Shuttered church, Battleford SK

Interpretive Storytelling and the Problem of Appropriation

“Can I tell this story?” As an interpretive planner and writer, I find I’m hearing this question more and more often: how do we Settlers know when a story is appropriate for us to tell? How do we know if we have the right to tell it? When is interpretive storytelling a form of cultural appropriation? It’s a good question, and in some ways it’s […]

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It’s time to silence the cannons

Historic weapons demonstrations are popular; I get that. Big old guns are cool, and special events where visitors can not only hear them go boom but wear the uniforms and light the fuses sounds like a great time. But something has been bothering me about these programs for a while now, and the further I delve into the work of truth and reconciliation, the more […]

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we believe

Should parks and museums have free entry?

(This article first appeared in Legacy Magazine, published by the National Association of Interpretation.) When they say “can’t”, we need to re-train our ears to hear “choose not to”. Two years ago, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and visited the Republic of Ireland. Among its many treasures (endless green hillsides, first-rate beer, friendly locals), I discovered that the Irish national museums are free of charge. […]

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