Welcome to the Indigenous Heritage Circle

Our Story

The Indigenous Heritage Circle (IHC) is an Indigenous-designed and Indigenous-led organizatin founded in 2016 that is dedicated to the advancement of cultural heritage matters of importance to Métis, Inuit and First Nations Peoples in Canada. The IHC fully recognizes that Indigenous Peoples understand and describe “heritage” according to their own perspectives, traditions and languages, and that Indigenous heritage is intrinsic to Indigenous well-being and held for all generations. A general definition for Indigenous heritage includes ideas, experiences, worldviews, objects, forms of expressions, languages, practices, knowledge, spirituality, kinship ties and places valued by Indigenous Peoples. More...

Recent Activities

Closer to Home Symposium on Indigenous Archives Outside Canada

The Closer to Home Symposium hosted by the Indigenous Heritage Circle (IHC) was held on March 5-6, 2019, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The symposium was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SHRCC). The event brought together practitioners from the disciplines devoted to documenting and studying the past including the important voices of Indigenous community members. The symposium addressed concerns about information recorded in writing, art, sound, moving images and photographs held in memory institutions outside Canada. The IHC’s report about the symposium and recommendations emerging from discussions is available in English and in French. A selection of presentations from the symposium can be accessed on the Events, News & Links page.

IHC and the Parks Canada Indigenous Engagement Program

In November 2018, the IHC collaborated with Parks Canada on two national Indigenous cultural heritage engagement sessions in Calgary, Alberta, and Gatineau, Quebec. The gatherings assembled 66 Indigenous participants, many of whom were cultural heritage experts and knowledge-keepers, and 33 Parks Canada and other federal staff from across Canada. The final report issued by Parks Canada can be found here in English and French.

IHC Vision

Indigenous Peoples are the true caretakers of Indigenous heritage. Through multiple channels for dialogue and learning, the IHC aims to support Indigenous Peoples in caring for their cultural heritage by providing a centre of dialogue, expression and learning to find solutions, celebrate strengths, and promote knowledge embedded in Indigenous lands, languages, ways of living, and communities.

IHC Goals

Advocate for cultural heritage programs, protocols and policies that can improve the wellness of Indigenous communities in Canada and around the world.

  • Further the understanding, articulation and application of Indigenous heritage and associated practices and protocols
  • Showcase the talents and skills of Indigenous knowledge-keepers and others in the studying, caring for, and managing of Indigenous heritage
  • Develop tools, processes and collaborations that will assist with sharing heritage knowledge, perspectives and solutions with others, including governments and the general public.

Getting the Work Done and the Word Out

The Government of Canada has committed itself to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada. As part of reconciliation and new relationships with Indigenous peoples, the IHC believes that the federal government must be pressed to support the development of an Indigenous controlled organization that will represent Indigenous interests and apply Indigenous knowledge and practices in working with each other and allied groups to identify and protect heritage that matter to Indigenous people.

IHC Engagement

The IHC directors are committed to hearing from as many people as possible about how the Circle can serve Indigenous communities and contribute to solutions related to the protection, celebration and sharing of cultural heritage. Learn about some of our events (current and past) here.