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Guide to the Preparation of Commemorative Integrity Statements

Guideline No. 2 - CRM Policy and the Commemorative Integrity Statement

The concept of commemorative integrity and the commemorative integrity statement (CIS) are rooted in Parks Canada's Cultural Resource Management Policy . Commemorative integrity is an expression of the CRM Policy as applied to a specific national historic site.

The following questions have been derived from the CRM Policy and can be used in several ways.

  • Answers to the questions in 2.1 and 2.3 can be used to describe the property and its resources, values and messages when preparing a CIS.
  • Answers to the questions in 2.2 and 2.4 provide advice to managers to ensure that a state of commemorative integrity exists at the national historic site. These questions refer to actions or conditions implicit in the CIS objectives.
  • Answers to the questions in 2.2 and 2.4 also contain guidance on monitoring, essential to ensuring commemorative integrity.
Describing
CI
Ensuring
CI
Monitoring
CI
The Site and its Resources 2.1 2.2 2.2
Messages 2.3 2.4 2.4
2.1 Describing Commemorative Integrity: The Site and its Resources
  • Were all resources given initial consideration as potential cultural resources?
  • Have resources been inventoried and evaluated?
  • Are the cultural resources related to the reasons for designation accorded the highest value?
  • Are the cultural resources valued in their context?
  • Are the cultural resources whose historic value derives from their connection to different periods in history valued for that evolution and not just for their existence at a single moment in time?
  • Are the cultural resources which derive their historic value from the interaction of nature and human activities valued for both their cultural and natural qualities?
  • Are the associative or symbolic qualities of the cultural resources dealt with as well as the physical qualities?
  • Have the natural resources of the site been treated in accordance with the CRM Policy principles?
  • Does the CIS adequately address the whole (the site) as well as its parts?
2.2 Ensuring Commemorative Integrity: The Site and its Resources
  • Is the historic value of the cultural resources respected in accordance with the CRM Policy principles and practice? Are cultural resources managed in accordance with the CRM Policy principles and practice?
  • Do management decisions and practices adequately address the whole (the site) as well as the parts?
  • Have the CRM Policy principles and practice been applied to contracts, leases, licenses, concessions or agreements that affect cultural resources?
  • Are steps in place to ensure the continued survival of the cultural resources with minimum deterioration?
  • Is there a program of conservation maintenance in place to mitigate wear and deterioration?
  • Are records and inventories relating to cultural resources (including basic data, records of decisions and actions taken, heritage recording, & c.) up to date?
  • Have modifications to the cultural resources been based on sound knowledge and respect for the historic value(s) of the resources?
  • Does adequate research, recording, and investigation precede actions that affect cultural resources and their presentation?
  • Have the potential consequences and cumulative impacts of proposed actions on the historic value of the cultural resources been considered?
  • Has direct evidence been used instead of indirect evidence in conservation measures?
  • Has the use of indirect evidence taken place in accordance with the CRM Policy principles and has the use of such evidence been clearly acknowledged?
  • Have the least destructive and most reversible means been used to accomplish objectives?
  • Have variances from the path of least intrusive action been justified and recorded?
  • Are there uses or threats that reduce the potential for long-term conservation and future understanding and appreciation of the cultural resources? Have such uses or threats been discontinued or addressed?
  • Is new work sensitive in form and scale (i.e., does not overwhelm) the site and its associated resources?
  • Have research and the results of research been the basis for activities that have an impact on cultural resources and their presentation?
  • Are monitoring and review systems in place to determine if conservation and presentation objectives are met effectively?
  • Is the historic value/meaning of the site's cultural resources communicated?
  • Is information about the cultural resources made available?
  • Are the professional, technical and administrative activities, and the contributions of relevant disciplines effectively integrated into the site's management and operations? Does management place an emphasis on interdisciplinary teamwork?
  • Is the site managed as a place of national historic significance to the whole nation, or it is managed primarily as an attraction?
  • Do reconstructions or reproductions compromise the commemorative integrity of the site by overwhelming the reasons/resources integral to its designation of national significance?
  • Have management planning activities been based on the commemorative objectives that led to the site's designation and acquisition?
  • Has the historic value of the cultural resources been fully considered and integrated into the planning, conservation, presentation and operational programs?
  • Have the planning activities flowed from policy objectives and adhered to policy principles?
  • Do the CRM Policy principles form the basis for all public consultation?
  • Do impact assessments consider and address the negative consequences of proposed actions on the historic value of cultural resources?
2.3 Describing Commemorative Integrity: Messages
  • Are the messages consistent with the site's designation?
  • Is the historic value of the historic site communicated?
  • Is the historic value of cultural resources, which derive their importance from being part of a place or a site, communicated?
  • Are statements about the past made without a basis in knowledge?
  • Is respect for the historical evolution of cultural resources sacrificed for a moment-in-time interpretation?
  • Is the continuum of meaning, ranging from national to local significance, communicated?
  • Is the richness and diversity of the national historic sites system - including national historic sites administered by others - communicated?
  • Are differing contemporary views, perspectives informed by traditional knowledge, and later interpretations presented?
  • Is the past presented in a manner that accurately reflects the range and complexity of the human history commemorated or represented at the site?
  • Does Parks Canada play the role of the arbiter of Canada's human history?
  • Is a sense of shared responsibility for safeguarding these places of national historic significance passed on to the public?
  • Does the site encourage research and study in Canadian history?
2.4 Ensuring Commemorative Integrity: Messages
  • Is primary importance given to the reasons for designation?
  • Are these messages overwhelmed by the communication of the site's other heritage messages?
  • Does the public understand the reasons for the site's designation?
  • Has direct evidence been used instead of indirect evidence in interpretation activities?
  • Has the use of indirect evidence taken place in accordance with the CRM Policy principles? Has the use of such evidence been clearly acknowledged?
  • Are the discrepancies in accuracy adequately acknowledged?
  • Do depictions of the past without a basis in knowledge take place?
  • Does presentation at the site focus on the whole as well as the parts that make up the whole?
  • Do the means of presentation take into account the nature and interests of the public?
  • Do the means of communication support or impede effective communication of the reasons for designation?
  • Do the reconstructions or reproductions compromise the commemorative integrity of the site by overwhelming the reasons/resources integral to its designation of national significance?
  • Are reproductions and reconstructions marked in such a way as not to be confused with the originals they are intended to represent?
  • Is the past presented in a manner that accurately reflects the range and complexity of the human history commemorated at or represented at the site?
  • Are differing contemporary views, perspectives informed by traditional knowledge, and later interpretations presented?