November/december 2017, Canadian Geographic celebrates the country’s Indigenous Peoples
“We must be mindful that a process that will be as long and complicated as the reconciliation of seven generations of inequity will require stewardship, study and ongoing attention,” Truth and Reconciliation commissioner Marie Wilson told those gathered in Ottawa on June 2, 2015, as the commission officially presented its 94 recommendations. Canadian Geographic has taken that message to heart. For years now, we’ve been telling stories with an Indigenous focus. And as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, we’ve continued to cover more Indigenous issues — all along noting that the First Peoples thrived on this country’s lands for thousands of years prior to Confederation — from celebrating the monumental achievement of the Sahtuto’ine Dene of Déline, N.W.T., in creating the world’s first UNESCO heritage site managed by an Indigenous community in our January/february edition to this issue’s story on First Nations clam gardens in British Columbia (page 24). In conjunction with the forthcoming launch of Canadian Geographic’s Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, we’ve dedicated the November/december 2017 edition to exploring Indigenous issues and to celebrating the successes of Inuit, First Nations and Métis peoples. Our aim is to present an overview of contemporary Indigenous experiences, from covering the monumental initiative to unify written Inuktitut to defining the Métis homeland to celebrating an annual canoe journey that connects First Nations, their cultures and their past and present. There’s also an exclusive roundtable discussion on the future of Indigenous Peoples in Canada with the leaders of the three national Indigenous Peoples organizations, Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and Clément Chartier, president of the Métis National Council. It’s but a small step in our ongoing attention.
The 2017 Tribal Canoe Journey is welcomed in Campbell River, B.C. ( top). The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s bentwood box is a symbol of reconciliation ( above).