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Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

Events/Other

5. Specific Guidelines: Events/Other

5.1    Origins of Settlements
5.2    Pre-Confederation Events
5.3    Assessing the Role of Organized Religion in the Social Development of Canada
5.4    Ethnic or Religious Groups
5.5    Disasters and Disaster Areas
5.6    Commemoration of Post-Secondary Educational Institutions

5.1 Origins of Settlements

In 1923, the subject of settlements throughout Canada was thoroughly gone into in all its phases, and the following resolution was passed:

That the Board has considered with care the communication of Mr. W.H. Breithaupt, President of the Waterloo Historical Society, with reference to the proposed monuments to commemorate the pioneers of the County of Waterloo, as well as representations from other districts as to similar proposals therein, and desires to express its hearty approval of every effort to perpetuate and honour the memory of the founders of settlements, throughout the Dominion, and its high appreciation of Mr. Breithaupt's patriotic objects and efforts.
The Board, however, has to deal with so many sites of outstanding national importance which require priority of action that it feels it would not be advisable for it to undertake at present action in the matter of the placing of memorials in connection with early settlements in Canada.

This policy has been reaffirmed numerous times. For example, in October 1967:
In connection with the proposal to commemorate the Founding of Pictou, the Board reaffirmed its policy of not recommending the commemoration of settlement origins; but recommended that the Department suggest to the Government of Nova Scotia the appropriateness of a provincially sponsored commemoration.

In October 1969:
The Board reaffirmed its policy of not recommending the origins of existing communities for commemoration, but considered that the significance of former settlements and colonizing ventures should be considered each on its own merits.

5.2 Pre-Confederation Events

In November 1973, the Board recommended that:
pre?Confederation events should be regarded on their individual merits on a line basis, i.e., as significant events in the development of a region which later became a province of Canada.

5.3 Assessing the Role of Organized Religion in the Social Development of Canada

In November 1973, the Board enunciated that:
while recognizing the overwhelming impact of organized religion on the development of Canada, prefers for the present that the Board should deal with items in this category on an individual basis as they arise and that they be reviewed in the light of the Policy Statement's first stated [guidelines], i.e., a site, structure or object shall be closely associated or identified with events that have shaped Canadian history in a prominent way, or illustrate effectively the broad cultural, social, political, economic or military patterns of Canadian history.

5.4 Ethnic or Religious Groups

In November 1977, the Board recommended that:
religious and ethnic groups, per se should not be specifically commemorated but that we should pay particular attention to the contributions of such ethnic and religious groups as represented in buildings of national architectural or historical significance, individual leaders of national importance, or events of national historic significance.

In June 2002, the joint Cultural Community and Criteria Committees recommended, and the Board accepted, that this guideline be amended as follows:
The Board will assess the national historic significance of places, persons and events associated with the experience of ethnic or religious groups in Canada, rather than advocating an approach that would consider the commemoration of ethnic or religious groups themselves.

5.5 Disasters and Disaster Areas

In November 1982:
Following considerable discussion, the Board was unanimous in its recommendation that:
it continue to be guided in its deliberations by the 1967 "National Historic Sites Policy"
Amended as follows:
normally disasters will be excluded from consideration by the Board unless there is evidence that their long?term impact has been such that they would merit consideration under Criterion 1.6.ii of the general Board criteria [in the "Parks Canada Policy" (1979)], that is to say-as events which shaped Canadian history.

In November 1997, the Board reviewed its existing guideline and:
agreed that it would consider only the most exceptional disasters if they were seen to have caused changes to some facet of Canadian society, for example, changes to social programs, public policy, or causing long?standing economic impacts.

5.6 Commemoration of Post-Secondary Educational Institutions

In February 1992, following three requests in one year asking that it consider the possible national significance of institutions of higher learning, the Board asked the Criteria Committee to reflect on the matter. In November 1992, the Committee and, in turn, the Board recommended:

that due to the increasing number and complexity of post?secondary institutions which have been established in recent decades, and the consequent difficulty of assessing their significance to Canada in a rigorous and equitable manner, the Board should no longer recommend the commemoration of such institutions, per se. The Board, however, should continue to consider nationally significant aspects of universities, colleges and training schools, such as founders, administrators, faculty members, benefactors, and individual faculties or departments, as well as school and university architecture and research contributions.