RCE Saskatchewan-2015

1. Project Title: 
Saskatchewan Ecomuseums Initiative (SEI) - 2015
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
3. Project partner contact information : 
Royal Saskatchewan Museum (Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport)
Project lead and Chair, SEI Steering Committee
Main Contact: 
Dr. Glenn Sutter, Curator of Human Ecology, 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.: 

As part of an ongoing Sustainability Research Program, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is spearheading a project called the Saskatchewan Ecomuseums Initiative (SEI), with support from a range of provincial and national partners. This project was launched in 2011, when there were no ecomuseums in Saskatchewan, to explore the potential for them by stimulating discussions and actions at the provincial level and self-identified development sites. Current demonstration sites encompass small ranching and recreational communities, a low-income urban area with a large First Nations population, and a boreal region that supports tourism and a thriving mushroom industry. Encouraging the development of these and other sites is helping to advance 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 and a number of communities are working with it, including North Central Regina, Val Marie, Nipawin, Saltcoats, Wolseley, and the Calling Lakes area. The SEI has reached a number of significant milestones, including the establishment of a multi-agency steering committee, publication of an Ecomuseum Planning Framework based on input from over a dozen interested communities, the launch of a project website to provide content updates and visibility (http://heritagesask.ca/resources/saskatchewan-ecomuseum-project), the initiation of research on ecomuseums and place attachment, and most recently, the development of a governance framework for emerging sites.

7. Provide references and reference materials : 
6. Project status
On Going
The SEI was initiated in 2011 to explore the potential for ecomuseums in Saskatchewan. Given that interest in the ecomuseum concept appears to be high, and the number of communities that want to work with the model continues to increase, this provincial project has become a central focus of the Human Ecology curatorial program at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
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