The Truth and Reconciliation Commission marked a critical moment in Canadian history with the release of the 94 Calls to Action. These prompt each one of us to act and to reframe the familiar and comfortable contexts of our work as heritage professionals. It is now time to move the conversation forward as we explore authentic, sustainable pathways that will lead to new relationships and common goals and objectives.
Heritage BC is committed to heritage in all its forms. We recognize there is much to learn from each other, as we start to more fully appreciate the diversity of experiences and the multiplicity of perspectives that form the richness of Canada’s heritage.
The word “heritage” has no parallels in Indigenous languages, but the closest meaning is something that would be a translation of the expression “what we know”.
Based on discussions at IHC roundtables, the IHC describes Indigenous cultural heritage as ideas, objects, artistic expressions, practices, languages, knowledge and places that are valued because they are culturally necessary and meaningful, connected to shared memory, or linked to collective identity. Indigenous cultural heritage is not separate from Indigenous identity and life. It is inherited from ancestors as a gift to the next generations. It is the medicine we carry with us.
Each Indigenous Nation speaks for cultural heritage that is unique to them.
(The quote is prepared by Karen Aird, Indigenous Heritage Circle)
The First Peoples’ Cultural Council is a provincial Crown Corporation formed by the government of British Columbia in 1990 to administer the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Program.
The Indigenous Heritage Circle (IHC) was founded in 2016 as an Indigenous-designed and Indigenous-led organization dedicated to the advancement of cultural heritage matters of importance to Métis, Inuit and First Nations.
Reconciliation Canada is leading the way in engaging Canadians in dialogue and transformative experiences that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.