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Native CultureWhile many organizations, such as Historica, focus on traditional history and formal and informal education about the significant people and events comprising this academic discipline, the Heritage Community Foundation has chosen the area of “contested history” for its focus. In practical terms, this means Aboriginal, Francophone, diversity and pluralism. In the main, this research hitherto has resulted in websites such as the Celebrating Alberta’s Italian Community and Albertans: Who Do They Think They Are?

A project which gives the Foundation pioneer status in the area of research into contested history is the Nature’s Laws Project, which explores the legal codes and traditional governance of First Nations in the areas of Treaties 6, 7 and 8. Phase 1 of the project has been accomplished with a manuscript for a book and the Nature’s Laws website. The Aboriginal Youth Identity Edukit series also builds public understanding of Aboriginal history, culture, traditions and achievements.

The Foundation is currently working on the 11,000 Years of Aboriginal Achievement DVD which involves documentation of Aboriginal centenary projects throughout Alberta. The Foundation has partnered with over 40 Aboriginal organizations including the Government of Canada’s National Aboriginal Day Committee to accomplish this documentation and video record.  Another research project is the Elders Voices website, which involves partnering with Aboriginal organizations in a cultural memory project involving oral histories.  Both projects are Aboriginal centennial legacy projects and received funding support from Alberta Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.