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Guide to the Preparation of Commemorative Integrity Statements

2.2 Designation and Context

This section should contain specific information relating to:

  • Designation
  • Commemorative Intent
  • Designated Place
  • Historic and Geographic Context
2.2.1 Designation

This section should present information relating to designation as a national historic site. It is based on the HSMBC minutes and plaque texts. It should be clear from this presentation how the Statement of Commemorative Intent and Designated Place were derived. Since Fall 1999, the HSMBC has explicitly identified commemorative intent and Designated Place.

The text of all of the HSMBC's recommendations and all plaque inscriptions should be appended to the CIS in an appendix.

2.2.2 Commemorative Intent
2.2.2.1 Definition

Commemorative intent refers to the reasons for designation as a national historic site as determined by the Ministerially-approved recommendations of the HSMBC to the Minister 1 . Commemorative intent is derived from HSMBC documents.

The definition of Commemorative Intent, contained in Guideline No. 1 - Glossary , is to be included as part of the CIS.

2.2.2.2 Preparing the Statement of Commemorative Intent

Each CIS will contain a Statement of Commemorative Intent. The Statement of Commemorative Intent provides the answer to the question "When and for what reason was this place designated as a national historic site?"

The preparation of the Statement of Commemorative Intent is carried out by Parks Canada staff following the procedures outlined in Guideline No. 3 - P rocess, Roles and Approvals for Developing Commemorative Integrity Statements and Guideline No. 6 - Developing the Statement of Commemorative Intent .

2.2.3 Designated Place
2.2.3.1 Definition

Designated Place refers to the place designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage on the recommendation of the HSMBC. Information on what constitutes the Designated Place for a particular national historic site is drawn from the minutes of the HSMBC. The definition of Designated Place is to be included as part of the CIS.

2.2.3.2 Preparing the Description of Designated Place

The Designated Place for a national historic site must be described in the CIS to ensure a clear understanding of what was designated by the Minister. The Designated Place is a geographically definable location which is circumscribed by boundaries. A map of the site should be included as part of the CIS (either in the Designated Place section or as an appendix) showing the Designated Place clearly. A notional circle around the administered site is not sufficient.

The preparation of the description of Designated Place is carried out by Parks Canada staff following the procedures outlined in Guideline No. 3 - Process, Roles and Approvals for Developing Commemorative Integrity Statements and Guideline No. 7 - Designated Place .

2.2.4 Historic and Geographic Context
2.2.4.1 Historic Context

This section should provide the historic context for the site. It should be concise, no more than a page in length. It is an overview to assist the reader in understanding:

  • the nature of the site during the period or periods for which it is commemorated. A description of the site in historical times is particularly important for those designations which refer to a specific time frame or are associated with a specific event. Note that the site in historical times will not necessarily correspond with the Designated Place.
  • the evolution of the site. Most sites have evolved over time. This section provides information relating to the site's evolution, use and the individuals associated with it.
2.2.4.2 Geographic Context

In many cases the geographic context of the site should be discussed. This should be included when it is important to an understanding of the site's national significance, for example when the HSMBC decision refers to areas around the site or when the site's importance relates to its geographic setting.

Geographic context should be kept to the minimum necessary to ensure an understanding of the site's national historic significance. This section should also include direct and explicit links between this site and other places that are integral to its national historic significance. For example, the geographic context of a fur trade site would identify sources of supply, as well as intermediate and end-markets.

A map should be included, either in this section or as an appendix, to assist in understanding the geographic context.

1 Recommendations were not formally approved as a matter of course by the Minister until the passage of the Historic Sites and Monuments Act of 1953. Pre-1953 HSMBC deliberations were not framed as recommendations but rather as "moved" and "carried". These have been accepted as designations unless explicitly rejected by the Minister or senior departmental officials.