Interpretation is a diverse field. It’s what attracts many of us to this career and we at Interpretation Canada celebrate it. Our members work in science centres, parks, museums, aquariums, gardens, historic sites and more, interpreting a broad range of topics to audiences of all ages, cultures, and genders.
But is diversity appropriately reflected in our staff and colleagues? Do the experts we regularly hear from accurately represent the diversity of those who work in our field? Who aren’t we hearing from?
We will be exploring these ideas as we connect interpreters from coast to coast to coast during our 2018 online conference.
Registration is now closed.
Keynote Speaker: Colleen Dilenschneider
Blind Spots And Brain Tricks: Overcoming Biases To Become A Data-Driven Heritage Organization
The human mind can be sneaky! Colleen Dilenschneider helps organizations understand the motivations, behaviors, and expectations of their visitors and supporters, and she knows first-hand that it isn’t enough to simply collect and interpret data in order to create change. Colleen is the Chief Market Engagement Officer of IMPACTS Research & Development and the author of the popular website, Know Your Own Bone. To be successful in understanding audiences, leaders benefit by first understanding how cognitive biases unknowingly hold us back from successful heritage interpretation and embracing diverse voices. In this keynote, Colleen will not only underscore why the use of data is important, but shine a light on the inner workings of one of the biggest obstacles to achieving success: Our own minds. Attend this keynote prepared to learn more about how to successfully integrate data within your organization, and ready to learn a bit more about your own mind in the process!
Wednesday, October 10, 11:00 a.m. EDT: Colleen Dilenschneider, Know Your Own Bone
Wednesday, October 10, 2:00 p.m. EDT: Glen Hvenegaard, University of Alberta
Thursday, October 11, 11:00 a.m. EDT: Chance Finegan - Beyond Land Acknowledgements: Reconciliation and Interpreting Indigeneity
Thursday, October 11, 2:00 p.m. EDT: Annual General Meeting and 2019 Conference Announcement
Friday, October 12, 11:00 a.m. EDT: Ellen Gasser - Engaging Cultural Communities in Interpreting Living History
Friday, October 12, 12:30 p.m. EDT: Reed Osler - A Story of Diversity: Interpretation with inner city youth on Galiano Island, BC
Friday, October 12, 2:00 p.m. EDT: Amanda Foote - Our Stories Intertwine: Interpretation from Personal Perspective with Autistic Youth, Local Community, and Traditional Interpreters
Glen Hvenegaard, University of Alberta - My staff don't agree with me? Diverse staff perspectives on the target outcomes of personal interpretation
Personal interpretation is a key management tool to help visitors discover, value, conserve, and enjoy parks. However, inconsistencies among park staff perceptions of interpretive goals, planning, delivery, and outcomes can be problematic for park systems implementing results-based planning approaches. This workshop seeks to understand differences in perceptions by park staff, explore the meaning of those differences, and design a plan to move forward collectively. The workshop will include: 1) an overview of past research and concerns; 2) a case study of staff perceptions within Alberta Parks; and 3) sharing of common concerns and strategies from workshop participants.
Chance Finegan, York University - Beyond Land Acknowledgements: Reconciliation and Interpreting Indigeneity
Canada occupies an Indigenous landscape thousands of years old. Interpreting this is challenging; it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the task or afraid of ‘doing it wrong.’ Add to this the burdens conservation has often imposed on Indigenous peoples – including forced evictions, misrepresentation by interpreters, and sacred site mismanagement – and reconciliation seems difficult to achieve. Where do we go from here? How should interpreters present the full story of Canada? In this session, we explore how heritage sites can reconcile with Indigenous peoples. We will discuss specific examples and you will learn best-practices for working with Indigenous heritage.
Reed Osler, Galiano Conservancy - A Story of Diversity: Interpretation with inner city youth on Galiano Island, BC.
Are you looking for inspiration and ideas for diversity in Interpretation from audiences to organizational approaches to fundraising and community engagement? The Galiano Conservancy Association (GCA) is a small non-profit organization in BC’s Gulf Islands. With limited resources it delivers innovative, hands-on, environmental interpretation programs to thousands of inner city youth from Metro Vancouver and Southern Vancouver Island every year.
Through unique and diverse fundraising efforts the GCA offers bursaries to many of these groups who otherwise wouldn’t have access to environmental interpretation in a wilderness setting. In this workshop you will follow the story of a group of inner city youth coming to Galiano: beginning with a unique fundraising event that engages local community support, to receiving a bursary, to participating in a life changing outdoor, environmental interpretation program.
Ellen Gasser, Heritage Park Historical Society - Engaging Cultural Communities in Interpreting Living History
Ten years ago Heritage Park Historical Village launched two independent and ground breaking projects to provide stronger cultural interpretation. The “Little Synagogue” exhibit, initiated by the Jewish Community of Calgary, in partnership with Heritage Park, provides thousands of visitors annually the opportunity to learn from a team of enthusiastic Jewish Interpreters. The Aboriginal program was funded by a generous private donation and developed by Heritage Park staff, working with Indigenous staff and advisors. First Nations Interpreters actively engage guests through hands on activities and cultural demonstrations, building bridges of understanding between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people. Both programs ensure Jewish and First Nations communities are represented and their voices are heard telling their story.
Amanda Foote, Lougheed House Historic Site and Museum - Our Stories Intertwine: Interpretation from Personal Perspective with Autistic Youth, Local Community, and Traditional Interpreters
Lougheed House is exploring new ways to help community find meaning at our site. Given the nature of Historic House museums, we feel compelled to contribute to reconciliation, and to ensure our site has dynamic value for the contemporary world. Interpreters are integral to this work, contributing to diversifying the stories we tell, and helping us expand the way history can be used. This presentation will share how our interpreters have been active in transitioning our story from a colonial grand family narrative, and will also discuss some of the challenges we’ve had in this process.