Government of Canada Appoints Sarah Jerome new Northwest Territories member to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

News release

May 6, 2021                           Ottawa, Ontario                             Parks Canada Agency

The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, helps connect Canadians with our shared history and better understand the present and each other. Each national historic designation makes a unique contribution to the complex tapestry of stories that make up our past and collectively contribute to our identity.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced the appointment of Ms. Sarah Jerome as the Northwest Territories representative for the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC).

An elder with the Gwich’in Nation, Ms. Jerome is highly involved in teaching Indigenous knowledge to youth in the Inuvik region. She spent over two decades as an educator in a variety of capacities and participated in the development of the Indigenous curriculum that is now taught throughout the territory. Ms. Jerome was the Language Commissioner for the Northwest Territories from 2009-2013. She continues to be actively involved in promoting the history, culture, traditions, and languages of northern people.

The Framework for History and Commemoration, introduced in 2019, supports the work of Parks Canada and the HSMBC in designating places, persons, and events of national historic significance and encourages new and diverse types of public nominations. The Framework supports this commitment and prioritizes an audience-focused approach that is more inclusive, and presents the diversity of Canada's history, including the history of Indigenous people.

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national significance of persons, places, and events that have marked history in Canada. Parks Canada supports the Board's work with professional and administrative services, including the conduct of historical and archaeological research needed for evaluating applications. Together, Parks Canada and the Board ensure that subjects of national historic significance are recognized and these important stories are shared with Canadians.



“Ms. Jerome brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and an essential Indigenous perspective to the Board. She joins a passionate group of individuals who care deeply about telling the stories of our past for the benefit of Canadians today and for future generations. Ms. Jerome’s knowledge and expertise will further advance the important work the Board has done for over a century to commemorate the people, places and events that have shaped history in Canada.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada 

“I take my role as an elder seriously – I must pass on the traditional knowledge entrusted to me by my own elders. I feel it is important for Indigenous voices to be at the table and I want to be able to help others learn and have a say on what persons, places and events are designated nationally significant, ensuring the system represents all Canadians. I feel very strongly that reconciliation will come from everyone working together.” 

Sarah Jerome
Member, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Northwest Territories 

“As an elder, educator, and community leader, Ms. Jerome is an outstanding choice to represent the Northwest Territories on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Her knowledge and passion will shape the future of the Board and help ensure the diverse stories of Canada are remembered and better understood, now and for future generations.”

Mr. Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories.

Quick facts

  • The HSMBC is composed of a representative from each province and territory, as well as the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, an officer of the Canadian Museum of History, and an officer of Parks Canada.

  • To date, based on recommendations from the HSMBC, the Government of Canada has designated over 2,150 national historic sites, events, and persons. 

  • In addition to making recommendations regarding designations of national historic significance, the HSMBC provides advice on Heritage Railway Stations, Heritage Lighthouses, and the National Program for the Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers.

  • Approximately 90 percent of nominations brought forward for the consideration of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada originate from members of the public. For more information on how to nominate a historic person, place or event of importance, please visit Parks Canada’s website:

  • The Government of Canada is committed to an open, transparent, and merit-based process for selecting Governor in Council’s appointees, to encourage continued trust in Canada’s democracy and ensure the integrity of its public institutions. The selection process reflects the fundamental role that Governor in Council’s appointees play in our democracy as they serve on commissions, boards, Crown corporations, agencies, and tribunals across the country.

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Matthew Dillon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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