During the production sessions, participants were invited to think about how they see their territory and to work with pencils, paper, painting, fabric, clay, scissors, computers and any other material to create maps that reflect their visions. The creation of these maps were facilitated by Indigenous and non-indigenous mapmakers with experience in alternative forms of cartography. The overall goal of these sessions was to expose participants to the endless possibilities of representing territories, stories, and epistemologies differently, and to promote the development of spatial representations that emerge from members of Indigenous communities. Participants were invited to join us for as many of these six sessions as they wanted, and although most participants came for only one mapping session, many returned to view other works produced during the week.
The Mappingback Collective: Our Story
It started in October 2017 with the organization of a three-day workshop in Montreal. This workshop enquired into forms of cartographic expressions that can represent the multiple issues, perceptions, meanings, histories and emotions that are at stake when industrial extraction enters Indigenous territories. It also explored how maps could be used for purposes of resistance and resurgence, including for education, historical memory and ancestral knowledge and oral histories, assertions of territorial rights and community visioning and life-plans, and decision-making. This workshop was seen as a foundation to develop an online Indigenous Mapping Platform as discussed below. The goal of this workshop and of its companion Mapping Platform is thus to provide references, suggestions, ideas and methodologies designed by and with Indigenous communities to represent in meaningful ways the multiple dimensions of such conflicts.