Telling a new story at Batoche National Historic Site
I was hired by Parks Canada to facilitate a media planning process with members of the Métis Community for Batoche National Historic Site. The intent was to use interpretive media to foster a holistic understanding of Métis history, Métis community, and Métis language, arts, and culture.
We completed the whole interpretive planning process under three months. Parks Canada facilitated and coordinated partner interviews, with prominent Métis people and organizations including local artists, politicians, academics, Métis Nation Local 51 and the Gabriel Dumont Institute. We conducted about 23 hours of stakeholder interviews to identify a new way of approaching non-personal interpretation at the site, shifting the interpretive narrative from a focus on the Resistance of 1885 to a broader and more well-rounded story, with 1885 as a chapter within that story. We engaged in a fairly intensive facilitation process all via Zoom (thanks, Covid) and presented our concepts back to the Métis community. From these consultations came the project’s goals, storyline, and interpretive approach. It was one of the most efficient collaborative processes I have been involved with.
This project really solidified my belief in a thorough “What We Heard” presentation to any community I consult with. We gathered the community members for a full, illustrated hour of “This is what we heard from you; this is how we’re putting it into practice.” It worked.