Social Justice Stories

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

Social Injustice

Do you know of any social injustices that have occurred in your local or school community? Did you or anyone you know take action to right this wrong? Why or why not?

The key to addressing social injustice is action - our collective responsibility as community members to protect human rights, speak out against stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination and stand up for social justice! Our First Nations/Native American cultures believe in this sense of community - one in which each community member understands their important role in fighting against social injustice. Each of us has fundamental human rights. We also have important responsibilities to ensure that every member of our community is treated in a socially just manner. Although you cannot change injustices that have already occurred in your community, you can use what you learned from the reading about the actions of the life stories depicted in the First Nations Series for Young Readers to help fight for justice and influence your community's future!

The central activity in this section involves you getting out into your local First Nations/Native American community. You will use your reading, writing, critical literacy and thinking skills in the creation of a biography of a local First Nations/Native American individual or organization they believe exemplifies the ideals of responsible citizenship, social justice, and human rights. The Community Biography Writing handouts below will help you in this regard*. Next, The Power to Choose to Address a Problem in Our Community asks you to consider what you have learned from the life histories in the series and from your own research to make positive change in your local area.** Explore the various ways that you, your parents, classmates and friends can make a stand and be heard about an important issue in your community.

As you think about social injustice, what it meant to those profiled in the First Nations Series for Young Readers and how it relates to your own life and community, reflect upon the following questions:

  • Why is it important that we all use our right to speak out and take action to make our communities a better place to live for everyone?

  • How is this related to your responsibilities as a community member?

  • Is there a particular issue upon which you might want to take action?

  • Who might you ask for help and assistance in your plan to make change in your community?

Take action! Remember even the smallest acts count!

*Please refer to the First Nations Series for Young Readers Teacher Resource for more information on finding a local individual/organization upon which to create a biography or for interview and/or research skills. Additionally, the Women's Hall of Fame Teacher Resource focuses on the literary and organizational element in the study and creation of biographies.

**Please refer to the Kids' Power Series for a step-by-step "how to" guide on launching your own community action project.