Governance Training

What is the purpose of the program?

Community Government leaders are busy people who often wear a number of different hats in the community – in addition to being on Council, many also work, operate businesses, volunteer and have families. Having a clear idea of what your role is as a Mayor/Chief or as a Councillor is important so that you can lead effectively and provide broad oversight to ensure the community government is well governed.

What are the objectives of the program?

The objectives of the School of Community Government’s Community Governance Workshop Series are to:

  • Assist elected officials to become very knowledgeable and skilled in many areas of community governance responsibility;
  • Enable community government elected officials to be very effective;
  • Provide  participants with the opportunity to take part in interactive sessions with subject matter experts who understand Northern communities and their community governments;
  • Provide the participants the opportunity to ask questions specific to their community and explore solutions to real issues and problems that they struggle with as they strive to improve their community for their citizens.

Why should I take the Governance Training program?

  • Governance training is designed to further develop the skills and knowledge of elected community government officials including Mayors, Chiefs, and Councillors.
  • Governance workshops enhance understanding and decision making in key areas of council responsibility.
  • You will be able to better serve your community with a higher degree of quality, competency, and capacity.

What do participants receive upon completion?

  • Participants recieve a certificate of completion from the GNWT for each workshop completed 

When and Where?

Our schedule is your schedule.  We deliver the workshops on the dates requested by community governments.  We want to deliver these workshops in a manner that best fits with the schedules of the elected community government officials in your community.   The workshops can be delivered in the evening or on weekends; whatever works best for the community.  Often workshops are delivered in a series over a weekend or over several evenings in a row during the week, but the schedule is up to the community. Two workshops in one day is a recommended maximum.  Folks are pretty much full of new info after two workshops.

Our goal is to offer these facilitated 3 to 4 hour workshops in elected officials’ home community, and they are always geared to issues and topics that are specifically relevant to the local community.

These workshops are also being developed for online e-Learning delivery.  These e-learning workshops can be completed at any time as they are self-managed by participants.

Courses Available

Conflicts and Codes/Legal Responsibilities

Course Description:

This workshop provides a general description of legal liability issues so that community elected officials exercise a “duty of care”, manage risks and avoid potential conflict of interest situations in a reasonable way when making their decisions. Sound knowledge of risk management is an essential and key component of good leadership and will be covered in this workshop. Participants will acquire new knowledge in this area and through discussion, members will learn more about how to avoid potential conflict of interest situations and clearly understand the process involved in dealing with conflict of interest issues once they have taken place. The issue of bias is also covered. Codes of Practice/Conduct guide Councils in their operation and this workshop focuses on developing a Code that works for the Council of the day. (Core Course)

Financial Awareness

Course Description:

In order to make effective decisions regarding operations and costs of running community programs and services, community elected officials need to be able to incorporate financial knowledge and skills as they apply financial management practices. In this workshop participants are introduced to the importance of having clear, effective, and accurate budget management practices. A number of factors related to an all-year budget process will be introduced and examined. The importance of, and ability to read financial reports is included in the workshop. The importance and necessity of financial audits are also covered. (Core Course)

Mayors and Chiefs

Course Description:

The role of a mayor or chief of a community or band is unique and challenging. This workshop is intended to bring chiefs and/or mayors together in a common experience best practices exploration session. Leadership will be examined. As the leader in a community governance structure in the NWT, chiefs and mayors deal with issues and challenges that are unique in the world. This workshop is intended to provide an opportunity for these leaders to get together in a small group interactive setting with a skilled facilitator to share experiences about issues and explore ways that they may have worked to resolve these issues. Leadership challenges unique to their positions will be discussed including relationships, team building, working with their senior administrator, council dynamics, planning, communications with the public, etc. will be covered. It is expected that the topics to be covered will come from the participants and that the facilitator will apply an approach that leads to identification of constructive leadership strategies and approaches that can be applied by the participants upon their return to their communities. The School of Community Government will schedule a Community Governance Leaders Dialogue Workshop as funds and schedules permit.

Planning - Directions for Success

Course Description:

This module explains why community governments have to plan to be effective. It includes the benefits of planning, the planning process and how to effectively monitor plans. Many types of community plans are discussed – Strategic Plans, Financial Plans, Land Use Plans, etc. Particular attention is paid to the basics of defining the strategic planning process and how to monitor and evaluate effectiveness. Effective strategic planning supports community development and capacity building. A good plan provides a vision of where you want to go and a map that outlines how you will get there. A good plan also details when tasks will be completed and by whom. (Core Course)

Pre-Election Workshop

Course Description:

The workshop is intended to be delivered in a community several months prior to an upcoming council election. The intent is to invite anyone who may be interested in learning about local government or perhaps running for a leadership position on council. The workshop covers topics such as:

  • Overview of Government
  • What can you Expect to Achieve as a Councillor or Mayor/Chief
  • Why Municipal Councils are Important
  • How Community Government Works
  • The Campaign Process

This will be a facilitated session with open dialogue.

Programs and Services

Course Description:

In this workshop, participants will gain an understanding of the mandate and responsibilities of community governments in the provision of community programs and services. Topics to be covered include the responsibility to provide water, waste, recreation, public safety, land administration, programs and services as well as a discussion of other potential services. Various programs and services are analyzed and discussions of planned directions for each are discussed with the participants. In broad terms, the workshop describes the mandate and organizational structure of the community government, as well as the role of the Minister, and the role of MACA Headquarters and the Regional Offices in relation to the provision of programs and services. (Core Course)

Roles and Responsibilities

Course Description:

This module provides community government elected officials with an overview of legislated responsibilities and the basic roles and responsibilities of elected community officials. It covers relationships with fellow elected officials, administrative staff, citizens and the community generally. It provides an overview and discussion of best practices as well as “do’s and don’ts” of good governance. (Core Course)

SAO - A Team Resource

Course Description:

This workshop outlines the broad roles and responsibilities of the Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) and informs elected officials about hiring, directing, evaluating and retaining the SAO. The workshop details the importance of the SAO position and why it is critical for the SAO and elected officials to work collaboratively as a team on common goals. The SAO is essential to the performance of councils and the achievement of planned results. Participants will examine the lines of communication involving the SAO and Staff, and the SAO and elected officials. Accountability, reporting, scope of authority, and responsibilities to staff and to Council will be covered in detail. To be effective, community governments must work together as a team. To be effective and productive in their roles, elected officials must have an understanding of the benefits of positive group behaviors as well as the stages of team development. Some topics discussed in this workshop are team-building and problem-solving strategies in the context of goal achievement through teamwork. (Core Course)

Youth Governance Awareness

Course Description:

This workshop is intended to help community residents between the ages of 18 and 30 to understand the significant role that a community government plays within the community. The goal is to encourage and support young adults who wish to offer their leadership skills and consider running for local election on the community government. This workshop will outline the structure of the community government and what roles exist within it. It will help participants to learn about what types of people can and do run for community government positions and why they choose to do so. It is intended to provide individuals with some insight into whether or not they would be well suited for a role on community government. This workshop has participatory activities that will explain the election process and go over what is expected of community government election candidates. The goal is to encourage high quality and dedicated people to consider offering their services by running for election to community governments. These workshops are offered as requested by communities.