Canadian Geographic has published the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a four-volume set dedicated to First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures. It is a beautiful example of co-creation, in this new era of Truth and Reconciliation. The Atlas, which took two years to complete, became available for purchase on September 20th. The Atlas was done in partnership with the Government of Canada, Canadian Geographic, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Métis National Council (MNC); this partnership with various national Indigenous organizations was so important in ensuring that the voices of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people across the country were included and respected. Ossie Michelin, an Inuk from Labrador who was responsible for editing the Inuit section, says the Atlas is, “The first of its kind… There are no provincial or territorial borders; no settler names, no settler boundaries.” It truly is an amazing educational tool for reconciliation and increasing cultural confidence surrounding geographical, cultural, political and historical topics as they relate to Indigenous people in Canada.
Shannon coordinated the First Nations section of the Atlas, in collaboration with the AFN, connecting with First Nations people from across the country to provide their unique and regional perspectives on various topics. Some of the stories that were shared included personal stories about relocation, reconnection and identity, modern day treaties, and salmon and their connection to culture and traditions, amongst many others. It was such a privilege to work with these amazing story tellers and knowledge keepers. The vast array of information that has been passed on through generations and held by First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples is outstanding and invaluable. The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada brings Canadians into this beautiful world of knowledge sharing and storytelling. A special shout out and thank you to Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan for her wonderful support and contribution to this project as well.