Humboldt is a city that cares about its heritage.
That was the message brought to the community during three Heritage Values meetings held at the Humboldt and District Museum and Gallery on June 21.
At the meetings, Patricia Fiori, the project facilitator, presented the Humboldt Heritage Project to the community.
Fiori is the director of Linke Fiori Services. The company offers learning and facilitation services.
The Heritage Project was created in 2008, when the museum board of directors was asked by Humboldt City Council to develop a heritage policy as part of the municipality's development of a new official community plan, said Fiori.
Instead of the board deciding what they thought was important to Humboldt's heritage and culture, they opted to get outside help.
They hired Fiori to work closely with the board and the museum director, Jennifer Hoegsen.
Together they came up with the idea to have a community dialogue to define what the citizens of Humboldt believed was important to preserve the city's unique heritage and culture, said Fiori.
Through a series of workshops and interviews with the citizens they came up with a list of heritage themes and resources.
They put together a report to present the project to the public.
Every member of the audience was given a copy of the report to follow along as Fiori explained the project.
"What you see in this document is what the community said was important," said Fiori.
There were 12 theme statements created.
Together, the 12 themes represent what the citizens of Humboldt believe is important to preserve the culture of the city.
"Each theme statement is based on a set of values the community of Humboldt believes," said Fiori.
The theme statements all have a list of heritage resources.
These resources are what the community believes best represent the values and history expressed in the statements, said Fiori.
"In order to preserve this story, these resources are the most important historical examples," said Fiori.
The themes consisted of everything from the role faith has played in Humboldt to the importance of green spaces in the community.
One of the themes that is truly unique to the identity of Humboldt is the role Humboldt's German heritage has played in the founding and development of the community.
"It isn't just a statement of heritage value, it's a clear statement of historical fact," said Fiori.
Another theme discussed was the fact that Humboldt's heritage was built on the foresight, initiative and hard work of our ancestors.
Citizens believed the first pioneers, the Weldons and all the people who, over the century, worked hard to make Humboldt what it is today deserved to be recognized, said Fiori.
Humboldt is the first Saskatchewan community to create a Heritage project like this one.
"You'd be pretty hard pressed to (find) another community doing this," said Fiori.
She said often projects like this one are done for personal reasons, such as a donation to preserve a resource.
"In this case, the focus is not in the heritage resources... we asked, 'What is important?' to the community," said Fiori.
They wanted to focus on the building of a healthy community.
"It isn't just a question of what we're going to preserve from the past... our decisions impact the future," said Fiori.
"So it's about what to preserve what we have, but also what we are going to do in the future."
Audience members were concerned about the restrictions this Heritage Project may impose on the future growth of the city.
Fiori explained the project should not restrict growth and "this isn't the standard to live up to, it's what (has) come out of people's values."
Fiori hopes the community will stay interested in this project and keep it up-to-date as time goes on.
The 12 Heritage themes
1. Faith has played a prominent role in the history of Humboldt
2. Humboldt has a high quality of life; its citizens have experienced a history of prosperity and sustainable growth
3. The arts and sports have excelled in the life of Humboldt
4. Humboldt has actively built and expanded places for socialization which have created a sense of belonging for everyone
5. Humboldt has always been a hub for this region of Saskatchewan
6. Humboldtonians are proactive planners for the future through community involvement and good leadership
7. Humboldt has invested in green spaces and natural environments which have promoted healthy outdoor life
8. Our heritage has been built on the foresight, initiative and hard work of our ancestors
9. Residents have a tradition of being community-focused
10. Humboldt is a community with a strong sense of identity and connectedness
11. Humboldt's German heritage has played a major role in the founding and development of the community
12. Citizen groups have taken an active role in the preservation of heritage