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A learning resource described as a comprehensive atlas on Indigenous lands, languages and culture in Canada was launched in Toronto on Wednesday after two years of input from the communities it covers.

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, which includes a four-volume set of books, an online interactive atlas and other components, was touted as an important educational tool for future generations.

Many people came together to kick off celebrations for the launch of Canadian Geographic’s long-awaited Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada , including the Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly and Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak, as well as leaders representing First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation, Indigenous artists, and the CEO of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, John Geiger.

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The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada was a Canada 150 project funded by the Government of Canada.

The atlas includes information on Indigenous communities, languages, education, treaties and lands. It also addresses topics such as residential schools, colonization, racism and cultural appropriation.

For Joly, the Atlas will make a positive contribution to Canada’s educational landscape.

“For years to come the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada will help build capacity for open discussion, empathy and mutual respect, as well as act as a powerful educational tool to help facilitate the renewal of Canada’s relationship with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation,” Joly said.

She continued: “There is no relationship more important to our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples, and we are proud to have contributed to this important initiative.”

Geiger said that the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada is an important foundational document in the reconciliation process.

“We have collaborated with Indigenous partners, found and worked with some of the best new and veteran Indigenous writers, designers, photographers and educators to make this stunning package of educational resources,” Geiger said.

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The Atlas content has been produced in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Indspire.

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada was created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, which cites the development of culturally appropriate curricula for Indigenous students as a top priority.

It includes a four-volume print atlas, an online interactive atlas with an accompanying app, giant floor maps and various other educational resources for classrooms.

READ MORE: Inaugural ‘Indigi-Con’ could become annual event “The Assembly of First Nations looks forward to the release and circulation of this Atlas as an important education and information resource,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “With increased understanding of First Nations cultures, contributions, and the shared history between First Nations and Canada, we can move forward towards a better relationship.”“Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is proud to have played a primary role in developing the Inuit section of this Atlas. The Inuit way of seeing our homeland is unique, grounded by generations of interconnectedness with our environment — the lands, waters, plants and animals,” said Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “We understand the value of sharing our perspective with the world and commend all of the partners involved in this project on their work and commitment in bringing together the Indigenous stories of our country.”“For the Métis Nation, the Indigenous Peoples Atlas helps set the stage for a better understanding of the Métis people and our role in Canada’s development, both historical and ongoing,” said Clément Chartier, president of the Métis National Council. “Educational resources […]

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