New Indigenous atlas 'really powerful' - APTN NewsAPTN News

New Indigenous atlas ‘really powerful’


The cover of a new atlas created by Indigenous people in Canada.

The cover of a new atlas created by Indigenous people in Canada. (Submitted photo by Canadian Geographic)

Kathleen Martens

A new book tells the story of three Indigenous groups in Canada in their own words.

“It’s the first of its kind,” said freelance journalist Ossie Michelin, who edited the Inuit section in the glossy, hardcover.

“There’s never been an atlas like this.”

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada is a four-volume set that hits store shelves September 20.

It was published by Canadian Geographic with input and funding from national Indigenous lobby groups: Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Métis National Council (MNC) and the government of Canada.

“The organizations helped spread the word of the atlas and encouraged their members to participate,” Michelin said.

“These are the folks who knew these subjects best.”

Michelin says it’s a compilation of everything from the past to the present within Indigenous homelands and nations.

“There are no provincial or territorial borders; no settler names, no settler boundaries,” he said.

So it gives a view of Canada from a truly Indigenous perspective.

“First Nations, Inuit, Métis people can look in this book and see themselves reflected in it.”

Michelin said the set is also “a great educational tool” for settlers or non-Indigenous people, with charts, graphs and lesson plans.

Each volume of the four-book set is dedicated to one of the three cultures, with the remaining book a collection of maps and information on Indigenous languages, and an online interactive component.

“Wherever possible we used the voice of (an Indigenous person),” he said. “When that wasn’t available we went with a researcher or scientist working directly with Indigenous groups.”

Michelin, an Inuk from North West River, Labrador and the son of a trapper, said that makes the atlas authentic and original.

“It’s really powerful,” he said of the unique spin on communities, treaties and land.

“Hopefully this will inspire Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to become interested in geography and learn about these important cultures.”




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5 Responses to “New Indigenous atlas ‘really powerful’”

    Gerry Lafontaine September 18, 2018 at 9:19 pm #

    This should be a book every school system in Canada should have, studied and essayed by students. Awesome news thank you

    Jason Croteau September 14, 2018 at 10:19 pm #

    Romani portugese mikmaq is a tribe and not metis but canada forgot that its own native people are pre contact spanish and that there is a sea with water in it . being near or in europe still makes the romani tribes a race in the native ethnicity

    Mary Mason September 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm #

    Where will we be able to purchase? This is fantastic!

    • Mark Blackburn September 14, 2018 at 7:42 pm #

      Hi Mary, the atlas can be ordered via Amazon – pre-ordered – and also will e sold in bookstores.

    Bob September 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm #

    This is great, but it’d be nice to acknowledge the work of the NCTR and it’s archives on providing content and guidance to make this atlas a reality.

    Definitely buying.