Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. Native Land Digital is Indigenous-led, with an Indigenous Executive Director and Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization. Numerous non-Indigenous people also contribute as members of our Advisory Council. The Board of Directors govern finances, set priorities, and appoint staff members as required.
Native-Land.ca was created in 2015 by Victor Temprano, a settler hailing from Okanagan territory. You can see a biography and the old About page here to learn more about the roots of the project.
Leena Minifie is a Gitxaala (Tsimshian) communications, digital strategist and media producer. She is located in the unceded Coast Salish Territory of Vancouver. Leena holds a BA in Indigenous Studies and BFA in New Media from the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico. She has worked as a journalist for agencies such as Ricochet Media, CBC Radio One, CTV First Story, Native American Calling (US), APTN National News and acted as a freelance producer.
Shauna Johnson is Coast Salish from the Tsawout First Nation on her mother’s side and Tsimshian from Laxkwala’ams on her father’s side. She has a Master of Science degree in Indigenous Community Planning (ICP) and has specialized expertise in providing planning support for Indigenous communities to revitalize and promote Indigenous community planning research, methods and practices grounded firmly within Indigenous laws, legal traditions and ways of knowing and being. She is a registered Applied Scientific Technologist (A.Sc.T.) and is currently working towards becoming a Registered Professional Planner (MIP, RPP). She has experience working with Indigenous communities on housing strategies, comprehensive community plans, (CPP), strategic, land use (reserve based and watershed level based), environmental management, marine spatial/use plans (MSP/MUP), economic development plans and Indigenous food systems projects. She is also an adjunct professor at University of British Columbia (UBC) in the School of Community of Regional Planning (SCARP) Indigenous Community Planning (ICP) program, mentoring, supervising and co-teaching ICP practicum students.
Rudo is a non-native geographer from the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Rudo Kemper works with Digital Democracy on the programs team, and manages the creation of the Earth Defenders Toolkit. Rudo is a human geographer with a background in archives and international administration, and a lifelong technology tinkerer. He is passionate about co-creating and using technology to support marginalized communities in defending their right to self-determination and representation, and towards other decolonizing and emancipatory ends. He is one of the core stewards of the open-source geostorytelling application Terrastories, and its principal representative in charge of community outreach and engagement. Rudo has worked with Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples in Suriname, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Brazil, and is passionate about helping communities preserve their heritage and achieve their own vision of buen vivir.
Mesiah Burciaga-Hameed is a 23 years young two-spirit Afro-Indigenous youth educator. They utilize their ancestors practices to bring about tangible change to the way we relate to time and our legacy. Mesiah grew up on the frontlines in Occupied Ohlone territory (Oakland California) and occupies Lene Lenape territory (New York City). Today Mesiah works on influencing a group of youth educators on subjects such as water rights, sovereignty, and earth stewardship. With these youth we are collectively creating a blueprint for how to be in deeper relation with our bloodline’s by honoring a timeline of truth.
Kyle Napier is Dene/nêhiyaw Métis and a member of Northwest Territory Métis Nation. He grew up in small communities in Tu Nedhe in Denendeh, colonially referred to as the Northwest Territories. He has led and assisted community efforts and projects supporting Indigenous language revitalization, reclamation and acquisition through use of Indigenous technologies and decolonial tools, curriculum-building which centers the land and Indigenous worldviews, and a community-first approach to project-making with, by, for and from Indigenous communities.
Moka Apiti is Maori, (Ngāti Wairere, Ngāti Hikairo, Ngāti Te Wehi, Ngāti Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui) and Aotearoa-based. Moka is the Owner/Managing Director at Digital Navigators Ltd and the Co-developer of Te Whata, an innovative Indigenous data platform designed with the intention of moving Maori from being data consumers to data designers. Moka is also the Owner of Indigenous Mapping Wananga (Indigenous Geospatial training initiative in Aotearoa) and works as an Indigenous (Maori) GIS practitioner working with Maori communities to graphically show through visuals (i.e. maps/Google Earth/GIS) cultural maps and the issues the communities face. This includes land alienation over time, resource and environmentally management.
Aaron Carapella is the owner of TribalNationsMaps.com, the most expansive print maps available of Indigenous territories worldwide. His maps are extensively researched and used widely in education. He is Cherokee and lives in Oklahoma with his wife. He has fought for Native rights for many years on issues like mascot removal, education reform, sacred site issues, and more, and lives within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
Stephanie Pyne is a highly experienced expert in fields that bring together Indigenous Studies and geography. She has a Ph.D. in Geography and Cartography and has worked on many mapping efforts with the Carleton Geomatics and Cartographic Research Center. She lives in Ontario, Canada, and is currently engaged in numerous projects.
