The First Peoples’ Cultural Council launches the First Peoples’ Map, an online map showcasing Indigenous languages, arts and cultures.
The First Peoples’ Cultural Council has launched the first online map showcasing Indigenous arts, languages and cultures. The First Peoples’ Map of B.C. is the only map of its kind – unique in content and scope. You may view the full news release here.
No other map in Canada weaves together Indigenous language, arts and cultural information with content from community experts deeply invested in the work of linguistic, artistic and cultural survival. The First Peoples’ Map also supports non-Indigenous people to better appreciate Indigenous perspectives as one small step towards reconciliation.
“The First Peoples’ Map is a significant visual representation of the incredible work being done by Indigenous people in B.C. to revitalize and celebrate our unique languages, arts and cultural heritage,” said Karen Aird, acting CEO of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. “Our hope is that this map will help non-Indigenous people to better appreciate Indigenous perspectives as one small step towards reconciliation. By combining all of this rich information together in one place, the map reflects an Indigenous perspective, by braiding important cultural elements together with the land.”
FPCC developed the First Peoples’ Map in response to First Nations in B.C. who had requested a central platform to share information about their diverse languages, arts, cultural heritage and communities.
Kim MacLean, a public health nurse in Prince George, has used the map to support contact tracing: “If I know a client is from a First Nations community before a call, I would go to the map, listen to the pronunciation of the community and also the greeting.I felt that I was more prepared for the call this way because it helped me have respectful conversations with individuals we serve.”
Kim says it has had a significant impact on her awareness and appreciation of First Nations people and languages in B.C. and she has also recommended it to coworkers.
In addition to audio recordings of greetings and place names, the First Peoples’ Map helps people to find local Indigenous artists, public art, cultural centres and more.
Nisga’a artist Kari Morgan says the map is useful way to share her work: “It makes it easy for me to share my career and various disciplines with people from all over, and it gives viewers a better understanding of where my community is. You can easily search other artists around you or search by artistic background. It creates a feeling of community.”
Visitors are invited to explore the map by searching specific geographical locations, browsing the sidebar information, or by focusing their search with keywords and filters to listen to audio pronunciations of greetings, find artists and important cultural sites in their region, and more.
First Peoples’ Map Endorsements:
Cathi Charles Wherry – Special Advisor, First Peoples’ Cultural Council
“First Peoples’ Cultural Council was inspired to create this platform by the work that we do with First Nations and Indigenous communities. Those communities made it clear that they wanted a platform like this where artists, language champions and cultural heritage leaders could share information about the good work they were doing with the world.”
Kim Maclean – Tobacco Enforcement Officer, Northern Health
“I first discovered the First Peoples’ Map of BC (FPMBC) while working for the Fraser Basin Council on a ‘Sustainability Indicators Report and Map for the Upper Fraser Watershed.’ I used the FPMBC to identify First Nations communities in the Upper Fraser which contributed to reporting on Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations as sustainability indicators for the region.
Similarly, the FPMBC was a trusted resource in my work during the past year as a COVID-19 Contact Tracer for Northern Health. If I knew that a contact resided in a First Nations community before a call, I would consult the map and listen to the pronunciation of the community name as well as common local greetings. I felt that I was more prepared for the call this way because it helped me have respectful conversations with individuals we serve. This was also an excellent reference to verify the correct spelling for community names.
The First Peoples’ Map of BC has significantly increased my awareness and appreciation of Indigenous Peoples and languages in BC. I have recommended it to co-workers at different worksites because of its detailed, accurate information and ease of use. It is a fantastic resource!”
Kari Morgan – Nisga’a Artist
“First Peoples’ Map is such a unique and useful tool. It makes it easy for me to share my career and various disciplines with people from all over, and it gives viewers a better understanding of where my community is. You can easily search other artists around you or search by artistic background. It creates a feeling of community.”
Honourable Murray Rankin – Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
“I hold my hands up to the innovative work of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and their partnership with First Nations communities to honour and breathe new life into languages, arts and cultures that past colonial policies tried unsuccessfully to eradicate,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Investing in tools like the First Peoples’ Map is a modern way to connect people to the many Indigenous languages, artists and cultural heritage spaces in B.C. and continue the collaborative efforts to revitalize and celebrate them.”
Kathryn Marlow – CBC Journalist
“I am learning so much from the map – including that Lekwungen, the language based where I live in Victoria, belongs to the same language group as Semiahmoo, the language based where I grew up in South Surrey/White Rock. It helps me look at the whole coastal region differently. I am ashamed that I did not know that before, but I am so grateful to the FPCC and others for helping me learn. Hay’sxw’qa!”
Terry TeeGee – Regional Chief, BC Assembly of First Nations
“FPCC’s First Peoples’ Map is an incredibly valuable tool that everyone can easily use and learn from. First Nations in British Columbia celebrate diverse and living languages, arts, cultures and heritages that this map largely captures,” said Terry Teegee, Regional Chief, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations. “FPCC initiatives, such as the First Peoples’ Map, are vital to the integrity of British Columbia’s social and cultural fabric as this work deepens public knowledge and understanding of the many Nations and cultures that have existed in the province since time immemorial, as well as the complexities of human relationships to present day. I congratulate and support FPCC in their ongoing work.”
Gerry Lawson – Manager of Oral Histories Lab, Museum of Anthropology
“I use FPCC maps often, especially when I’m speaking to groups that don’t have a familiarity with B.C. Indigenous communities and languages. The FPCC has done the best work that I know of to bring together ethical, current, relevant and trusted information about community language and heritage.”
Shawn Reed – Manager, First Nations and Indigenous Relations BC Wildfire
“The First Peoples’ Map is a beautiful representation of the cultural diversity of Indigenous Peoples in BC and is symbolic of the important progress made in revitalizing Indigenous languages and culture. BC Wildfire Service is a proud partner to the Indigenous communities of BC and supports this critical work of reconciliation.”
Denise Williams – CEO, First Nations Technology Council
“The First People’s Map of BC is an excellent example of how technology can play a pivotal role in the revitalization and preservation of Indigenous language, arts, and cultural heritage in what we currently call BC. It demonstrates how our communities can use technology to support self-determination and exercise influence over how technology is used to tell our stories. Closing the digital divide and achieving digital equity for Indigenous peoples across the province would allow more innovation, participation, and inclusivity in applications – like this one – that are designed by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people.”
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