grade 4 and Canadian government in Grade 12.



Table of Contents



Why is Local Government Important?


The local community is where good citizenship begins.  Students of every age can contribute to their community through participation in community projects and volunteer work.


Local government is an important dimension of community.  Decisions made by mayor, chief, or reeve and their councils affect the daily lives of students.  For example, students rely on the fire department to keep their homes safe.  They need safe water and adequate sewage disposal for good health.  Students use facilities such as public libraries and swimming pools provided by local government.  They travel on roads and walk on sidewalks maintained by local government.


Decisions made by boards of education affect students’ everyday lives.  For example, the instructional resources that students use are provided by the board of education.  Health region boards make decisions about allocation of resources that influence the health care services available in local communities.


Because many of the services provided by local government are practical, concrete and real, even the youngest child can understand and relate to them.


Local government occurs close to home, so there may be opportunities for students to meet elected officials, to observe or read about council meetings, and to debate local issues.  These real-life experiences can help create a sense of connection to the democratic process.  They can build and strengthen students’ commitment to citizenship, both as a participant and as a leader.


Students will benefit from learning more about local government.  They will have a better understanding of how their community works, and they may realize their participation in local government as a voter or elected official can make a difference.


Communities and the province as a whole will also benefit when students learn about local government.  The students of today are the mayors, chiefs, reeves, councillors, aldermen, school trustees and health board members of tomorrow.  They are the people who will lobby for change, lead delegations and vote in the years ahead.  The better that young people are prepared for these roles, the stronger our communities will be.



Table of Contents



Working with Students


Teachers may ask you to play a role when students are learning about local and First Nations government.  Students’ classroom learning is more real and more meaningful when they can connect it to real life.


General Suggestions


The following suggestions apply to all activities and to both Grade 4 and Grade 12.


Specific Activities


Local Government in Saskatchewan:  An Instructional Resource for Grade 4 and Local Government in Saskatchewan:  An Instructional Resource for Grade 12 include suggestions for specific ways that local and First Nations government officials can be involved in the learning program.  Some of these are listed below.


As an individual you may be asked to:

Lead Grade 4s on a neighbourhood walk, to identify some of the services municipal and First Nations governments provide.
  • Keep students in a tight group, so they can all hear you.

  • Speak in a loud voice or use a microphone.

  • Each time you identify a service, ask students for examples of how the service affects their lives.

Speak to a class about:

  • the services your government body provides

  • the issues you make decisions about

  • what it is like personally to be a mayor, councillor, etc.

  • Practice your presentation beforehand.

  • Allow unstructured time at the end for questions and discussion.  But be aware that some classes will ask few questions. Have extra comments prepared to fill the time, if need be.

Respond to letters that student have written on specific local and First Nations government topics.
  • Answer students’ questions using
    age-appropriate language and concepts.

  • Use this as an opportunity to educate students about municipal and First Nations government, or about the operation of boards of education or health boards.  Give a simple explanation about how the body you represent works, in addition to answering students’ specific questions.

  • Remember that students will share your letter with their teacher, classmates and parents.


As a group you may be asked to: Hints
Host students who have come to observe a meeting of mayor/reeve/chief and council, board of education or health board.
  • Give students the meeting agenda beforehand and provide background information on the topics that will be discussed.

  • Welcome students and introduce each member of the council or board.

  • Allow time at the end of the meeting for students to ask questions about issues or procedures.

Host students who are making a presentation about an issue that concerns them to mayor/reeve/chief and council, board of education or health board.
  • Have one member of your group meet with the teacher or a capable student beforehand to explain what is expected of students.  For example, they will be expected to introduce themselves, to use proper forms of address. (For example, do they refer to councillors as “councillor, sir/madam, Mr./Ms. etc.?)

  • Be realistic about promises you make to students.  Student may ask you to take a specific action or change a situation.  Offer to look into it, but promise to take action or to make a change only if you can actually do so.



Table of Contents



Appendix – Participating Organizations


Local Government in Saskatchewan:  An Instructional Resource for Grade 12 was developed through a collaboration among six Saskatchewan organizations:


Each of these organizations contributed ideas, staff time and other resources during the development of this instructional resource.  Short descriptions of each of these organizations follow.  The information in these descriptions and the addresses and phone numbers were correct as of spring 2003, but may be subject to change in the future.



Table of Contents



Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN)



What is the FSIN?


The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents Saskatchewan’s 74 First Nations.

The main components of the FSIN’s governance structure are:

  • Legislative Assembly (Chiefs-in-Assembly) – Each First Nation that is a member of the FSIN has one vote.  First Nations usually ask their chief to represent them in the Legislative Assembly.

