Native Land Digital strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources such as our map and Territory Acknowledgement Guide. We strive to go beyond old ways of talking about Indigenous people and to develop a platform where Indigenous communities can represent themselves and their histories on their own terms. In doing so, Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.
The Importance of Land
Land is something sacred to all of us, whether we consciously appreciate it or not — it is the space upon which we play, live, eat, find love, and experience life. The land is ever-changing and ever-shifting, giving us — and other creatures and beings on the earth — an infinite number of gifts and lessons.
For Native Land Digital, what we are mapping is more than just a flat picture. The land itself is sacred, and it is not easy to draw lines that divide it up into chunks that delineate who “owns” different parts of land. In reality, we know that the land is not something to be exploited and “owned”, but something to be honoured and treasured. However, because of the complexities of history, the kind of mapping we undetake is an important exercise, insofar as it brings an awareness of the real lived history of Indigenous peoples and nations in a long era of colonialism.
We aim to improve the relationship of people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, with the land around them and with the real history and sacredness of that land. This involves acknowledging and righting the wrongs of history, and also involves a personal journey through the importance of connecting with the earth, its creatures, and its teachings.
Thus, while we make a strong effort to teach about colonialism and to bring forth Indigenous narratives, we also strive to integrate what is sometimes called an “Indigenous way of knowing” when it comes to the importance and sacredness of land in our daily lives. We hope to inspire people to gain a better understanding of themselves, their ancestors, and the world they live in, so that we can all move forward into a better future.