Opportunities for Collaboration

As we grow our partnerships and collaborations, we welcome projects and initiatives exploring the following (and more) questions:

  • Identity/belonging: How does ICH foster community well-being? Individual identity? Do outsiders have the right to learn ICH? When a culture, practice, or a language, is no longer viable, how do communities grieve? How do communities cope when heritage/culture is disrupted – by conflict, climate change, economic changes, diaspora? What approaches might stimulate interest/ownership in their cultural heritage? 
  • Rights and Responsibilities: What if an ICH is harmful to another group or if it perpetuates oppression/colonization?  What makes an element of ICH ‘authentic’ or ‘inauthentic’ – who decides this? How can we empower women’s rights and gender-related issues? Can ICH be a tool to support Indigenous and treaty rights? What support systems do ICH-custodians and knowledge-holders need? Does the act of commodifying culture or having cultural tourism, render it inauthentic? What is the institutional-government-community balance to ICH safeguarding? How do we reconcile economic development, including cultural tourism, with climate change? How can we support and empower women’s livelihoods, particularly in remote areas and marginalized communities? 

  • Laws and Policymaking: Should Canada sign the 2003 UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage? How can the Convention be best applied? What are some of the examples of ICH-work in other countries? How do we navigate plural legalities? Do human rights support/contradict collective cultural rights? How to we address issues related to intellectual property, commercialization, and equitable benefits for communities, particularly around traditional, Indigenous, and sacred knowledge? Can ICH serve to support the TRC’s Calls to Action, UNDRIP, and reconciliation? 

  • ICH scholarship and terminology. What is ICH? What is ‘heritage’? How are semantics benefiting or limiting the discourse? Is the lack of a universally understood term related to ICH in Canada an impediment to its safeguarding? Are ‘economic development’ and ‘safeguarding ICH’ truly compatible? Can knowledge related to ICH help combat climate change/environmental degradation? How is cultural heritage related to/influenced by sustainable development?  What is the place of museums and archives? Are living custodians of ICH archivable? In what ways can ICH support Indigenous communities and Aboriginal/Indigenous rights and self-determination? Is language a vehicle for ICH or a cultural ‘domain’? What is needed to support language teachers and learners? 

  • Case studies, exemplars, and community voices: What are some case studies showcasing successes/failures of ICH-based work? What are the best practices for language revitalization, retention, transmission, acquisition? What are currently challenges that communities are facing in ensuring the transmission of their ICH? How has [Indigenous] language revitalization/endangered languages been achieved?   What is the best way to engage with communities? to do inventorying? How can we support local self-determination, livelihoods, and alternative visions for sustained, sustainable economic and cultural development?