The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) unveiled its Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. The Atlas includes a four-volume print atlas, one of which is devoted to the Métis Nation, an online interactive atlas with an accompanying app, giant floor maps, and various other educational resources for classrooms that explore themes of language, demographics, economy and culture. Important topics are covered in-depth; the Métis Nation volume explores the history, culture and contributions of the Métis people.

In addition to the Atlas, the RCGS and its partners including the Métis National Council have developed a suite of complementary resources for educators, including five giant floor maps that will circulate among schools across Canada, downloadable tiled maps, and plastic-coated maps for frequent use. These will be accompanied by two teaching guides — one for elementary students and one for secondary students. Alongside the old-school paper atlas is a free app that puts the knowledge in your pocket, including a geo-locator that tells you on which Indigenous nation’s territory you stand.

“For the Métis Nation, the Indigenous Peoples Atlas helps set the stage for a better understanding of the Métis people and our role in Canada’s development, both historical and ongoing,” said Clément Chartier, President of the Métis National Council. “Educational resources such as the Atlas are critically important in telling that long neglected story.”

Métis Nation elder Oliver Boulette represented the Métis Nation at the reception for the Atlas in the stunning new headquarters of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society alongside Rideau Falls in the nation’s capital. He spoke of the central importance of the fiddle in the culture and identity of the Métis people. Joined by guitarist Al Desjarlais, he performed a number of classic Métis tunes on the fiddle. Other dignitaries addressing the reception were RCGS representatives, federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, and Inuit leader Natan Obed.

Download the IPAC Backgrounder: (PDF)

In the meantime, you may also want to check out these stories and resources related to the Atlas project:

Mapping Indigenous languages in Canada

An interactive history of residential schools

Interview: Mapping the displacement of Sixties Scoop adoptees

Interactive map: Exploring Alberta’s eight Métis settlements

Métis Elder Oliver Boulette speaks at the launch event

Giant floor map

Oliver Boulette and John Weinstein looking at the Giant Map

Métis musicians Oliver Boulette and Al Desjarlais perform at the launch event

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