Our Work to Date

National Gatherings on the Parks Canada Cultural Resource Management Policy

In February to June 2020, the IHC worked with Parks Canada to host three national engagement sessions with Indigenous elders, knowledge holders, academics, and heritage practitioners. These sessions were designed for open dialogue between Parks Canada and Indigenous cultural heritage experts to help inform a revised cultural resource management policy that better integrates Indigenous perspectives, worldviews, and legal orders. These sessions also gathered recommendations from participants on future endeavors the Indigenous Heritage Circle should undertake as a national organization. The IHC will deliver a report to Parks Canada on what was heard, with formal recommendations for future policy development, that will be made available on this website.

Closer to Home Symposium on Indigenous Archives Outside Canada

This event, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, was hosted by the Circle in March 2019 in Winnipeg. The event addressed concerns about information recorded in writing, art, sound, moving images and photographs being held in institutions outside of Canada. The Circle developed a report based on this event which can be found here.

Parks Canada Gatherings on Indigenous Cultural Heritage

In November 2018, the IHC collaborated with Parks Canada to host two national Gatherings on Indigenous Cultural Heritage 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 main focus of these gatherings was to facilitate open dialogue and relationships, and led to the creation of the Parks Canada Indigenous Cultural Heritage Advisory Council (ICHAC) [hyperlink that title to this page]. ICHAC includes permanent representation from the IHC Board of Directors. Both Parks Canada and the IHC issued final reports on these sessions.

House of Common’s Report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development

In 2017, IHC Directors Karen Aird and Madeleine Redfern appeared before the Canadian House of Common’s Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to provide input on heritage preservation and protection in Canada with an emphasis on federal responsibilities. The committee’s report [Preserving Canada’s Heritage: The Foundation for Tomorrow] incorporates their feedback with three recommendations targeted specifically to Indigenous heritage and history. A transcript of the remarks made by the IHC can be found here.

National Roundtables on Indigenous Cultural Heritage

In 2016 and 2017, the IHC hosted two Roundtables on Indigenous Cultural Heritage in Ottawa and Vancouver. Participants included representation by Indigenous heritage stakeholders and representatives from non-Indigenous stakeholder organizations (including not-for-profits, government and professional). They discussed various challenges faced in addressing grant requirements, accepting objects for repatriation, strengthening Indigenous languages, promoting Indigenous protocols, and other issues tied to cultural heritage. These roundtables provided valuable feedback to guide the initial work of the IHC in developing its national mandate.

Professional Learning Opportunities and Presentations

The IHC Board of Directors continues to promote ideas surrounding Indigenous cultural heritage through publications, webinars, presentations and conferences, and other learning approaches. Examples include a webinar for the National Trust; a presentation on repatriation hosted by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and Royal BC Museum; participation at the Banff Centre’s Truth and Reconciliation Summit; and presentations at the joint National Trust and Canada Association of Heritage Professionals Annual Conference.

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