Guide to the Preparation of Commemorative Integrity Statements

1.3 Why prepare a CIS?

A CIS is required for each national historic site which falls under Parks Canada's administration. The CIS is also used as the primary basis for planning under the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program.

Owners of national historic sites not eligible for cost-sharing have also recognized the value of a CIS. CISs have been prepared for numerous non-Parks Canada administered sites.

A CIS guides site management by:

  • identifying what is most important about a site relative to the national historic designation and, for Parks Canada sites, ensuring that matters relating to national significance, including resources and messaging, are the highest management priority.
  • ensuring that there is a focus on the "whole", and not just the individual resources.
  • providing the fundamental document to guide management planning and preparation of a conservation and presentation plan (for the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program), which detail specific actions to be carried out.
  • enunciating a set of heritage values and objectives which can be used in analysing and evaluating the impact of development and adaptive re-use proposals on a site or nearby property.
  • providing the basis for design guidelines for development which may take place within or nearby and which may have an impact on the national historic site.
  • giving direction on heritage messages for marketing plans and programs.
1.3.1 The CIS and Parks Canada's Planning and Reporting Cycle

As the statement of core values for a national historic site, the CIS is integral to all planning and reporting for sites administered by Parks Canada. Several pieces of legislation provide a context for CIS development.

The CIS is directly linked to the management plan. Parks Canada's Guide to Management Planning states that "Ensuring commemorative integrity is the core objective of a national historic site management plan. The commemorative integrity statement, as the site-specific analysis of what constitutes a state of commemorative integrity at a particular national historic site, is fundamental to any management plan." The management plan, in turn, guides the actions laid out each year in business plans.

The CIS is the basis for evaluating the success of the management plan, by establishing whether the actions in the last plan have helped to ensure commemorative integrity.

Whether the site is in a state of commemorative integrity is also evaluated against the CIS. The results of this evaluation contribute to the next management plan and to the State of Protected Heritage Areas Report , Parks Canada's accounting to parliament on the health of national historic sites.