Inspiring Heritage Moments

Today’s #reverb10 prompt is :

Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

I have adjusted the prompt slightly to include moments where I have felt the most inspired and alive by events relating to history and heritage.

One of the most inspiring moments this year was during a digitization day held by the Huron Shores Museum. This museum is run purely by a dedicated group of volunteers. I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the volunteers. The event allowed me to see the value of local history in small communities and the pride of this community’s history was tangible in the air that day. The Museum’s photos digitized that day and as part of the Community Digitzation Program can be seen here.

Another moment which sticks out from 2010 occurred a little over a month ago. I was invited to participate in the laying of wreathes and a smudge ceremony held in the Shingwauk cemetery. The laying of wreathes and smudging were done in memory of Shingwauk residential school students. It was a moving experience that provided me with a sense of commemoration and connection to the past.

Joining the #reverb10 bandwagon

After seeing a couple of #reverb10 posts I began to read up on the idea and started to debate over participating. Some gentle encouragement helped and I decided to participate in #reverb10.

Since reverb officially began yesterday, I’m writing two posts today to catch up. The December 1st writing prompt was: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

I debated back and forth about my 2010 word, but ultimately decided on discovery. I’ve discovered a lot about myself, my passions, the world around me, community heritage, and the world of public history in this past year. My top three heritage based discoveries include :

* Volunteering as a research associate for the Red Cross’ Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) allowed me to rediscover my joy of archival research.
* My time working with OurOntario and the Community Digitization Program (CDP) helped me rediscovered my love for Northern Ontario heritage, people, and lifestyle.
* This year I also discovered that it is possible to combine my public history interest with other aspects of my life. This discovery eventually resulted in the combing of my traditional historical interest in First Nation-Settler relations with my interest in preservation. This combination took the shape of my new job and I couldn’t be happier about that.

I would like my word for 2011 to be growth. At this time next year I would like to be able to say that I’ve learned something substantial, continued to expand my activities in the public history realm and that professionally I have made a step forward (no matter how small).