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Subversive Maps: How Digital Language Mapping Can Support Biocultural Diversity—and Help Track a Pandemic

Native Land interactive online map

Maya Daurio, Sienna R. Craig, Daniel Kaufman, Ross Perlin, and Mark Turin Maps have long been used for a variety of purposes, including to characterize land use and land cover patterns or to delineate the extent of territorial jurisdictions such as national or regional borders. In this way, cartography has long been a tool of

Decolonial Mapmaking: Reclaiming Indigenous Places and Knowledge

A rebbilib

WORDS AND MAPS Jordan Engel “More indigenous territory has been claimed by maps than by guns. This assertion has its corollary: more indigenous territory can be defended and reclaimed by maps than by guns.” —Bernard Nietschmann, geographer Throughout time and across cultures, the thing that is often most important to a people is land. While

Tunun Kayutukun: Words Have Power

hunters

WORDS Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff and Libby Roderick IMAGES Paul Melovidov and Barbara Lestenkof Contrary to most people in modern societies who see words simply as vehicles for conveying information or expressing thoughts and feelings, people in traditional Indigenous societies view words as entities that carry great power; therefore, they must be chosen and used with

Flourishing at Twenty-Five: On Context and Foundations in the Rise of the Concept of Biocultural Diversity

biocultural diversity

WORDS AND IMAGES K. B. Wilson In his essay “Biocultural Diversity: Reason, Ethics, and Emotion” (this issue of Langscape), David Harmon traces the emergence of the field of biocultural diversity as a call for an engagement with the beautifully rich complexity of life. In my own take on biocultural diversity, I ponder the rise of

Iawa: The Unfinished Kuruaya Symphony

Iawa

Miguel Pinheiro In the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, along the Xingu River and one of its tributaries, the Iriri, traces of an ancient, vanished population are found. The petroglyphs carved in the rocks tell a ghost story—faint echoes of faded voices that today we struggle to imagine alive. A language can be a map

This World Is Made for You

dreamcatcher

Darryl Whetung Our spirit isn’t red skin, or light skin, brown skin, white skin Or if we have red hair, brown or black hair, when will the buffalo herd come back here? Are we raven or are we eagle? We are families, we are equals It’s our wigwam, it’s our war song, or the moon that

Quarantine as Ceremony: COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Quietly Rebel against the Dominant Langscape

Severn Cullis-Suzuki The Haida people know the cost of disease. They have lived in Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the west coast of Canada, for the past 14,000 years. In their recent history, after the first encounter with Europeans in 1774, waves of smallpox, measles, and other contact diseases ravaged the Haida population. From 30,000-strong,

Ainbon Jakon Joi: The Good Word of an Indigenous Woman

Chonon Bensho with Pedro Favaron When I was born, my parents registered my birth in the town of Yarinacocha, giving me the name Astrith Gonzales Agustín. But in Shipibo-Konibo, my mother tongue, my name is Chonon Bensho, which means “the swallow from medicine orchards.” I am heir to the knowledge of my ancestors. My husband’s

Land needs Language needs Land

Chloe Dragon Smith On the Land We feel The roots beneath our languages— Twisting and turning, gnarly, knowing. On the Land We learn With bodymindheartandsoul, The truths that shaped our words Long before they were spoken. Language is more than words and Words hold more than any language Could ever explain. Simple rhythmic sound waves

As Violent as Words: An Innu Woman’s Thoughts about Decolonizing Language

Marie-Émilie Lacroix interviewed by Marco Romagnoli “Dialogue is a way of knowing myself and of disentangling my own point of view from other viewpoints and from me, because it is grounded so deeply in my own roots as to be utterly hidden from me.” —Raimon Panikkar This is, at its simplest, the reason behind my