Maps provide eye-opening view of Indigenous past, present and future

As part of Trinity College School’s ongoing effort to integrate Truth and Reconciliation into the curriculum, all Senior School students took part in workshop activities the week of April 25th-28th. Each grade from 9 through 12 had a period dedicated to understanding the connection between maps and the lives of Indigenous peoples, and linking this understanding to water, a theme in our Truth and Reconciliation work this year.

The workshops had their roots in a presentation earlier this year by Canadian Geographic cartographer Chris Brackley. Mr. Brackley contributed to the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a giant floor map that helps students to see the history, present and future of Canada’s Indigenous people via geography.

This week, students were challenged to work together to assemble the map out of pieces, like a puzzle. The map included places and names that they might not have been used to seeing. Through the map, students learned about the Indigenous people who have lived, and who continue to live, in our local and provincial area, and how their geographic locations are tied to water resources.

The workshop included a chance to debrief, asking students to reflect on questions such as, how has colonialism shaped how the map looks today, and, through reconciliation, how might the map change moving forward?

Thank you to the students for approaching this activity with respect and thoughtfulness, to faculty for their support, and to the service learning team for leading this initiative.

Learn more about the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada at