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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Native Mapping Project

This is the Native Mapping Project Logo. Brought to you by the Friends of Geographical Names of Alberta Society, the Native Mapping Project is an online resource designed to given recognition to the values and traditions of Alberta's Aboriginal people through the study of the province's diverse place names. The Native Mapping Project is built upon the acknowledgment that "Aboriginal" is not a unitary or static term for a homogenous community, but a plurality, designating a diverse assemblage of different indigenous cultures, each with its unique cultural heritage.

In Alberta, there are at least 900 place names that are Aboriginal in origin, and the project attempts to attribute these names to their specific tribe of origin, as well as provide a cultural context for understanding how and why such names arose. Because Alberta's early Aboriginal people were nomadic, another goal of the Native Mapping Project is to chart as accurately as possible the provincial regions occupied by the various tribes. This aspect of the online resource will include a number of maps through which the user will be able to establish the connections between the place names of a given region and the aboriginal people who occupied that area.

Most importantly, the Native Mapping Project is a tool to foster appreciation through toponymic scholarship of Alberta's too-often excluded Aboriginal heritage.

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            For more on place names of Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.

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