In the Autumn of 2020, Heritage Saskatchewan received the exciting news that we are an accredited Non-Government Organization for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the field of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).
The UNESCO accreditation is an international recognition of the work we do at Heritage Saskatchewan, and earns us a seat at the table of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s culture department. As the only Canadian organization west of Quebec to have this designation, we take our position as a voice for living heritage (which includes ICH) seriously.
In 2003, UNESCO established a Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, as follows:
"The practices, representation, expressions, knowledge, skills - as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith - that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals, recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity."
Heritage Saskatchewan: An Accredited NGO for UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Following the UNESCO General Assembly for the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in September 2020, Heritage Saskatchewan became accredited with recognized competence in the field of ICH. Heritage Saskatchewan joins 189 heritage and culture organizations in this capacity worldwide; nine of which are Canadian.
As an accredited NGO, Heritage Saskatchewan will act as an advisor to the UNESCO ICH Committee, while continuing to be a leader in safeguarding the ICH in Saskatchewan.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) asserts the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples, including rights to their living heritage and the right to self-determination. Heritage Saskatchewan understands and affirms UNDRIP as a framework for reconciliation and a way to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.