What is Commemorative?
Commemorative integrity refers to the condition or state of a national historic site when the site is healthy and whole. This is the desired state for a national historic site.
To help understand the term, it is useful to look at the two words ‘commemorative' and ‘integrity'. The word ‘commemorative' refers to why this place is a national historic site. ‘Integrity' refers to health, wholeness and honesty.
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 the reasons for designation as a national historic site) are respected in all decisions and actions affecting the site.
These three bulleted statements are commonly referred to as the ‘three elements' of commemorative integrity.
Why was the Concept of Commemorative Integrity Developed?
The concept of commemorative integrity was developed for the 1990 State of the Parks Report, as a framework to evaluate and report on the health and wholeness of national historic sites.
The Parks Canada Agency Act (1998) states that it is in the national interest to ensure the commemorative integrity of national historic sites.
Commemorative integrity and CISs have resulted in a more systematic and comprehensive identification and consideration of all heritage values, demonstrating that the inclusion of one value need not be at the expense of another.