A project conducted by Heritage NL highlighting a number of skills and crafts at risk of disappearing forever has been recognized with the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.
Heritage NL identified 55 skills and crafts in Newfoundland and Labrador, many of which used to be commonplace, which are at risk of being lost forever. Some of those were identified as critically endangered as known practitioners age—while one craft is listed has already having become extinct.
The list includes things like bark tanning, grasswork, millinery, harness making, tinsmithing, and the making of birch brooms.
The initial report, released in 2021, resulted in a mentor-apprenticeship program to allow people with the knowledge to pass their skills down.
Executive Director Dale Jarvis jokes that the project taught them a lot of things, including how much was left out.
He says they’re now looking at an updated list to include crafts and skills not previously identified, and to bump up some of previously listed skills that they’ve managed to pull back from the brink.
The award will be presented by Governor General Mary Simon at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday.