Guide to the Preparation of Commemorative Integrity Statements

Guideline No. 1 - Glossary

The definitions in the Glossary have been drawn from references such as Parks Canada's Guiding Principles and Operational Policies and the Guidelines for the Preparation of Commemorative Integrity Statements (October 1995) . Some definitions have been amended for clarity and to reflect evolution in the thinking on commemorative integrity.

Administered property is the property administered by a custodian or authority which includes part or all of the Designated Place.

Archaeological site encompasses surface, subsurface or submerged remains of human activity at which an understanding of these activities and the management of these resources can be achieved through the employment of archaeological techniques.

Commemoration means, in the case of national historic sites, activities which contribute to commemorative integrity.

Commemorative integrity describes the health and wholeness of a national historic site. A national historic site possesses commemorative integrity when:

  • the resources directly related to the reasons for designation as a national historic site are not impaired or under threat,
  • the reasons for designation as a national historic site are effectively communicated to the public, and
  • the site's heritage values (including those not related to designation as a national historic site) are respected in all decisions and actions affecting the site.

Resources directly related to the reasons for the site's designation are level 1 resources as defined in Parks Canada's Cultural Resource Management (CRM) Policy . Resources that are not related to the reasons for the site's designation but which have historic value are defined as level 2 in the CRM Policy .

Commemorative Integrity Statement (CIS) is a document which identifies what is meant by commemorative integrity at a particular national historic site. It provides a baseline for planning, managing, operating, reporting and taking remedial action. The document is divided into six parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Designation and Context
  3. Resources Directly Related to the Reasons for Designation as a National Historic Site - This section of the CIS identifies the resources that relate directly to the reasons for the site's designation. It also describes the historic values of these resources, which can be physical as well as associative or symbolic. These values must be safeguarded and communicated. The CIS provides guidance, through objectives, about the meaning of "not impaired or under threat" in the context of the site.
  4. Effective Communication of the Reasons for Designation as a National Historic Site - This section of the CIS identifies reasons for designation as a national historic site, as well as any additional, essential information required to ensure their understanding. It provides guidance, through objectives, on integrity in presentation and effective communication of messages with audiences.
  5. Resources, Values and Messages Not Related to the Reasons for Designation as a National Historic Site - This section of the CIS covers resources, values and messages that are not related to reasons for designation as a national historic site. Objectives provide guidance on the management of these.
  6. Appendices

Parts 3, 4, and 5 are referred to as the three elements of the CIS.

Commemorative intent refers to the reasons for a site's designation as a national historic site, as determined by the Ministerially-approved recommendations of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. A CIS contains a Statement of Commemorative Intent (SOCI) which provides the answer to the question "When and for what reason was this site designated by the Minister responsible for the Historic Sites and Monuments Act as a national historic site?"

Conservation encompasses the activities that are aimed at safeguarding a cultural resource so as to retain its historic value and extend its physical life.

Cultural landscape is any geographic area that has been modified, influenced, or given special cultural meaning by people. A cultural landscape may be evaluated as a cultural resource if it is determined to have historic value.

Cultural resource is

  • a human work, or
  • a place which gives evidence of human activity or has spiritual or cultural meaning

and which, in either case, has been determined to have historic value. Cultural resources cover a broad spectrum, ranging from the whole to the parts that make up the whole, i.e. a national historic site is a cultural resource as are parts of the site such as landscapes, buildings, archaeological sites and objects that have been determined to have historic value.

There are two categories of resources:

  1. Resources directly related to the reasons for designation as a national historic site include:
    • the Designated Place.
    • in situ cultural resources within the administered place which have a direct relationship to the reasons for designation. In rare cases the HSMBC has specifically identified resources which relate to or have national historic significance, in which case, these are the only in situ cultural resources recorded in this section.
    • cultural resources identified in the HSMBC minutes as contributing to the national historic significance of the Designated Place including resources which may be outside the Designated Place.
    • objects which have a direct relationship to the commemorative intent and to the site. These may be located either within or outside the Designated Place.
  2. A resource not related to the reasons for national significance is any other resource which has historic value. A resource may be included in this category by virtue of its historical, aesthetic or environmental qualities.

Cultural resource management (CRM) is the generally accepted practice for the conservation and presentation of cultural resources, founded on principles and carried out in a practice that integrates professional, technical, administrative and operational activities so that the historic value of cultural resources is taken into account in actions that might affect them. In Parks Canada, cultural resource management encompasses presentation and use, as well as conservation, of cultural resources and is guided by Parks Canada's CRM Policy .

Designated Place refers to the place designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Information on what constitutes the Designated Place for a particular historic site is drawn from the minutes of the HSMBC. See historic place .

Designation refers to the establishment of a national historic site. It occurs when the Minister approves a recommendation for national historic significance from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Federal heritage building is any federally administered building that has been designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage under the Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy .

Heritage values are attributes of a resource which have value. Heritage values derive from many sources, including historical associations, architectural features or significance, environmental importance, associations with the community, and continuity of use.

Historic and geographic context includes information about related natural and cultural features and events which aids in developing a full understanding of the significance of the Designated Place including a description of the "place" during the period or periods for which it is being commemorated where the Designated Place and the place in historical times are not the same. Also may include information on the geographic relationship of the site to other sites both locally, nationally and internationally.

Historic place is defined in the Historic Sites and Monuments Act as "a site, building or other place of national historic interest or significance, and includes buildings or structures that are of national interest by reason of age or architectural design". Referred to as Designated Place in this Guide and Guidelines .

Historic Sites and Monuments Act describes the powers of the Minister with respect to the commemoration of historic places and outlines the role of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada is an independent body that provides the Minister of Canadian Heritage with impartial and expert advice on matters relating to historical commemoration. Also referred to as the 'HSMBC'.

Historic value is a value or values assigned to a resource, whereby it is recognized as a cultural resource. These values can be physical and/or associative.

Intervention is any activity (including activities such as maintenance, repair, preservation, stabilization, restoration, or rehabilitation) undertaken on a resource by those responsible for cultural resources.

National historic site has both a formal and an applied meaning. The formal meaning is identical to Designated Place, i.e., it refers to "historic place" as defined in the Historic Sites and Monuments Act or a place set aside as a national historic site under Section 42 of the Canada National Parks Act . The name is commonly used to refer to the area administered by Parks Canada, or another owner, as a national historic site

National Historic Site Program Objectives are the objectives of the Government of Canada for the national historic sites program:

  • To foster knowledge and appreciation of Canada's past through a national program of historical commemoration.
  • To ensure the commemorative integrity of national historic sites by protecting and presenting them for the benefit, education and enjoyment of this and future generations, in a manner that respects the significant and irreplaceable legacy represented by these places and their associated resources.
  • To encourage and support owners of national historic sites in their efforts to ensure commemorative integrity.

Objects are moveable cultural property consisting of artifacts, made or used by people, and specimens, such as pollens recovered from archaeological investigation. Objects that have historic value within the meaning of the Cultural Resource Management Policy are cultural resources.

Presentation includes activities, services and facilities that bring the public into direct or indirect contact with national historic sites and the resources associated with them.

Reasons for designation as a national historic site are expressed as messages in the second element of the Commemorative Integrity Statement. They are derived from the Statement of Commemorative Intent.

Viewscape is a line-of-sight from a specific location to a landscape or portion of it. A viewshed refers to a sequence of views or panorama from a given vantage point.