Canadian Geographic has worked with the University of Manitoba to make sure Canadians continue acknowledging the country’s sordid racial past.
In a project developed in collaboration with the University of Manitoba’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), Canadian Geographic has put together a Google Earth Voyager story intended to educate viewers about Canada’s residential schools.
The schools are considered to be a product of Egerton Ryerson — the same Ryerson who lends his name to Ryerson University — who suggested that the only way to control Indigenous Canadians would be by forcing them into a more traditionally Christian education system.
The Google Earth Voyager residential schools story addresses the history of Canada’s residential school systems, while also pinpointing the locations of all the residential schools that were maintained and operated by the government.
“This is a harrowing tale but required learning on our journey towards reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples,” said Ellen Curtis, director of Can Geo Education, in a December 12th, 2017 media release. “Our Google Earth Voyager resident school story provides a much-needed primer for elementary and secondary school students.”
While it’s true that the project is targeted towards school-age students, it can be freely accessed using Google Earth.
“The Google Earth’s Voyager residential school story is an extremely important tool that encourages discussion in a way that compliments the learning styles of today’s students,” said Ry Moran, director of the NCTR, in the same December media release. “This is exactly what we need for a tough topic like the residential school story, if reconciliation is to begin.”
Google Earth’s Voyager stories are “map-based stories” created with the intention to educate and inform readers about topics broached by Google Earth partners like Canadian Geographic.