Ethnographic Approaches to Indigenous Mapping

  • Brian Thom, Anthropology, University of Victoria
    Coach House, Green College, UBC
    Wednesday, February 26, 5-6:30 pm
    in the series
    Indigenous/Science: Partnerships in the Exploration of History and Environments
  • Collaboration with Indigenous communities is transforming the way anthropologists approach ethnographic mapping. Rather than the fixed, grey-scale maps of the past that simply delineate territory or label significant local landmarks, new digital mapping technologies make it possible to construct maps that frame multiple layers, scales and perspectives, providing visual, textual, media-rich polyphony. These are maps that can engage multiple audiences, weaving together multiple agendas, priorities and ways of seeing the world. This talk will follow the distinct and sometimes divergent melodies of recent maps produced in collaboration with Indigenous communities, revealing their potential (and pitfalls) for ethnographic evocation.

    Brian Thom is an associate professor in the anthropology department at the University of Victoria. As an anthropologist, he is keenly interested in the idea of ‘place’ and the ways people and communities are dynamically and powerfully connected to the places they encounter in their lives. He has worked in Coast Salish communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands over the past 25 years, as well as recently collaborative research with an Itelmen indigenous community in Kamchatka (Russia). In 2010, Dr. Thom founded UVic’s Ethnographic Mapping Lab (, a place for graduate students and faculty researchers to collaborate with Indigenous communities on projects that support Indigenous land rights, resource management, inter-generational knowledge sharing, and public education.

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.


February 26th, 2020 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
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Speaker Series Indigenous/Science: Partnerships in the Exploration of History and Environments
Short Title Ethnographic Approaches to Indigenous Mapping
Speaker (new) Brian Thom, University of Victoria, Department of Anthropology
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