The importance of education as a tool for reconciliation cannot be emphasized enough. Indigenous history, languages and cultures are an integral part of our social and geographic landscape. Throughout Canada’s history, Indigenous Peoples have been marginalized and oppressed, but recently there has been a concentrated movement to understand and acknowledge the perspectives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
In that vein, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Canadian Geographic, and Canadian Geographic Education have worked closely with Indigenous partners and storytellers to produce content and educational resources that reflect the experiences and knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. The following resources are just a small piece of the bigger picture and we highly encourage all educators to reach out to Indigenous communities, organizations and groups in their area to learn more.
Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada (IPAC)
One of the biggest and most important projects that the Society has undertaken to-date is the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. Recognizing that the stories were not ours to tell, the RCGS collaborated with a number of Indigenous and ally organizations and educators from across Canada to create this extraordinary atlas and its accompanying educational materials.
- Online version of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada (or order a book today)
- IPAC Giant Floor Map – includes a teacher’s guide with associated activities
- Atlas Teacher’s Guide – includes lesson plans and activities that teachers can use to examine the chapters of the Atlas in more detail
- IPAC Tiled Map
- IPAC app – includes a territorial/land acknowledgment feature
Water is life
This learning package has been created as an extension of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada Giant Floor Map learning activities. It was written by Jaime Black, an Indigenous educator, artist, and the founder of the REDress Project. The lesson plans draw on land-based learning, centered on women’s teachings about, for, and from Mother Earth, with a specific focus on water and its connection to land and the Indigenous Peoples living on Turtle Island.
#ExploreCan is a program created by Canadian Geographic Education in partnership with Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants and Heritage Canada. Resources focus on a variety of themes, including treaties, languages, science, and environmental stewardship, with a larger focus on truth and reconciliation.
- Truth and reconciliation
- Space, science and research
- Canada’s North
- Knowing the land
- Indigenous languages
- Women in STEM
- Water connection and protection
Google Earth Voyager stories
- Canada’s Residential Schools – explores the history of residential schools in Canada, drawing on firsthand accounts
- Canada’s Original Place Names – highlights some of Canada’s place names and their Indigenous origins
- Indigenous Cultural Heritage – showcases different cultural traditions of Indigenous Peoples across Canada
Paths to Reconciliation
This website features an interactive map that charts the residential schools not recognized by the federal government’s Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement as well as unmarked burial sites associated with residential schools. It includes links to a series of firsthand accounts and related original-source materials from survivors and family members of survivors of these schools. Paths to Reconciliation also includes a documentary film, a feature story in Canadian Geographic, a poster map, educational resources and more.
Re: Location tells the stories of community relocations in Canada. The interactive website shows a selection of numerous communities, both historic and modern, forced to move due to urban redevelopment, the creation of national parks, war, economic forces, government policies or major infrastructure projects. Re: Location also includes a four-part documentary series, a feature story in Canadian Geographic, educational resources and more.
- Visit the Re: Location website
- Book the Re: Location Giant Floor Map and view the accompanying teacher’s guide
- Re: Location Tiled Map
Michif Language and Métis Culture
The Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, in partnership with Can Geo Education, worked with Elders and educators to create resources that support and celebrate Métis culture and the Michif language. These resources include introductory lesson plans, student activity cards and explainer videos designed for elementary and secondary-level students.