SOURCE: Canadian Geographic Enterprises

Canadian Geographic Enterprises

June 09, 2017 11:27 ET

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society announces a Canadian first: The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - June 09, 2017) - At the prestigious new headquarters of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society on Sussex Drive, the Society's CEO, John Geiger, announced Canadian Geographic's new project, The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada.

For Geiger, atlases are great tools to bring people together for a common cause. "It is our hope that this atlas will help Canadians to build a better understanding of our Indigenous Peoples, appreciate their contribution to building our great country, and ultimately begin the process of reconciliation."

This ambitious, ground-breaking educational resource is unprecedented in scope, in the level of Indigenous participation and Indigenous-led content creation. The Atlas content will be produced in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the Métis National Council (MNC), the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Indspire. These partners represent unparalleled breadth, depth of knowledge, expertise and strong ties to their respective communities and networks. They will contribute to various aspects of the project from content and design, to promotion, distribution and integration into classroom use.

Lack of appropriate educational and financial resources for Canada's Indigenous students has long been cited as a contributing factor to the marginalization of Indigenous communities. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made a strong call to action in its report, citing education in Indigenous communities as a top priority.

This unique Indigenous-led educational project will provide Indigenous students with a much-needed tool kit to help them learn more about their people, geography and culture. The Atlas will also provide Canadians with a valuable resource to build a better and more informed relationship with Canada's Indigenous Peoples.

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada will include the print atlas, an online interactive atlas and app, giant floor maps, and various other types of maps for educators, along with a teachers' guide. These teaching resources will be available to all Indigenous schools and to over 19,000 Canadian Geographic Education members. The process of developing the Atlas will also build a constructive working relationship, which will help to develop future Indigenous-led content and perspectives, in school curricula across Canada.

The project aims to ensure that Indigenous voices are heard and understood.

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada is funded by the Government of Canada and for the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the map will make a positive contribution to Canada's educational landscape and will be a distinct and long-lasting way to mark Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation.

"There is no relationship more important to our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples. That is why we are pleased to support the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and its partners in their initiative to provide Canadians with a new Indigenous educational resource," says The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. "As we continue down the path of reconciliation, let's work to ensure that the next 150 years are marked by respect, co-operation and partnership with Indigenous Peoples."

The Atlas partners are encouraged by the project and its aim to get Indigenous-led teaching tools into educators' classrooms. "The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada will be an invaluable learning resource that will educate Canadians on the unique history, and geographic distribution of the people of the Métis Nation as well as the territories the Métis opened up in Canada's northwest," says Guy Freedman, Senior Policy Advisor for the Métis National Council.

Similarly, Roberta Jamieson, CEO of Indspire, says her organization is thrilled to be a part of this much-needed educational initiative. "The Atlas provides resources for all Canadians to better understand our shared geography and positions us to build healthy relationships for the future."

And in this time of reconciliation, Ry Moran, Director, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation says exposing Canadians to Indigenous concepts of the land and of Canada is essential. "The maps we draw today are often not reflective of the traditional territories and other ways of seeing the land through the eyes of Indigenous Peoples."

The Atlas and resources will be distributed by January 2018 and remain available for use even after the initial project ends.

Contact Information

  • Media Information
    Anne Marie Gabriel, CAE
    VP, Communications & Marketing
    Indspire
    Phone: 416 987 0260
    Cell: 226 920 5928
    Email: agabriel@indspire.ca

    Guy Freedman
    Senior Policy Advisor
    Metis National Council
    Phone: (613) 232-3216
    Cell: 613-513-5988
    Email: guy@firstpeoplesgroup.com

    Tina Munroe
    Administrative Assistant
    National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
    Main Line: 204-480-1093
    Toll Free: 1-855-415-4534
    Tina.Munroe@umanitoba.ca

    Patricia D'Souza
    Senior Communications Officer
    Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
    Phone: 613 292 4482
    Email: Dsouza@itk.ca

    Deborah Chapman
    Communications Manager
    Royal Canadian Geographical Society
    Phone: (613) 745-4629 ext. 160
    Cell: (613) 299-8995
    Email: chapman@rcgs.org