On 27 February 2023, our Director-General Webber Ndoro had the honour of meeting the President and CEO of Parks Canada, Ron Hallman, during a visit to Ottawa. Also present was Patricia Kell, Executive Director of Cultural Heritage at Parks Canada and member of the ICCROM Council.
Parks Canada is an agency of the Canadian government responsible for protecting and managing national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas across the country. Established in 1911, Parks Canada is the world's first national park service and has been instrumental in preserving Canada's natural and cultural heritage for over a century.
Parks Canada manages 48 national parks, 171 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas. These areas are home to a diverse range of wildlife, plant species, and cultural resources of national and international significance.
Parks Canada's efforts to protect and promote Canada's natural and cultural heritage have been recognized internationally. Eleven of Canada's national parks and historic sites have been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, and Parks Canada continues to work to protect and manage these sites through inclusive approaches and a wide range of educational programmes and activities.
One of Parks Canada's key priorities is to work with Indigenous communities to ensure that their perspectives and cultural values are incorporated into the management of national parks and historic sites. Through partnerships with Indigenous groups, Parks Canada is working to develop new programmes and initiatives that promote a deeper understanding of their history and culture.
Indigenous heritage was a main topic of the meeting, and a theme ICCROM seeks to continue discussing through fruitful collaborations with Canadian partners. Canada has been a Member State of ICCROM since 1978, and several Canadian conservation thinkers and professionals have played an important role in helping shape our work and approach to the care and promotion of heritage. We look forward to strengthening this cooperation through new partnerships and initiatives.