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- Mar 2020
8. Decolonize Mapmaking Our work on local first tools is deeply influenced by indigenous-led movements to decolonize mapping, with the explicit goals of making maps that increase indigenous sovereignty & land rights. From participatory mapping, collective mapping, counter-mapping and MappingBack, there are inspiring examples from around the planet of how indigenous peoples & other local communities are reclaiming mapmaking in order to assert sovereignty over their traditional territories. Such decolonized mapping processes enable communities to communicate their worldviews, values and relationships with territory to outside audiences. They disrupt existing norms and assumed practices of European cartography, including whether rivers should always be blue, which direction maps are oriented, and even what constitutes a map. From our projects supporting indigenous-led mapping, we’ve been inspired by the ways that indigenous people are making their own maps to assert their rights, and the ways that they are decolonizing mapmaking in the process.