Deschambault Charter for the Preservation of Quebec's Heritage (1982)


ICOMOS Canada

The Deschambault Charter defines the special nature of Quebec's heritage and outlines principles for the preservation of Quebec's material culture, geographic and human environments. The broad definition, which looks not only at the material culture but also at human adaptations to the natural environment, sees cultural landscapes (the result of the interactions of people and nature) as part of the heritage to be protected. Conservation efforts are to be directed at preventing deterioration and destruction of the national heritage. The Charter encourages maintenance of up-to-date inventories and the use of specialized expertise. It also encourages assessment of the importance of the heritage and recommends that the "principles of protection and development of the national heritage must have primacy over all development plans". Citizens are seen as the chief protectors of the heritage the public's right to participate in decisions about national heritage is asserted. The Charter promotes continuous use of the heritage integrated into the social and economic life of the nation, with preference given to traditional use. The Charter encourages the dissemination of information about Quebec's cultural heritage through the educational system and other means in order to make people aware of its value. Finally, it encourages the training of artisans, technicians and professionals.