  • Executive – Consists of an elected chief and four elected vice-chiefs.  Their term of office is three years.

  • Senate – The FSIN Senate is a cultural and spiritual body that provides guidance to the Legislative Assembly, executive and Chiefs and council and First Nations officials of all types regarding First Nations laws, customs and government, Treaty obligations and history, and traditional or customary practices of Indian governance.  

FSIN Goals and Objectives


  • The protection of Treaties and Treaty Rights.

  • The fostering of progress in the economic, education and social endeavours of First Nation people.

  • Co-operation with civil and religious authorities.

  • Constructive criticism and thorough discussion on all matters.

  • The adherence to democratic procedure.

  • The promotion of respect and tolerance for all people.



In addition to the bodies listed above, the FSIN has organized several commissions and councils with specific responsibilities such as justice, economic development, and education.  A First Nations Women’s Council provides women with a voice.


The decisions that are made by the Legislative Assembly and the Executive are passed to the Chief of Staff for implementation.  The Chief of Staff supervises a staff comprised of specialists and consultants in areas like education and economic development, accountants, as well as administrative and clerical people.


Saskatchewan’s First Nations are organized into 10 Tribal/Grand Councils (nine independent First Nations do not belong to a Tribal Council).  The Tribal Councils are political units that assist First Nations in achieving their political, social, educational, health, financial and cultural goals.  Each Tribal Council/independent First Nation has representation at the FSIN commissions.  This ensures linkages and liaison throughout all levels of Indian government.


What Services Does the FSIN Offer?


The FSIN focuses on the well-being of First Nations peoples in Saskatchewan.  It protects Treaties and Treaty Rights (Treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 cover Saskatchewan). The FSIN also fosters the economic, educational and social endeavours of First Nations peoples.

The FSIN operates several institutions that serve First Nations people and the public as a whole.  These institutions include:


For more information about the FSIN visit their website at http://www.fsin.com.


For a list of Saskatchewan’s First Nations, Tribal Councils and a map of Saskatchewan showing the location of the First Nations go to the website of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.


Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations


Head Office

Asimakaniseekan Askiy Reserve

Suite 200 – 103A Packham Avenue

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

S7N 4K4

Telephone:     (306) 665-1215

Fax:               (306) 244-4413


Regina Sub Office

Regal Plaza

Suite A – 1680 Albert Street

Regina, Saskatchewan

S4P 2S6         

Telephone:     (306) 721-2822

Fax:               (306) 721-2707


Fort Qu’Appelle Sub Office

Treaty Four Governance Centre

120 – 740 Sioux Avenue

Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan

S0G 1S0

Telephone:     (306) 332-2556

Fax:               (306) 332-2557



Table of Contents



Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO)


What is SAHO?


The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations is a non-profit, non-government association of health  agencies in Saskatchewan.   Members include Saskatchewan’s regional health authorities, independent hospitals and special care homes, as well as various agencies and associations that provide heath services, education and/or regulations.


Over 160 organizations are members of SAHO.


A 15-person board of directors, which includes a chair and a vice-chair provides directions for SAHO’s work.


What Services Does SAHO Offer to Its Members?


Services SAHO provides to its members include:

  • communications and advocacy (representation of members’ interests to government and other groups, a quarterly member newsletter, communications assistance)

  • support and education for boards and administrators (seminars, manuals, annual convention, facilitation of inter-district meetings)

  • human resources (collective bargaining and employee relations assistance for employers)

  • payroll services for more than 27,000 health care staff in the province

SAHO’s Vision


An influential organization empowered by the membership to represent the collective interests of the members.


SAHO’s Mission


SAHO’s mission is to serve our membership through leadership, advocacy, support and programs.


SAHO’s Values


  • Communicating openly and honestly.

  • Building partnerships based on trust and understanding.

  • Fostering relationships built on respect, teamwork and learning.

  • Demonstrating loyalty, commitment and accountability to those we serve.

  • Striving for continuous improvement.



For more information about SAHO visit their website at http://www.saho.org/.


Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations


1445 Park Street

Regina, SK

S4N 4C5

Telephone: (306) 347-5500

Fax:           (306) 525-1960



Table of Contents



Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM)


What is SARM?


The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is the independent non-governmental association that represents rural municipal government in Saskatchewan.


SARM’s members are Saskatchewan’s 297 rural municipalities.  All municipalities belong to SARM on a voluntary basis.


The Association is governed by an eight-member board that is elected by delegates at the SARM Annual Convention in March.  All board members must be elected rural municipal officials from their local municipality.


The President and Vice-President are elected each year and serve a one-year term.  Other board members serve a two-year term.  The president of the Rural Municipal Administrators Association sits as an ex-officio member of the SARM board.

