OTTAWA, Aug. 23, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's national historic people, places, and events reflect the rich and varied heritage of our country and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, has announced the designation of seven new persons, places, and events of national significance.
These designations, which honour diverse aspects of Canada's history and commemorate Indigenous, archeological, urban planning, military, and environmental history, include:
Places: Newfoundland National War Memorial (St. John's, NL), Tse'K'wa (Fort St. John, BC), and Uplands (Oak Bay, BC).
Persons: Thomas Adams (1871-1940), and Donald Strathearn Rawson (1905-1961).
Events: Meshikamau-shipu Travel Route, and the German U-Boat Attacks at Bell Island.
Some highlights from today's announcement include:
- Tse'K'wa (Fort St. John, BC): Tse'K'wa is an exceptional archaeological site in North America. It has provided an understanding of human settlement and environmental change from the last glacial period (12,500 years ago) to 1,000 years ago. This site is in the traditional territory of the Dane-zaa First Nations, who maintain stewardship of the site and consider it a spiritual place.
- Uplands (Oak Bay, BC): Now a well-established residential neighbourhood, the community of Uplands, in Vancouver Island's Municipality of Oak Bay, is one of the earliest formally planned subdivisions in Canada. Within the development, Indigenous archaeology and landscape practices have been preserved, including several burial cairns, and the survival of the Garry oaks which is attributed, in part, to the Songhees First Nation's seasonal burning practices. Minister McKenna acknowledged the significance of this newly designated national historic site, at an event held in Uplands Park, on August 19th.
- Meshikamau-shipu Travel Route: Located on the Labrador Peninsula, this travel route has been used, over thousands of years, by Innu and earlier hunter-gatherer peoples. It encompasses active and ancestral camp sites, with some known sites dating back 3,500 years, as well as portage trails, birth and burial locations, and evidence of Innu involvement in the fur trade. This nomination was put forward by the Innu Nation.
- German U-Boat Attacks at Bell Island: In 1942, Newfoundland's Bell Island was attacked by German U-boats, which led to the loss of 70 men, the sinking of four merchant ships, and the destruction of its pier. The attacks represented the only deadly direct strikes by German forces on North American soil during the Second World War. They continue to resonate in Newfoundland and Labrador more than 70 years later, as a pivotal moment in the province's history.
Recently, the Government of Canada announced the introduction of Parks Canada's new Framework for History and Commemoration. The Framework provides direction for Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) on the designation of persons, places, and events of national historic significance based on four new strategic priorities, which are reflected in several of the new designations:
- History of Indigenous Peoples,
- Environmental History,
- Diversity, and
- Canada and the World.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Canadians are encouraged to reflect on the persons, places, and events of importance to them and to nominate these subjects for designation. Canadians are also encouraged to visit Canada's network of national historic sites to learn more about our country's captivating history. From lighthouses to battlefields, historic neighbourhoods to cultural landscapes, there is an amazing array of places and stories to discover.
"As we celebrate 100 years of commemorating Canadian history, I am pleased to recognize these seven people, places, and events that have helped define our country. Their stories represent the rich and varied history of our nation and there are still many stories to be told. I encourage all Canadians to help shape the stories we share by submitting their own nominations for national historic designation and to visit Canada's network of heritage places to discover and connect with our diverse history first-hand."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
- Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of 171 national historic sites, 47 national parks, one national urban park, and five national marine conservation areas.
- Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national significance of persons, places, and events that have marked Canada's history. Together with Parks Canada, the Board ensures that subjects of national historic significance are recognized and these important stories are shared with Canadians.
- The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations, and designations are made on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
- To date, more than 2,150 designations have been made. Each of these designations contributes its own unique story to the greater story of Canada, and helps us better understand our country and our identity.
- The Board is officially celebrating its 100th anniversary on October 29, 2019.
SOURCE Parks Canada