Kristin Catherwood, Director of Living Heritage
A big week for us every year at Heritage Saskatchewan is Heritage Week, which was proclaimed by the Minister for Parks, Culture and Sport, the Honourable Gene Makowsky on January 10th. Every year, the third week in February is proclaimed as Heritage Week in Saskatchewan. Held in Regina and Saskatoon on alternating years, this year it was Regina's turn to host the events for this week which recognizes the importance of heritage in the province.
On Tuesday night, the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society, Regina Public Library, and Ministry for Parks, Culture and Sport co-hosted a lecture at the Central branch of Regina Public Library: "An Archaeological Perspective on the Last 300 Years of History" by Dr. Margaret Kennedy, in which she presented an overview of how archaelogy contributes to the understanding of Saskatchewan's history since the settlement period. The variety of digs around the province demonstrates that there is no one "settler story," but many stories that make up the settler experience in Saskatchewan. She also demonstrated how much the field of archaeology has changed and its continual evolution creates new possibilites for understanding the realities of people's everyday lives in the past.
On Wednesday night, Heritage Regina hosted the lecture "Airborne Over Regina - The Story of Regina's Four Airports" at the Artesian, presented by Will Chabun. The presentation covered the history of aviation in Regina from its earliest days to the present, but focused especially on the formative years of flight in the 1920s and '30s, when Regina was a pioneering place for aviation. For example, Regina had the first pilot and flight engineer registered in Canada! Click here to see more about Heritage Regina, and its ongoing lecture series.
The Heritage Forum, jointly organized by Heritage Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Parks Culture and Sport, featured several excellent presenters on a variety of topics all related to the theme, "Heritage and Wellbeing: The Important of Place." The keynote speaker, Neal Kewistep, Executive-in-Residnce at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, perfectly started the forum with his presentation, "The Importance of Place." He used examples from his family background, including the intergenerational trauma of residential schools, to illustrate his arguments about how connection to place fosters strong individuals and communities and helps us all work together towards reconciliation. He asked the compelling question, "What happens when we do not see ourselves reflected in the spaces we live, work, and play in?" All of the forum presentation slideshows are available here.
Heritage Saskatchewan's Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place after the forum. This year there were three vacancies on the board. The three successful nominees, who all sought re-election were: Elaine Smit, Bula Ghosh and Tomasin Playford. Heritage Saskatchewan board terms are two years. Following the AGM, the board elected Alicia Buckley as the new president and Tomasin Playford as vice president. All board members bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their positions, ensuring that Heritage Saskatchewan's governance is strong. You can learn more about the Heritage Saskatchewan board here.
To wrap up official Heritage Week activities, the annual Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation reception at St. Matthew's Anglican Church featured some presentations from recipients of Heritage Foundation grants, and also we heard from students Hunter Nichols from Moose Jaw (currently in Grade 6) and Anya Shyian from White City (currently in Grade 9) who both won awards at the 2018 Provincial Heritage Fair, who shared with the audience why the heritage fairs program has been important for them.
Every year, Heritage Week is a time for the heritage community to come together to share successes, pose questions, and celebrate the important work we do. It's a good time to look at how we've worked together over the past year to make things happen in the heritage world. Click here to check out Heritage Saskatchewan's annual report.