SARM’s Vision and Mission Statements




  • SARM’s vision is a strong Saskatchewan where rural municipalities are autonomous, prosperous, and secure.




  • The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities will act professionally and competently in providing services and supports to meet the demands and expectations of its member municipalities.


What Services Does SARM Offer to Its Members?


SARM serves its members in a variety of ways:


For more information about SARM visit their website at http://www.sarm.ca.


Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities


2075 Hamilton Street

Regina, SK

S4P 2E1

Telephone: (306) 757-3577

Fax:           (306) 565-2141



Table of Contents



Saskatchewan Learning (SaskLearning)


What is Saskatchewan Learning?


Saskatchewan Learning is the provincial department responsible for education in Saskatchewan. 
Saskatchewan Learning’s general website address is http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca.


What Services Does Saskatchewan Learning Offer?


Saskatchewan Learning develops curriculum for K-12 education, coordinates special education services, facilitates the SchoolPLUS vision and provides many more services to schools, school divisions and communities.


Social Studies teachers will find the online curriculum guides for K-12 education very helpful.  Curriculum guides for 12 different subject areas are available online.  Social science curriculum guides, bibliographies, information bulletins and other assorted document are available at http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/social.html.


Saskatchewan Learning


2220 College Avenue

Regina, Saskatchewan

S4P 3V7

Telephone – Social Sciences Unit:  (306) 787-6136



Table of Contents



Saskatchewan School Trustees Association (SSTA)


What is the SSTA?


The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association represents Saskatchewan boards of education.  Membership in the Association is voluntary.  It is governed by a 14-person Executive which includes a president, vice-president and directors representing various areas of the province.


All the members of the Executive have been elected as school trustees in the regions they represent.  Day-to-day work is carried out by a 15-person staff in the SSTA’s Regina office.


What Services Does the SSTA Offer to Its Members?


The SSTA’s services to its member boards of education include:

  • advocacy – advocating for children and education, reflecting the voice of the public, and representing the interest of boards of education with government

  • trustee development – providing workshops and training courses for school trustees

  • legal services – providing legal services to boards of education on a fee-for-service basis.  Legal areas often addressed include student discipline, employment of teachers and other staff, and the requirements of The Education Act, 1995

  • employee relations – helping boards of education negotiate contracts with teachers and others

  • education and research – conducting research on current issues in education, and preparing printed and online publications

  • communications – publishing a newsletter for trustees, maintaining a website and giving boards of education advice on working with the media

  • insurance plan – offering member boards of education insurance to cover buildings, buses and accidents

  • employee benefits plan – proving a plan which allows boards of education to offer benefits such as life insurance, vision and dental care to non-teaching employees.

SSTA Mission and Beliefs


Mission Statement


The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association, as a democratic and voluntary organization, ensures advocacy, leadership and support for member boards of education by speaking as the voice for quality public education for all children, offering opportunities for trustee development and providing  information and services.


Statement of Beliefs


The Saskatchewan School Trustees Association believes:

  • Every child has the right to equality of educational opportunity and equity of education benefit.

  • Education is a shared responsibility of the school, home, church and community.

  • Quality public education benefits all members of society.

  • The governance of education is best provided by fiscally responsible boards accountable to their electorate.

  • Board of Education autonomy is essential to high quality public education and is achieved by providing boards with decision-making and taxing authority.

  • Educational decision-making is enhanced by the involvement of parents and other members of the community.



For more information about the SSTA visit their website at http://www.ssta.sk.ca.


Saskatchewan School Trustees Association


400 – 2222 – 13th Avenue

Regina, Saskatchewan

S4P 3M7

Telephone: (306) 569-0750

Fax:           (306) 352-9633



Table of Contents



Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA)

What is SUMA?


The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association represents urban municipalities.


Membership in SUMA is voluntary and is open to cities, towns, villages, resort villages, northern villages and northern hamlets.  SUMA’s membership represents approximately 75 percent of Saskatchewan’s population.


A Board of Directors provides direction for the organization.  The board is comprised of:

SUMA Mission Statement


The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association is a federation of urban governments, which, through strength in unity, advocates, negotiates and initiates improvements in local, provincial and federal legislation, programs and services to enhance urban life in Saskatchewan.



What Services Does the SUMA Offer to Its Members?


SUMA serves its member municipalities by:


For more information about SUMA visit their website at http://www.suma.org/.


Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association


#200 – 1819 Cornwall Street

Regina, Saskatchewan  

S4P 2K4

Telephone: (306) 525-3727

Fax:           (306) 525-4373



Table of Contents


Back to: Curriculum