Joshua Manitowabi

Eurocentric approaches to history are often devoid of Indigenous people’s cultural perspectives, with greater emphasis on dates and events most relevant to colonial history. Indigenous knowledge and histories were actively marginalized through Canadian assimilationist policies that denied the validity of Indigenous epistemologies and teaching methods. Social studies and history curricula, and teaching methods have in the past given, and continue today, to give a distorted picture of Indigenous histories. I hope to aid in improving this through my research and studies in Interdisciplinary Humanities by fusing my interests in the study of Indigenous knowledge, with an emphasis on Indigenous perspectives. Indigenous researchers today are increasingly involved in the designing and selecting of content and methods of presentation of educational curricula about their own cultures and histories. Specifically, historical cartography in general had ethnocentric and colonialist biases and thus misrepresented Indigenous peoples’ views of their territory, their cultural knowledge, and their histories. These maps tended to present Indigenous cultures, socio-political structures, and territories as static or disappearing rather than as vibrant, evolving cultures. My research will examine the potential of Indigenous interactive mapping to provide an Indigenous perspective of history within the eastern Great Lakes region using spatial history and critical cartography.