Re-Envisioning the Landscape: Photography and Îyârhe Nakoda Resurgence

Between 1888 and 1958, several hundred government surveyors worked across the mountainous regions of what is now western Canada to create topographic maps. To do so, they used a made-in-Canada technique employing photography and a transit. Left in the wake of their map-making are more than 120,000 photographic negatives. Today these images are used to better understand changes in Canada’s mountain landscapes. Yet it must be remembered that – in mapping out a new nation – these photographs contributed to policies that discriminated against and excluded Indigenous peoples. Can these pictures be re-envisioned? Can they contribute to the continuation of Indigenous traditional knowledge and help recover and sustain relationships with the land? Can they create a more diverse and equitable future? Working in partnership with the Nakoda Oil and Gas, and in collaboration with the Stoney Nakoda Nations of Alberta, this project will develop a model for using historical and contemporary photographs in the service to Indigenous resurgence.

Sarah Jacobs
Faculty Supervisor: 
Eric Higgs
British Columbia
Partner University: