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Ecomuseums

An overview of the ecomuseum concept
by

Glenn Sutter

on 23 February 2015

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Transcript of Ecomuseums

What is an Ecomuseum?
A Traditional Museum
An Ecomuseum
According to Wikipedia:

An ecomuseum is a different sort of museum that tries to foster a sense of place, local participation, and the welfare and development of local communities.
Why is the Royal Saskatchewan
Museum involved in ecomuseum development?
building + collections (+ experts) + public
territory + heritage (+ memory) + population
What Do They Look Like, and How Do They Work?

Encompass a definable geographic territory.
A fragmented network of buildings and/or sites, with a central hub and several "antennae."
Steered by local communities, with joint ownership and light-weight and flexible governance.
Equal attention given to movable and immovable aspects of tangible and intangible heritage.
Activities depend on democratic decision-making, collaboration between partners, and volunteers.
Key Criteria:

Adoption of a territory that is not necessarily defined by conventional boundaries.
Adoption of a ‘fragmented site’ policy that fosters in situ conservation and interpretation via liaison, cooperation, and the development of partnerships.
Local residents get involved in ecomuseum activities and the creation of their cultural identity.
Evidence of interdisciplinarity and holistic interpretation.
Tangible and Intangible Heritage:
Biological features
Geological features
Material culture, e.g., buildings
Social structures, e.g., organizations
Memories, folklore, traditions
Local skills, music & songs, etc.
What Do They Do?

Ecomuseums foster sustainable forms of development by giving local citizens a way to address social, economic, and environmental issues, with an emphasis on adaptive management and the way people live.

Potential Outcomes and Activities:

Conservation & interpretation of local heritage
- via restoration projects, interpretive trails & maps that showcase past cultures, current industries, important wildlife areas, etc.
Enhanced tourism
- via cultural programs, extension activities, website, etc.
Social cohesion, conflict resolution & personal growth
- via sense-of-place mapping, project planning, learning opportunities, etc.
Environmental monitoring
- via school programs, citizen science, research projects, etc.
Examples
"...an agreement by which a local community takes care of a place."
Examples
High levels
of interest
Nipawin
Calling Lakes
North Central


Cultural Planning?
Ecomuseums can facilitate plan development, or provide a mechanism for implementation and visibility.
Parks?
Ecomuseums are complementary but differ in how cultural heritage is addressed, and how sites are established
.
Main Street Projects?
Ecomuseums are complementary again, but have a broader geographic focus.
Heritage Districts?
Ecomuseums share their concern about tangible assets but focus on a wider range of local issues.
Living Regions?
Ecomuseums have a similar focus but put less emphasis on tourism.
How do ecomuseums compare to...
Maggi (2002), Ecomusei, Guida europea
"A mirror the local
population uses to
discover its own image"

Georges Henri Rivière
Saskatchewan Ecomuseums Initiative
A locally-driven, place-
based organization that
encourages sustainable
community development,
based on in situ heritage
conservation and
interpretation.

Living heritage preserved; local economy revitalized
Val Marie - An Ecomuseum
in the Making
Full transcript