The Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta, which contains Indigenous rock art, could be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage site, this year.

Members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization are in Baku, Azerbaijian until July 10 to figure out which new sites will be granted World Heritage status.

The World Heritage Committee is also deciding which sites are no longer classified as endangered. This year marks the group’s 43rd session since the UNESCO convention was established in 1976.

UNESCO grants World Heritage status to landmarks or areas deemed to have either cultural, historical, scientific significance, which then go on to be legally protected by international treaties.

This year, there are 35 new sites being nominated by their respective countries. There are currently 1,092 World Heritage sites across the globe, including nearly 20 natural and cultural sites in Canada.

  • For a full list of sites in Canada, including what years they were added, scroll to the bottom

This year, the only Canadian site being considered is the Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, after it was nominated by Parks Canada and the Government of Canada.

The area, which is currently protected prairieland in the Alberta parks system, is home to more than 50 Indigenous rock carvings and paintings.

The Geneva-based non-profit organization The Bradshaw Foundation calls the park the “largest collection of First Nation rock art on the Great Plains of North America.”

There is evidence suggesting people have been living in the region for close to 9,000 years.

The rock art was likely created by the Blackfoot tribe, whose territory traditionally includes the area. At least some of the art was likely being made by the Shoshone tribe which passed through the region.

Other sites currently being considered by UNESCO include Iceland's Vatnajökull National Park, the Danube Limes in Austria and Germany, India’s Jaipur City and the Korean Neo-Confucian Academies in South Korea.

But UNESCO isn’t the only group taking a look at Canada’s cultural or natural heritage sites.

On July 6, the National Trust for Canada, a national charity which renews historic places, is holding its third annual celebration to highlight Canada’s more than 500 areas which, include more than 200 national historic sites.


EIGHT CULTURAL SITES                                                             



  • Pimachiowin Aki (2018)