RCE Saskatchewan - 2019

Knowledge Mobilization, Local Community Engagement, and Sustainability: The White Butte Ecomuseum Ecology Heritage Project
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Knowledge Mobilization, Local Community Engagement, and Sustainability: The White Butte Ecomuseum Ecology Heritage Project
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Saskatchewan
Contributing organization(s) : 
The White Butte Ecomuseum, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Civic Museum of Regina, Calling Lakes Ecomuseum, North Central Community Association, Prairie Wind and Silver Sage Ecomuseum
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Anna Lozhkina
Organizational Affiliation: 
Youth Coordinator, RCE Saskatchewan
Rebecca Otitoju
Organizational Affiliation: 
Chair and White City Council Member
Glenn Sutter
Organizational Affiliation: 
Curator of Human Ecology, Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Rob Deglau
Organizational Affiliation: 
Community Outreach Coordinator, Civic Museum of Regina
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Education for Sustainable Development policies (UNESCO)
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Environmental Protection and Sustainability policy
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Sense of Place
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Town of White City (14 Ramm Ave E, White City, SK S4L 5B1)
University of Regina (3737 Wascana Pkwy, Regina, SK S4S 0A2)
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The White Butte region is defined by the Aspen Parkland Ecoregion within the Wascana Creek Watershed and centered on the communities of Treaty Four, White City, Balgonie, Pilot Butte and the Rural Municipality of Edenwold, including the Lower Qu’Appelle Region of the Wascana Watershed in the Aspen Parkland Ecoregion that begins east of Regina near the White Butte Trails. People in the regiona are more curious about their past and its links to the present, particularly among younger people. The Region has been developing a stronger sense of community, although significant differences appear over land use, waterways, and infrastructure.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
One of the key issues is to engage the community in a discovery process and to act as stewards of the heritage assets/issues that are identified by the community as relevant to ‘place-making’. The White Butte Ecomuseum of Saskatchewan provides educational opportunities in regards to the natural environment of the region and the human interactions of the past and present with the natural environment. It is also a priority to highlight how humans have interacted and continue to interact with the natural environment of the region.
September, 2017
The project is focused on facilitating the ecomuseums collaboration, community engagement and volunteer programming to launch and support ecological and educational initiatives. The novel concepts of the ecomuseums and social learning, combined with developing networks and partnerships between the ecomuseums, knowledge institutions and the communities will result in enhanced awareness and actions, and greater opportunities for fostering local governance.
It is essential to ensure a community-driven component by providing the opportunities for the communities to determine what they value in telling their cultural heritage stories. To make the practices sustainable, the power of storytelling, social media, and volunteer support is needed. Inclusivity implies that everyone can contribute and every story through the broad timeline of human contact with this place will be expanded upon the cultural heritage inheritance of the region.
An open ease of access to participating and understanding the stories of the region makes the practices and initiatives approachable.
The stories of the region will be accessible to the people of the region, as opportunities will be afforded to the people of the region to participate in telling their stories.
1. To actively participate and promote the ecomuseums initiatives to improve social learning.
2. To describe the evolution of knowledge mobilization, social learning and adaptive governance. This involves documenting governance strategies and facilitating participants’ engagement.
3. To develop and reflect on inter-organizational relationships among the ecomuseums, knowledge institutions, community hubs, and local government.
4. To assess and propose strategies and tools aimed at creating learning infrastructure.
5. To initiate awareness, volunteer, and educational campaigns.
6. To come up with a holistic proposal and policy recommendations aimed at enhancing contributions that ecomuseums can make around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
10 interviews: 6 interviews with board and community members from the ecomuseums (1 interview with the WBE, Civic Museum of Regina, NCCA, and CLEM, and 2 interviews with PWSS) and 4 interviews with public servants and policy analysts at the Ministry of Agriculture to gather their perceptions about sustainability and adaptive governance.
Experiential lessons on environmental science and sustainability were delivered to students (Grade 4 and Grade 6) from École White City School.
Participation in regular meetings with the RCE facilitation group allowed to present proposed strategies and tools to the ecomuseums’ and communities’ members.
Size of academic audience: 
50; will increase after publishing - 100 (including European connections with the Academy of Social Technologies)
From delivering the environmental lessons: enhanced students’ environmental awareness, learning through outdoor play and discovery, developing opportunities to use the environment as a tool to enrich curricular learning.
Project facilitators engaged the campus community in understanding this research and its importance and received more support from Saskatchewan Museums Asssociations, the Royal Saskatchewam Museum, and 6 Ecomuseums. 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted, the project was presented to the Ecomuseums Network. Project facilitators participated in 14 meetings with stakeholders, presented a project at the Conservation EXPO conference, networked with environmental scientists, and came up with proposals for the Ecomuseums.
It was discovered that the ecomuseums can be considered as an example of institutions of social coordination and sites for knowledge mobilization preserving local resources and heritage, disseminating knowledge about it, and facilitating connections and interactions with community members, educational institutions, other communities, and local government.
The ecomuseum members interviewed perceive sustainability with regard to the social and economic development of the communities and recognize the importance of preserving local heritage (natural and cultural) and disseminating knowledge about it, engaging the communities to sustain initiatives, creating employment and tourism opportunities.
Lessons learned: 
To enhance the processes of knowledge mobilization and social learning, the interviewees mentioned the key role of universities and knowledge institutions in collaborating with the ecomuseums and facilitating community events and sustainability initiatives, supporting community efforts to implement their projects and receive credibility, and helping find and engage volunteers to sustain programs. In identifying major issues and concerns, it is essential to give more credit to a community opinion. Intergenerational knowledge exchange is crucial in mobilizing knowledge. A communication strategy helps facilitate governance and foster community engagement, public dialogue, while brand and image campaigns enhance the ecomuseums’ credibility.
Key messages: 
The project focuses on the role of the ecomuseums from the Ecomuseum Network in Saskatchewan in facilitating sustainability initiatives and mobilizing knowledge about local heritage, as well as their potential to improve social learning practices in the future and influence local and community decision-making.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Participation in regular meetings with the RCE facilitation group in Saskatchewan allowed to present proposed strategies and tools to interested parties and members. Those networking opportunities were enhanced through the collaboration on sustainability science after delivering the experiential lessons, creating strategies and initiatives.
The project was also presented at the inaugural RCE Americas Youth Network Virtual Conference on 17 April 2019.
The project was supported through the Mitacs Research Internship program, the Sustainability and Community Engagement Fund at the University of Regina, and by Regina Public Interest Research Group


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon 2_lessons.jpg (321.02 KB) Experiential lessons A. Hall
Image icon 1_Interview.jpg (263.08 KB) Interviewing Civic Museum of Regina
Image icon 3_poster.JPG (1.36 MB) Presenting at the Conservation EXPO conference in Regina A. Lozhkina
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level