Follow ICOMOS Canada's Webinar Discussions on Indigenous World Heritage

Save The Date ENGBetween November 2020 and March 2021, ICOMOS Canada will serve as the Secretariat for the ICOMOS Working Group on Indigenous heritage. As the Secretariat, ICOMOS Canada will convene stakeholders internationally to explore guiding principles and prepare a Terms of Reference that will guide the ICOMOS working group on Indigenous heritage for the years to come.

ICOMOS Canada has been organising webinar discussions in support of the work of the Indigenous Heritage Working Group. The third and last discussion will take place on 19 January 2021, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM EST, on the theme: Authenticity and Outstanding Value

GO TO linkClick here to register (spaces limited)


The work of the Indigenous Heritage Working Group is a critical aspect of ICOMOS' ability to meet its mandate of providing guidance on the conservation of cultural heritage and on supporting the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Following the unanimous approval by the ICOMOS General Assembly in Delhi of a resolution on Indigenous heritage, an Ad Hoc Committee of members from various national and international scientific committees initiated the steps leading to the creation of an ICOMOS Working Group on Indigenous heritage.

Besides its role as Secretariat of this Working Group, ICOMOS Canada is also proud to partner with the Indigenous Heritage Circle (IHC) to further preservation efforts of Indigenous heritage in Canada and globally. The IHC is providing their guidance and expertise in the Steering Committee of the project. The IHC is an Indigenous-designed and Indigenous-led organization founded in 2016. We are dedicated to the advancement of cultural heritage priorities that are of importance to Métis, Inuit, and First Nations Peoples in Canada. Working with partners from across the country, we have developed the following definition of Indigenous heritage:

While the initial work focuses on Indigenous heritage and World Heritage, the need to understand and provide guidance on Indigenous cultural heritage is much broader and as such requires strong partnerships with other organizations and the support of numerous institutions. In particular, ICOMOS's working group aims to become a platform for leaders of Indigenous communities to shape the definition of good practice and solid theory in conserving cultural heritage of significance to Indigenous communities around the world.

ICalendrier pictondigenous Peoples and World Heritage - Webinar Discussions in support of the work of the ICOMOS Indigenous Heritage Working Group

The purpose of these webinar discussions is to invite Indigenous leaders and practitioners in the field of Indigenous heritage to provide feedback, reflections, ideas, and critiques of each theme to support the development of Guiding Principles and of Terms of Reference for the Working Group.

January 19th, 2020, 3:30 - 5:30 PM EST: Authenticity & Outstanding Universal Value (Registration fom to come)

Many challenges related to identification and presentation of Indigenous heritage arise from differences in understanding key World Heritage concepts, such as, “outstanding”, “exceptional”, “universal” and “authenticity”.  Considering this, the webinar discussion, Authenticity & Outstanding Universal Value  will be guided by Indigenous worldviews to deepen the understanding of these challenges while identifying ways to better incorporate Indigenous perspectives and ontologies into World Heritage. 

The concept of authenticity has historically been problematic as it creates a dichotomy of purity versus non-purity, which can impact Indigenous heritage and wellbeing in adverse ways. Similarly, Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is inherently comparative, judgemental, and requires an identification that categorizes values “above all others'' or exceptional. This is problematic for many Indigenous worldviews. As World Heritage Consultant, Stefan Disko reminds us,  “which values are recognized as part of a site’s OUV, and which ones are not, can have major ramifications for Indigenous peoples living within or near a World Heritage Site” (Background Research for Indigenous Heritage Working Group, 2019, ICOMOS Canada, 35). 

GO TO linkRegistration:

Questions will be distributed to registrants two days in advance of each webinar. 


Past discussions themes:

November 26th, 2020, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST:  Place, Nature, Culture, and Environment

December 15th, 2020, 3:30 - 5:30 PM EST: Property & Co-Management in collaboration with US/ICOMOS (Registration fom to come)

Photo : Enfants Anishinaabe children on the Poplar river, Canada, 2015 © De Vries, Gregory W.  

See also:

GO TO link ICOMOS webpage on its Indigenous Heritage Working Group

GO TO link Read this article in Spanish

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