After a decade of celebrating living heritage in Saskatchewan, we begin our 11th year of incorporation with a new accolade. At September’s General Assembly for the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), thirty-six non-governmental organizations (NGO) world-wide were selected to become accredited consultants to the UNESCO ICH committee. We are excited to announce that Heritage Saskatchewan is one of four Canadian organizations to have been chosen!
Being an accredited NGO has put us on the global map, not only as an organization that safeguards ICH in Saskatchewan, but as a contributor of research and insight into ICH. Over the years, we have been demonstrating this through our three areas of focus: research, community resilience, and leadership.
As an accredited NGO, we will take on a consultative role for the UNESCO ICH committee, sharing a Saskatchewan perspective to the global heritage community. We are honoured to be in the company of 189 other heritage and culture organizations; 8 of which are Canadian.
What is ICH? Description from our ICH info sheet
ICH encompasses the underlying fabric of our lives – stories, skills, traditions, ways of doing things, ways of speaking, and ways of interacting with each other and the environment. It does not always leave a material record behind, but rather is passed from person to person and from generation to generation. It is so deeply embedded in our cultural identities that we oftentimes take it for granted. ICH does not reside solely in the past. It is those elements of the past which continue on in the present. It informs who we are and what we want to be. Due to increasing reliance on technology, globalization, and other factors, many elements of our ICH are endangered.