Posted to the Ethnos Project by on June 22nd, 2016

This paper addresses the decolonizing potential of Indigenous counter-mapping in the context of (what is now called) Canada.After historicizing cartography as a technique of colonial power, and situating Indigenous counter-mapping as an assertion of political and intellectual sovereignty, we examine the digital map of Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Plains Cree for Edmonton, Alberta) produced by the Pipelines Collective, which overlays Treaty Indigenous maps onto ‘conventional’ maps to denaturalize and challenge colonial renderings of city space. We then discuss the expanding trend of guerrilla mapping techniques engaged in by Indigenous groups, emphasizing the Ogimaa Mikana project in Toronto, wherein Anishinaabemowin names were stickered over settler street names. Expanding the spatial theories of Michel de Certeau and Gilles Deleuze, and drawing on the research and insights of Indigenous scholars Jodi Byrd and Mishuana Goeman, our paper considers how emerging digital counter-mapping efforts offer ambivalent possibilities for Indigenous peoples to assert their presence in material ways.

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