Heritage BC will be visiting Haida Gwaii this week to get feedback on how people identify with their local history and culture. (Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

Heritage BC to hold talks in Old Massett, Skidegate

History perceptions have changed since last consultation process in 2008

Local arts and culture groups will soon have a chance to inform provincial heritage policy.

Heritage BC — a provincially funded non-profit that supports heritage awareness and conservation — is hosting a series of roundtable consultations to explore the subject of B.C.’s heritage in the context of culture and community.

Talks will be held in Skidegate and Old Massett on Sept. 27 and 28, and are open to volunteers and professionals working in museums and archives as well as archaeologists, local planners, elected officials, cultural workers as well as the general public.

Paul Gravett, executive director of Heritage BC, said the goal is to allow people define heritage within their own communities, and explain its impact is on the local economy and environment. The roundtable talks will shape B.C.’s heritage programs for years to come.

“What I hope is that the province will learn how people are managing and view heritage in their lives, and that it will help them to understand what is needed going forward in these communities,” Gravett said.

Islanders can fill out a feedback report after each session, which each consultation session. Gravett said these reports will be compiled into a single document, which Heritage BC will then take to the province.

The province engaged in a similar process in 2008, but Gravett said the perception of heritage has changed significantly in that time, noting how First Nations communities have taken greater ownership over their own culture.

“First Nations have a much stronger voice in heritage, they’re recognizing their heritage more,” he said. “Also, the general public is talking a lot more about First Nations.”

Heritage BC will be at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate on Thursday, Sept. 27 and the Tluu Xaada Naay Longhouse in Old Massett on Friday, Sept. 28.

Seating is limited, so anyone planning to attend is asked to contact Cherie at the Haida Gwaii Museum: 250-559-4643 or hgmuseum@icloud.com.

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