RCE Saskatchewan-2014

1. Project Title: 
Saskatchewan Ecomuseums Initiative (SEI) - 2014
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
Royal Saskatchewan Museum
SEI Steering Committee Chair
Main Contact: 
Dr. Glenn Sutter Government of Saskatchewan Research Scientist - Curator of Human Ecology Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Ministry of Parks, Culture & Sport 2340 Albert St. Regina, Canada S4P 2V7 Bus: 306-787-2859 glenn.sutter@gov.sk.ca www.royalsaskmuseum.ca
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

Ecomuseums are locally-driven, place-based organizations that encourage sustainable community development based on heritage conservation and interpretation. This project was launched in 2011 to explore the model and encourage its application in Saskatchewan, through discussions and actions at the provincial level and at self-identified demonstration sites. The main goal is to help communities conserve and learn from their natural and cultural heritage in a rapidly growing provincial economy.

7. Provide references and reference materials : 
6. Project status
On Going
As part of an ongoing Sustainability Research Program, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is spearheading a project called the Saskatchewan Ecomuseums Initiative (SEI), in partnership with the Museums Association of Saskatchewan, SaskCulture, Heritage Saskatchewan, and Heritage Canada. In 2011 there were no ecomuseums in Saskatchewan so this project was launched to explore the potential for them by stimulating discussions and actions at the provincial level and putative, self-identified development sites. These steps are important for advancing ESD in the province because there are clear connections between the ecomuseum model and the tenets of sustainable development. Ecomuseums are community museums that enable local residents and other stakeholders to preserve and learn from tangible and intangible heritage in its living form. They are based on holistic approaches to community engagement around current cultures, traditions, and other assets, helping people adapt to change and promote unique features of their regions.

Unlike a traditional museum, ecomuseums do not necessarily gather objects in a museum facility. Instead, they enable communities to preserve valued objects, sites, and cultural practices where they exist, enhancing their visibility and the contributions they make to community development activities. The current project is aimed at municipal leaders, provincial agencies and other stakeholders with a vested interest in this work, including the Saskatchewan museum community, which talked about ecomuseums shortly after they took root and started to flourish in Europe in the 1980s. Through the SEI, there is now renewed interest in the model at the provincial level, and several urban and rural communities are applying it as pilot sites, including North Central Regina, Val Marie, Nipawin, Calling Lakes/Katepwa, and Wolesely.

The SEI has reached a number of significant milestones, including expressions of interest from over a dozen potential ecomuseum sites, initial feedback from these sites through a brief survey about their needs, the establishment of a formal steering committee, and a provincial workshop for potential site representatives. The workshop was designed to provide: clarity about the ecomuseum model, awareness about the realities of trying to develop ecomuseums in Saskatchewan, a sense of vision and purpose as individual ecomuseum sites and as a provincial network, working relationships and initial strategies for pursuing local interests, and a sense of the staffing, funding and other resources needed to move an initiative forward.

All of these outcomes are reflected in an Ecomuseum Planning Framework that pilot sites and the Steering Committee are now using to identify their next steps. Over the next 12 months, the SEI will be facilitating communication between interested groups, and helping the model take root at the pilot sites noted above.
8. Tagging
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