Governance Training

Videos, handbooks and workshops are available to help citizen s seek elected office, and lead more effectively once elected.


  • So You Want to Be a Councillor
  • So Now You Are a Councillor
  • Know Your Role
  • Know Your Legal Duties

So You Want To Be A Councillor

This video was produced for people who are considering running for municipal office (such as a town or hamlet councillor) in Canada’s Northwest Territories.


So Now You Are A Councillor

This video was produced by the NWT Association of Communities and the NWT Department of Municipal and Community Affairs for NWT residents who have been elected to municipal office.

Know Your Role

This video was produced by the NWTAC and MACA for people elected to municipal office in the NWT. Knowing your roles and responsibilities as a councillor will help you to be an effective member of your community council.

Know Your Legal Duties

A Councillor makes important decisions which can affect services, programs and facilities for the people in the community. It is important to act responsibly, within the law, in regards to money as well as people. Learn more!


Community Councillor Handbook

MACA and the NWTAC have redeveloped the Community Councillor Handbook.

This 36-page booklet is a quick reference guide to help council members in the day-to-day duties as elected officials.

Included in the handbook is a pullout card with 10 general rules of order for participation in meetings. A copy of the handbook will be distributed to council members as they are elected.

Table of contents

  1. Roles and Responsibilities
  2. Where Your Authority Comes From
  3. Working Together for Effective Meetings
  4. Making Decisions
  5. Your Role in Financial Management
  6. Communicating with Each Other and the Public

Download PDF Copy

Good Governance Workshops for Elected Officials

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) and the NWT Association of Communities (NWTAC) partner to provide Good Governance – A Workshop Series. This training is designed for elected community government officials and was developed to assist with building skills, knowledge and awareness of good governance standards, and to provide the format for exchange of best practices.

The Governance modules are customized and designed to be delivered two (2) to three (3) hours in a workshop format at the community, regional and territorial levels.

The Program Advisory Committee, made up of both MACA and NWTAC representatives, has established that the following five modules as the core of Good Governance training over the next few years:

  1. Roles and Responsibilities
  2. Conflict and Codes
  3. Financial Awareness
  4. Legal Responsibilities
  5. Planning – Directions for Success

Three Additional Modules are also available for delivery:

  1. SAO – A Team Resource
  2. Teamwork
  3. Overview of MACA

Core Module Descriptions

Roles and Responsibilities
This module provides newly elected/appointed Councillors with an overview of the basic roles and responsibilities encountered in their positions of leadership and authority. It provides an overview and discussion of Councillor “do’s and don’ts”. There is some discussion on legislated responsibilities.

Conflict and Codes
The purpose of this workshop is to guide participants in understanding more about the Conflict of Interest Act and to discuss general and specific potential areas of conflict of interest situations and issues at the community level. Acquiring new knowledge in this area and through discussion, members will learn more about how to avoid potential conflict of interest situations and clearly know 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 guide Councils in their operation. This workshop also focuses on developing a code that works for the Council of the day

Financial Awareness
In order to make effective decisions regarding operations and costs of running programs and services, Councils need to be able to incorporate skills and knowledge to good 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.

Planning for Success
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. In this module, Councillors are introduced to the basics of defining the strategic planning process and how to monitor and evaluate effectiveness

Legal Responsibilities
This workshop provides a general description of legal liability issues so that Councillors 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.

Additional Module Descriptions

SAO – A Team Resource
This workshop outlines the broad roles and responsibilities of the SAO as a supervisor of staff and an employee of Council. Participants will examine the lines of communication involving the SAO and Staff, and the SAO to Council. Accountability, reporting, scope of authority, and responsibilities to staff and to Council will be discussed in detail.

Members of Council are required work together as a team. To be effective and productive in their roles, they must have an understanding of the benefits of positive group behaviours as well as the stages of team development. The main issues discussed in this workshop are teambuilding and problem solving strategies in the context of goal achievement through teamwork.

Overview – Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)
In this module, Councillors gain an understanding of MACA’s work in providing support for community governments and programs and services to NWT communities. In broad terms, it describes the mandate and organizational structure of MACA, the role of the Minister, and the role of Headquarters and the Regional Offices.