thank you for your submission.
What does it mean when we say "Maps are not empty"?
The image of maps that we have become used to is a deeply colonial construction which creates 'empty land'. To create an empty map is to erase the history and stories that are deeply important to Indigenous cultures and which are intrinsically tied to the land. It is also an erasure of the existing Indigenous communities that inhabited the land before colonial borders were drawn. As colonial place-names replaced Indigenous names and location titles, maps are a source of power.
Please explore a news article regarding the creation and importance of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, the atlas itself, and an article commissioned by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the topic of maps, linked below.