Counter Mapping

I'm signed up to receive the newsletter from The Global Oneness project, and have just received one with information on an intriguing film explaining how some indigenous people 'map' their territories.
It's embedded here:

In this 10-minute film, we meet Jim Enote, a traditional Zuni farmer, elder, and director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni, New Mexico. The film documents Enote’s work with Zuni artists to create maps that bring an indigenous voice and perspective back to the land. “Counter mapping” challenges the western notions of geography and the borders imposed on indigenous cultures. 

In the film, Enote said that “Maps have done a lot to confuse things for people. More lands have been lost to native peoples probably through mapping than through physical conflict.” We discussed the positive and negative impacts of modern mapping and technology, the colonization of land and the re-naming of territories, as well as local natives and languages. 

Enote describes that “Modern maps don’t have a memory.” If we can recollect and remember the native names of our mountains and waterways, I think we’ll notice the intimate connection between language and landscape that exists right under our feet. One student said, after being asked how she would document her place through mapping, that she would document what is important to her—family, connection, and the land she calls home. The discussions generated from sharing indigenous stories are essential in expanding students' awareness to include perspectives grounded in traditional ways of knowing that challenge western notions of progress.

I've blogged about the project previously.

They have a very useful resource area. (Google Doc link)


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