What does citizenship mean?

Citizenship means you are an official member of a country. There are several ways to become a citizen including passing a citizenship exam and simply being born.

What are the benefits of citizenship?

Citizens have rights and freedoms that ensure a good quality of life. Citizens are protected by laws, the legal system, law enforcement, and the military. Citizens also have access to opportunities, land and housing, natural resources, and services.



A right is an official and legally protected privilege given by a country to its citizens. Canadian citizens have several rights. Every citizen has access to these rights and cannot be denied their rights. However, accessing these rights often requires prerequisite action on behalf of the citizen and/or government. These actions are known as duties.

Duties are actions that must be performed. If a citizen fails to perform their duty, they will not have access to certain rights. It is illegal for government to fail to complete and uphold its duties.

Rights and Duties (1)


A freedom is similar to a right in that it is a privilege officially presented to citizens and is legally protected. Freedoms are easier to access than rights because they do not come with prerequisite duties; however, they do come with responsibilities.

Responsibilities are suggested actions to be taken by the citizen exercising the freedom. If failing to be responsible impedes the rights and freedoms of others or breaks the law, the person risks losing that freedom. Like Freedoms, Rights also have associated responsibilities.

Freedoms and Responsibilities


Government provides services to its citizens. Government services are often offered to citizens at no or little cost. Taxes are used to subsidize the cost of services.

Government Services Include:

  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Roads and Highways
  • Police
  • Military
  • Parks

Natural Resources

Citizens have access to the natural resources of their country. There are laws and regulations for using natural resources. These laws exist to protect the resources to ensure they will be around for many generations.

Natural Resources Include:

  • wildlife for hunting
  • fish and other sea animals for fishing and hunting
  • trees and forests for forestry and recreation
  • oil and gas for energy
  • water for drinking, cleaning, transportation, and recreation
  • land for farming, gardening, building, and roads
  • minerals and metals for mining
Signing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Signing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Benefits of School Citizenship

You will create a chart outlining the benefits of being a citizen at our school. A template for the chart can be found by clicking the link in the assignment title above. You can complete the assignment digitally or by hand. Please do not print digital copies.

Your chart must include 10 benefits. Not all benefits will have associated duties, but all will have associated responsibilities.

Most of the benefits of citizenship fit under these 5 categories:

  1. Rights
  2. Freedoms
  3. Services
  4. Protection
  5. Natural Resources

We will revisit this chart when we are talking about the diverse peoples of Canada. All citizens should have access to the benefits of citizenship. We will examine how this didn’t always happen and how it impacted those who were denied or excluded from some or all of these benefits.