Diefenbaker’s Impact on Human Rights

Developers’ Names:

Yvan Brochu, Ed.D. & Craig Marlatt, OCT, BES, M.Ed.


Grade 6 Social Studies

Lesson Description – Overview:

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore and gain a deeper understanding of human rights related to the system of apartheid in South Africa and Canada’s leading role as a voice of conscience in the early 1960s. Through the use of a Four Corners, Think/Pair/Share, and Learning Stations, students will explore four key themes: 1) apartheid – system of racial segregation in South Africa from 1948 – 1990s; 2) the Canadian Bill of Rights; 3) Commonwealth of Nations; and 4) John Diefenbaker’s role in the anti-apartheid statement which led to South Africa’s departure from the Commonwealth in 1961.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Use of learning stations to get students moving and engaged in a cooperative, higher order thinking and learning exercise.
  • Summarize and discuss the evolution of human rights, including the anti-apartheid movement, and the Canadian Bill of Rights
  • Understand the rights and responsibilities of citizens in taking a stand
  • Analyze Canada’s leading role as a voice of conscience abroad, while moving forward to address human rights issues within Canada

Relevant Ontario Curriculum:

  • B1.1 explain why Canada participates in specific international accords and organizations and assess the influence of some significant accords and/or organizations in which Canada participates
  • B1.2 analyze responses of Canadian governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and individual citizens to an economic, environmental, political, and/or social issue of international significance
  • B3.2 describe Canada’s participation in different international accords, organizations, and/or programs
  • B3.5 identify some significant political, social, and economic interactions between Canada and other regions of the world, and describe some ways in which they affect these regions

Relevant Ontario Curriculum Documents

Human Rights Instruments:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 2 – Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 13 (1) – Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.


Canadian Bill of Rights

Article 1 – It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely, (a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law; (b) the right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law

Lesson Plan Details by Stages of African Epistemology:

Activate and Reflect


Reflect and Connect


Reflect and Connect



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Mandela Global Human Rights: Peace, Reconciliation and Responsibility Copyright © by Dolana Mogadime (Ed.) Project Lead is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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