Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives


We all belong to different communities/groups. Think about all the communities to which you belong: class, family, school, organizations like sports clubs and dance groups, and your local, national, and even global communities.

What makes them communities? How has your community shaped your identity and who you are? Has it shaped how you see and feel about the world and what you do in it? In turn, how do you think you have helped to shape your community? These questions may be difficult for some and easy for others. It is, however, important for us to think about how we add to the fabric of our communities.

First Nations/Native American cultures believe in this sense of community - one that is holistic and unified. Do you know what "holism" means? It means that, as a community, we are all connected, in a bond of collaboration and active citizenship, each of us having rights and responsibilities unto the other. Holism also refers to the interconnected worldview aimed at addressing the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each community member.

The activities below are designed to, first, help you think about your own community holistically and as you complete them, consider those factors in your community that have helped shape who you are and the choices you make. The Reflection Wheels will guide your holistic exploration of your community while Activities #1 and #2 What is a Good Community? utilize the wheels to help you consider and reflect upon the above question as it relates to your own surroundings and of those profiled in the First Nations Series for Young Readers.

As you complete the tasks listed above and move on to the activities in the next section; Human Rights, think about the following questions:

  • What makes a community a great place to live? How does it feel? What does it look like?

  • Think again about what "holism" means to you. How do you think it applies to your community?

  • What makes your community whole? How can your community use the concept of holism to help heal conflict?

  • Think of a caring and responsible community member you know. What actions does she/he take to ensure that your community remains a great place to live?

  • What/Who do you think helped shape your idea of what a community should be?