by Maeve Lydon
(first appeared in Alternatives Journal Fall 2000)
When we are lost, a map helps us find our way. We can locate where we are and the possible routes we could take. A map can also point out the important features and assets of a community. The big question is: Who makes the map? The answer will determine who decides what is important, what routes lie open to the user, and, in effect, whose reality counts. 1.
In our culture, mapping is primarily a professional exercise, carried out by planners, geographers, surveyors and others. Although the purposes of maps are as numerous as the maps themselves, it’s safe to say that most maps have been produced to further the economic and political purposes of the economic and political elite. In Canada, the history of map-making is intimately tied to the exploration of the land mass and the identification of resources to be exploited, whether that be beaver pelts, lumber, gold or oil. Thus, map making, resource exploitation and the conquering of native land have gone hand in hand since Europeans arrived in this corner of the world. Baca entri selengkapnya »