Call for members – Indigenous Heritage Working Group

Following the unanimous approval of a resolution to develop practices to better understand and conserve indigenous cultural heritage by the ICOMOS General Assembly in Delhi in December 2017, an ad hoc committee of members from various ICOMOS National Committees and International Scientific Committees initiated the steps leading to the creation of the ICOMOS Indigenous Heritage Working Group (IHWG). The Working Group is now launching a call for members.

The overall aim of the Indigenous Heritage Working Group (IHWG) is to serve as an ICOMOS international platform for indigenous heritage leaders together with non-indigenous practitioners to identify and develop the knowledge, understanding and conservation of indigenous cultural heritage. The mandate of the working group is specifically about delivering outcomes for Indigenous heritage and is not about managing or speaking on behalf of Indigenous people. The work of the IHWG is a critical aspect of ICOMOS’ ability to meet its mandate of providing guidance on the conservation of cultural heritage and on supporting the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

Requirements for membership

This call for membership of the IHWG is open to ICOMOS members from a variety of disciplines with experience in indigenous heritage who wish to contribute to the mission and objectives of the Working Group. While we understand there may be many members with experience in working with Indigenous heritage in a range of ways, please note that in this first call, preference will be given to Indigenous members with knowledge, responsibility or experience in identifying, managing, caring for or interpreting Indigenous Heritage.

Work of the IHWG

The IHWG will, in consultation with its Focal Point (to be appointed), and the board liaison develop a triennial work plan which includes proposed tasks, timelines and deliverables as appropriate.

The IHWG will

  • With the Focal Point and in liaison with the Board of ICOMOS, review the IHWG guidelines after 12 months to ensure they facilitate the smooth running of the IHWG and where necessary simplify or improve them.
  • Work with other ICOMOS bodies i.e., the Board, International Secretariat, Advisory Committee and its Scientific Council, other Working Groups, National and International Scientific Committees to ensure coherence across ICOMOS with regards to indigenous heritage related activities.
  • Initiate, support and engage with various indigenous heritage related projects being undertaken by ICOMOS, as outlined in the triennial work plan and /or as requested by the Director General or by the Board.
  • Provide technical advice to the Board of ICOMOS if needed on relevant issues.
  • Support and engage the ICOMOS network.
  • Monitor progress and support ICOMOS members/bodies in engaging with the framework established in the IHWG guidelines.
  • Complete an annual report of activities and achievements in the template provided by the Advisory Committee of ICOMOS.

How to apply to be part of the IHWG

Nominations for membership should be sent via your National Committee or International Scientific Committee to the International Secretariat by 3rd April 2024.

Your application must include:

  • Name of nominee/applicant; name of nominating National Committee or ISC; ICOMOS Membership Number,
  • A short bio (400-word max) stating:
    • the experience and qualifications of the nominee and
    • whether or not the Nominee identifies as an Indigenous person, and if so
    • the cultural affiliation/ Indigenous community the nominee is from
    • whether or not the nominee meets the ICOMOS criteria for Emerging Professional
  • A brief statement (250 words) indicating how you might contribute to the IHWG.