Learning about Municipal Governments

When people hear the word community, many think of a neighbourhood, town, city or area. A community can be a group of people who have something in common. This can include where they live, a common identity or a sense of belonging. Being part of a community can involve having a common history or common interests. Community members often share purposes or goals.

What does community mean to you?

Local governments work within communities to represent the interests and goals of community members. Local governments provide services to residents, or people who live in the community, and encourage them to make local decisions together, build positive relationships and learn from each other. This strengthens the community as a whole.

What do you know about your local government?

In Alberta, the areas that are served by local governments are called municipalities. There are different types of municipalities. Each has similar structures and functions and may deal with similar or different issues. Municipal government is local government that is created by the province to provide essential and desired services to communities.

Enter the Building Communities interactive site

The Building Communities interactive site requires Adobe Flash.

If you are having problems viewing the interactive site refer to: Flash player help

How to use this site

What do you know about municipal government? Find out some ways that municipal governments work by exploring the municipalities on this map.

Find out about different types of municipalities by clicking on the arrow icons. Click on ENTER to learn about each municipality and EXIT to close the pop-up text window. When you see the arrow icon, click on it to find information. Click EXIT to close the text window. Use the up and down arrows to scroll through all the information in the window. Find the questions at the end of each text window to help you do more research.

You can visit three of the municipalities on the map by clicking ENTER. Or you can use the Municipalities Icons at the bottom of the screen to enter each one.

In each of these three municipalities, find different services and facilities that municipal governments can provide. Whenever you see an ADD TO SCRAPBOOK button, you can click on it to add a visual icon to your Scrapbook. In each of the three municipalities, you will also find an inquiry storyline. Click on the red and yellow star icon to start the storyline and read carefully to find clues that will help you follow it. Follow the red and yellow star icon to the next location to continue the story. When you are finished, visit the Scrapbook and review the steps that were followed in the inquiry.

The Scrapbook will help you keep track of the information you learn. Click on Scrapbook to see the places you have visited in each municipality. When you have finished visiting places in each municipality and checked with your teacher, you can print your scrapbook! The Scrapbook feature is session based. This means that you must print your Scrapbook pages when you are finished on the site, or you will lose the visuals you have collected.

Visit Participate to find some examples of ways that you and others can participate with your local government. Look for the links that let you Vote for a Representative or Express Your Opinion!