Public lecture – Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada: Mapping Nations Without Borders

On Wednesday, June 12, join cartographer Chris Brackley as he discusses his experiences developing the cornerstone map for the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, which was created in collaboration with The Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, The Métis National Council, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

When: Wednesday, June 12 @ 9:00 a.m.
Where: The Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship, Mills Library, first floor

This talk is free and open to the public

About the talk:

At a time when the Canada’s stated relationship with Indigenous Peoples is described as “Nation to Nation”, two questions quickly arise. What are the nations that is Canada building relationships with; and where exactly are these nations? A good place to look for answers to these questions is in map drawers and spatial data warehouses. The language that defines national existence has long been cartography. Drawing border lines on a map creates a bounding box for a collective national identity, allowing a nation to say “inside these lines is where we live”. And of course, bounding a nation on a map asserts the nation’s possession of the land, saying “these lands are ours”.

But the Indigenous peoples of Canada do not have simple contiguous borders defining either their national existence, or their possession of land. They exist as a disconnected patchwork of communities, reserves, treaty areas and settlement lands. So when Chris Brackley was charged with developing the cornerstone map for the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada in collaboration with the project’s partners; The Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, The Métis National Council, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the challenges were many.

Brackley’s talk will explore how he faced and overcame these challenges. Where did the data come from, and how was it categorized, and grouped? With a credible suite of data collected, what cartographic tools did he use to meaningfully show Indigenous Nations within the Nation of Canada? The talk will conclude with a hands-on visit to the 8 x 11m Indigenous Peoples of Canada Giant Floor Map, which will be on display in the nearby McMaster University Student Centre.

This lecture is part of the annual CARTO conference of the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives, which is being hosted by McMaster University Library from June 11-14, 2019.