The ICATS (Intergovernmental College of Arms and Traditional Societies) is an independent intergovernmental institute established by EUCLID in 2019 and granted a separate Charter and Terms of Reference. In doing so, EUCLID approved both funding and support to the new Institute, which is meant to work closely with ministries of culture, related associations, and museums. (EUCLID is an intergovernmental organization and institution of higher learning established in 2008 under United Nations Treaty Series 49006/49007). 

ICATS receives a mandate in the following areas of studies and activities:

  • promote the study and understanding of traditional societies, both from a historical as well as contemporary perspective
  • promote the study, understanding, and dissemination of related skills, art forms, and structures including traditional heraldry as well as tribal symbolism
  • contribute to interfaith and intercultural studies and activities relevant to traditional societies in the contemporary global context
  • serve as a repository of knowledge and registry for traditional as well as newly designed or granted coat of arms including associated dignities when relevant to traditional societal organizations

Traditional societies are sometimes defined as: “In sociology, traditional society refers to a society characterized by an orientation to the past, not the future, with a predominant role for custom and habit. Such societies are marked by a lack of distinction between family and business, with the division of labor influenced primarily by age, gender, and status.” This is only a partially acceptable definition inasmuch as traditional societies highly value the past while being desirous to properly engage the future. In this regards, ICATS scope of studies interest includes:

  • Traditional religious societies including religious orders (Christian but also Buddhist etc.)
  • Traditional Christian groups including Mennonites and Amish
  • Native societies including Canadian first nation tribes
  • Pacific island traditional societies including Tonga, Vanuatu, etc
  • Traditional African societies including traditional kingdoms
  • European traditional societies (Swiss, ongoing orders of chivalry and nobility).

Membership in ICATS is open to:

  • Full membership: subjects of international law (states through their ministry of culture, intergovernmental organizations)
  • Institutional membership: other qualifying institutions that are not subjects of international law
  • Personal membership: qualifying and interested individuals
Last modified: December 28, 2019