Interactive online map makes it easy for British Columbians to learn about Indigenous Culture

Photo courtesy of First Peoples' Cultural Council
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A new online map allows British Columbians to explore Indigenous cultures, languages and arts in an interactive way. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council said its new First Peoples’ Map is the first interactive map in Canada to explore Indigenous cultures.

The new map combines the First Peoples’ Language map, which launched in 2008, and a similar map to showcase artists, available since 2012, according to Hannah Mashon, communications officer for the council.

It teaches about the 34 First Nations languages spoken across the province and people can listen to greetings and pronunciations of place names, find local Indigenous artists and public art, search important landmarks and cultural centres and explore cultural information, videos and images.

“It wasn’t until 2019 that community members really wanted a platform that featured all of these facets in one and wove together the languages, arts and cultural heritage information in a way that was more representative of how that information lives in real life,” she said. 

She said information is contributed by community experts, elders and artists. The digital platform is an accessible way for people to learn about and explore cultures, Mashon said.

“It’s a living map, so anytime you visit the map you might see something new or a new feature that has been added from an artist, so it’s definitely going to be growing over time as people start to learn about the map and contribute to it.”

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