The Droulers/Tsiionhiakwatha Archaeological Site and Interpretation Centre in Saint-Anicet has officially been recognized for the first time by the provincial government as an accredited museum.
The Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications announced the new list of approved museum institutions this month after a detailed analysis by museology experts. The accreditation comes in the wake of reforms to the Museum Policy and the recognition process that had been in use since 2001, the year the Droulers/Tsiionhiakwatha site was opened. In all, 149 institutions received this accreditation, which requires that internationally recognized standards of museum practice be applied while ensuring the protection and development of cultural heritage.
Already recognized by both the federal and provincial governments as a National Historic Site, the Droulers/Tsiionhiakwatha site was “at the top of the list,” says Pascal Perron, the director of what is now the first museum in the Haut-Saint-Laurent. He applied, along with 190 other institutions starting last November, to be included in this new wave of museums. It has been a long wait for Perron, but he is pleased that the site, which opened to the public for its 19th season in May, is finally being recognized.
To obtain accreditation, museum institutions must meet the majority of requirements in terms of governance, management of financial, human and physical resources, services to various clientele, as well as the collection, management, and conservation of artefacts, in addition to the dissemination of information and public education.
The accreditation process was developed in consultation with the Table interministérielle des affaires muséales and the Société des musées du Québec. The accreditation is valid for five years.
The new status for the Droulers/Tsiionhiakwatha site could “open some doors” to additional funding, Perron says; however, he is currently more focused on preparations for this season and accommodating the upwards of 15,000 visitors the site receives each year. “My problem for five years has been that I don’t have enough staff, parking or washrooms,” he says, suggesting that all may change as he now has a permit to enlarge the parking area and to install washrooms.
Funds from the Ministry of Tourism will go toward renovating the welcome centre and longhouses, now that he has secured a source for bark. And while the new status will likely mean some changes to come for the site, Perron insists he has no plans to expand beyond the installation’s current size.