In our commitment to the communities we serve, the Edmonton Heritage Council continually reviews our programs to better support rich and diverse heritage practice in Edmonton and Treaty 6 territory.
We’d love to share with you some of what we’re working on with our flagship programs: Edmonton City as Museum Project (ECAMP), Funding Indigenous Resurgence in Edmonton (FIRE), and Heritage Community Investment Program (HCIP).
Edmonton City as Museum Project emerged from the desire to create an inclusive city museum about Edmonton. It continues as a multi-platform initiative that is accessible, largely virtual, and rooted in the community.
ECAMP’s newest permanent virtual exhibition, Edmonton Living Rooms, is a collection of documents, written and recorded stories, and interactive features exploring the diverse ways diaspora communities make Edmonton their home through vital living spaces.
The next ECAMP exhibit, the Commonwealth Walkway Indigenous Expansion, invites Edmontonians and visitors alike down into our River Valley to discover the stories of Indigenous communities from time immemorial to the 21st century. These new stories, some including the history of Indigenous Peoples’ relationship with trade, ceremony, and each other down in the river valley, will be available Spring 2024.
These complement the existing stories on the Commonwealth Walkway app, but importantly bring new perspectives and voices to challenge our perceptions of the dominant narrative of Edmonton’s River Valley.
We are currently recruiting for an ECAMP Coordinator who will be leading innovative public programming. If you think you’d be a great fit, please check out the posting.
We will be releasing our ECAMP Call for Stories this spring. If you’re interested in sharing an Edmonton heritage story but don’t know where to start, have a look at some past entries in our collection:
THE HILL: The Secret Edge of Downtown by Darrin Hagen
Filipino Pioneers of Edmonton by Ida Beltran Lucila
The Winterburn Woodland by Gian Marco Visconti
Edmonton Streetcar 33: The Highs and Lows of a Public Transit Vehicle by Adeline Panamaroff
Leilani Muir and Eugenics in Alberta by Kristine Kowalchuk
Since its emergence from the 2020 symposium Reconciliation & Resurgence: Heritage Practice in Post-TRC Edmonton, this grant program has provided funding for projects that reignite the living heritage of First Nations, Métis and Inuit, connected to traditional practices and protocols. FIRE is a first-of-its-kind program in Edmonton, working side-by-side with applicants to develop their projects to full grant applications by connecting them to Knowledge Keepers, professional resources, community partners, and direct mentorship on the funding process.
In 2023, FIRE distributed a total of $154,300 to 17 exceptional projects advancing Indigenous resurgence in our city. We received a record number of applications to the program, totaling 38 across the two 2023 intakes.
This year’s FIRE grant materials are available now! Applications are due April 22, 2024.
In addition to FIRE’s funding stream, EHC supports community–driven projects such as the iskwehew kamik (Women’s Firsts Lodge) in partnership with Edmonton Public Library, and City of Edmonton and led by Elders Jo-Ann and Jerry Saddleback. The ceremony resulted in rites of passage for 30 women and two–spirit people. Nine individuals received Cree names and many more built invaluable new connections to traditional knowledge in our city.
An upcoming FIRE and ECAMP collaboration will be the FIRE Spotlight Series. This will provide Edmontonians with access to a series of events highlighting the important work of local Treaty 6 Indigenous heritage practitioners, educators and storytellers. The series will focus in particular on contemporary topics such as Indigenous resurgence on the land, language preservation and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).
Read more about FIRE-funded projects.
In 2023, our longest-running program had a 28% increase in applications to all streams, with $560,000 allocated for the year. For 2024, we are developing a new portal to increase accessibility and enhance user experience for applicants. We are reviewing our existing grant streams to ensure the funding supports match the community’s needs.
Read more about HCIP-funded projects.
We’re looking forward to a year that continues to build connections between Edmontonians with their history and heritage, through EHC’s support for the many organizations dong this work, as well as the direct storytelling and heritage experiences in EHC’s programming. Thanks for your continued support, and don’t hesitate to connect if you have a project idea. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (ECAMP), email@example.com (FIRE) or firstname.lastname@example.org (HCIP) to learn more about each of these programs.