This website section is part of a much larger Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website. This post is about the “Map Room” section specifically. This site includes a plethora of maps on Canadian First Nation communities and topics. Map topics range from census information, information about K-12 schools on reservations, and the distribution of residential school survivor settlements by province. Two interactive maps that I found particularly interesting were:
First Nation Profiles Interactive Map: Lists First Nations in Canada. By clicking on First Nation icon on the map, you can view demographic information about the First Nation. Furthermore, many also include links to community run websites.
Interactive Map on Specific Claim Settlements: Successful land claims are represented as orange dots on the map. Clicking on the dots reveals the name of the claim, the settlement date, the dollar amount of the settlement, and the province. This is useful for seeing where claims have been made and for what reasons.
These maps are excellent for use in a Canadian History or a Global Issues classroom.
This website is a resource for journalists who work with indigenous communities. It was created by Duncan McCue, who is a CBC journalist. McCue has also been a professor at the UBC School of Journalism. I found the most useful section of the website to be a Reporter’s Checklist. While the is written with a great deal of humour, it also serves as a valuable list of cultural concerns journalists should be mindful of when working in indigenous communities (e.g., Have you requested permission to film or photograph a ceremony? What are the protocols about naming, or using the image of, a deceased person in this Aboriginal community?). In the Teachings section, reporters who have worked with indigenous communities are encouraged to leave blog posts about their experiences in an effort to build “collective wisdom”. The Resources section is a collection of links to sites that can help reporters build their understanding of indigenous issues in Canada.
8th Fire is a four-part mini-series from CBC that examines the past, present, and future of Canada’s relationship to its indigenous peoples. The mini-series’ website includes many resources relevant to indigenous knowledge. Two that I want to highlight are “Maps” and “Aboriginal Filmmakers”.
The “Maps” section includes a series of thematic maps that can be layered over the map of Canada. One map is a Stories Map, which includes dispatches from different First Nation voices across Canada. These dispatches focus on a variety of topics including history and culture to economic development projects. The Treaties and Land Claims map provides a visual overview of historic treaties, Peace and Friendship Treaties, settled land claims areas, and unsettled land claims areas.
The “Aboriginal Filmmakers” section profiles a handful of Aboriginal filmmakers. Profiles are linked to “dispatches” that the filmmakers have created for CBC as part of the 8th Fire Series. Most of these dispatches are short documentaries. I feel this dispatch from Jessie Fraser is timely with our recent discussions around Inuit in Nunavut: An Inuk Reporter in Iqaluit
This organization began as an Australia Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project, and has to date conducted three major research projects. These projects focus primarily on the relationship between the Australian government and indigenous Australians. The projects are:
2002- Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements with Indigenous Peoples in Settler States; their Role and Relevance.
2006- The Implementation of Agreements and Treaties with Indigenous and Local Peoples in Postcolonial States.
2010 – Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: Economic Empowerment, Wealth Creation and Institutional Reform for Sustainable Indigenous and Local Communities.
In addition to this research, the site includes a plethora of information relating to agreements that have been made between indigenous peoples and governments in Australia and globally. One particularly useful feature is a Latest News feed, which provides “land-claim” related stories from around the world. This feature is useful because in addition to the link, it provides background context and a short summation. ATNS also hosted a major symposium in June of 2013 focusing on indigenous and land claims issues in Australia. Many of the conference sessions are available for online streaming. Topics include “Co-management: agreement making for Cultural and Economic Sustainability” and “Getting the Benefit from Delivering Benefits: Relationship Building in Native Title Negotiations”.
The Globe and Mail article explains how Ray Harris, a Stz’uminus First Nation elder, and an anthropologist from the University of Victoria used Google Maps to map traditional territory. The map they created includes a plethora of indigenous knowledge that would not appear on a regular Google Map, such as the location of a sea wolf petroglyph, the site of a no-longer-standing residential school, and a seagull egg harvesting site.
This has potential for indigenous education. Specifically, Harris discusses the potential to share this information in the Hul’qumi’num language. The article also discusses the potential of using this for land claims purposes. There are, however, issues with broadcasting traditional information. From what I gather, these maps can be made private, and will not appear on regular Google Street View.
“I have been fishing all my life, I’ve never recorded anything, I know the whole coast. And I have a hankering now to record stuff, for my kids and my grandkids.”
In my research on indigenous film, I stumbled upon this intriguing certificate offered by the University of Fraser Valley. The three-course certificate aims to provide learners with a deeper understanding of the land claims process. In the first course, students study the practical challenges of creating maps to support land claims. In the second course, students study how film, other forms of representational media, and direct action can bring attention to land claims issues. In the third course, students embed themselves in Stó:lõ culture to study the Stó:lõ Nation’s legal, political, and economic land struggles.
We Shall Remain is a PBS series of documentaries that “establishes Native history as an essential part of American history.” This is part of the larger PBS series American Experience. Each documentary is produced by a different filmmaker, some of whom are indigenous. The documentary website includes an interesting project whereby First Nations filmmakers (amateur or professional) are invited to share short films. Select films are published on PBS’ website. The short films I did watch were excellent.
This is a large study by ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival that examines Aboriginal film production in Canada. This study makes the case that First Nations’ stories represent a huge untapped resource in Canada. Canada’s film industry has not yet fully explored the stories of indigenous peoples. Not only are these stories important to our collective identity as Canadians, but they also enormous commercial potential.
This site provides the history of Aboriginal Voice, which is a program that saw Aboriginal films be created by Aboriginal people. The rationale behind the program is summed up in a 1972 letter:
“There was a strong feeling among the filmmakers at the NFB that the Board had been making too many films “about” the Indian, all from the white man’s viewpoint. What would be the difference if Indians started making films themselves?” [Letter from George Stoney, executive producer, Challenge for Change, January 3, 1972]
The site includes six NFB films made by First Nations peoples. The films explore contemporary social and political issues from across Canada, including a film about Haisla people reclaiming a stolen artefact and a film documenting the confrontation between First Nations fishermen and the federal government in Burnt Church, New Brunswick.
Sundance was initially founded by American filmmaker Robert Redford, who wanted to ensure that indigenous filmmakers were given voice at the festival. Since 1981, the Sundance institute has supported 300 indigenous artists through grants, mentorships, and the platform of the film festival. This page contains a six minute video on the topic of the Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Film Program with interview clips of many indigenous filmmakers. Filmmaker Ty Sanga remarks “film has become that new evolution to not only express who we are but also preserve our culture.