Margaret Pearce is Citizen Band Potawatomi and a cartographer and writer. She grew up on Seneca territory at Ga’shgöhsagöh (Rochester, NY) and these days is a guest on Penobscot territory at Catawamkeag (Rockland, ME). She is grateful to assist with this important resource. Visit her at studio1to1.net.
Tyler McCreary is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Florida State University and an Adjunct Professor of First Nations Studies at University of Northern British Columbia. He is the author of Shared Histories: Witsuwit’en-Settler Relations in Smithers, British Columbia, 1913 – 1973 (Creekstone Press, 2018 – winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing in British Columbia). He is also a co-editor of the forthcoming book Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West (University of Manitoba Press and Michigan State University Press, 2019). In addition, he has written two dozen scholarly journal articles and book chapters. His research focuses on Indigenous responses to settler colonialism and racial capitalism.
Hailing from Kitchisibi Ewidjidjiwok (Ottawa River Watershed), and currently residing in Tenàgàdino / Tenàgàdin odenà (City of Gatineau, Quebec) on Omàmìwininì Anishinàbeg Aki (the ancestral territory of the Algonquin people), Jean-Luc Fournier is a toponymist and historical researcher, and a dynamic and effective communicator with an array of professional experience working with Indigenous organizations, institutions and community groups. Jean-Luc holds an honours degree in Indigenous Studies and Environmental Studies from the University of Ottawa. He has been involved in historical and place name research since 2005. Jean-Luc has worked in different capacities for the Algonquin Nation Secretariat Tribal Council, the First Nation Confederacy of Cultural Education Centers and maintains a close relationship with the leadership, knowledge keepers, elders and members of the Kitigan-Zibi Anishinàbeg community. He has worked voluntarily and consistently on many research endeavors regarding local Anishinabeg history and has almost completely devoted the last decade to Algonquin Anishinabeg toponymic investigations throughout the territory. In 2017, Jean-Luc joined the Public Service as a Toponymy Analyst. Jean-Luc’s priority as always been to contribute to the cultural and linguistic resurgence of the Omàmìwininì Anishinàbeg. He strongly believes that the means to do so is by building meaningful relationships and fostering healthy rapports with members of the Nation, from whom the guidance, teachings and customary protocols originate.
Christine is an Omàmìwininì Madaoueskarini Anishinaabekwe (a woman of the Madawaska River Algonquin people) of the Crane Clan. Christine owns two Indigenous knowledge-based companies, Waaseyaa Consulting and Waaseyaa Cultural Tours. She is an extremely active volunteer for community and nation-based organizations, and has worked as an archaeologist, an orator, and has years of management experience with various organizations. She is an avid outdoor adventurer, spending much of her time hiking, canoeing and learning about medicinal plants.
Victor Temprano is a settler living in Kelowna, BC, on the territories of the Syilx. He grew up in Okanagan territory in central British Columbia. He began Native Land in late 2014 as a hobby project, after attending pipeline protests and beginning to look more into the traditional territories of different nations in relation to resource development. Victor is the CEO of a small tech company, Mapster Technology Inc., which focuses on interactive mapmaking and also works in the area of Indigenous education and language revitalization. Victor continues to help support the employees of Native Land and plays a large role in day-to-day operations.
Victor Sauca is a Saraguro from the Kichwa Nation located in the southern Ecuadorian Andes. He is interested in coming to know himself and the uni/multiverse through his and other peoples’ ancestral teachings such as the Amazonian, Andean and Norse Peoples. Currently, Victor lives in Saraguro and works with other partners on designing a place-based program for children and youth in his community to facilitate direct relations with and gain knowledge from their land through diverse disciplines, local knowledge and self-discovery. As a food-sovereignty supporter, he is also working on expanding his knowledge of local native seeds and forests through self-educations and knowledge exchange with local people while also working on his own farm and family’s lands. Victor holds a BA in First Nations and Indigenous Studies from the University of British Columbia. His role in the Native-Land team as a Research Assistant requires him to attend the observations or suggestions sent by users, interact with them vial email and continue updating, fixing and adding new maps to the platform.
Nadi Jones joined Native Land Digital in August 2020 as the new Digital Communications Coordinator. Nadi is of Tobas Qom ancestry, which informs much of her work in the field of social justice. Nadi has extensive experience developing creative content for all social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and focuses on the practice of discovering a brands identity and communication style with consideration towards the development of long-game strategy. Nadi’s goal in content creation is to educate and inspire those who engage with this digital content. Nadi is also a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion educator who works with workplace teams, teachers and individuals to teach anti-racism and anti-discrimination tools and practices.
Micheli Oliver is a trained geographer and photographer who tells the stories of land and peoples. She grew up on and currently lives on the occupied Cheyenne, Ute and Arapaho current and traditional territories (Berthoud, Colorado). Micheli is of the Niitsitapi Blackfoot and Shawnee peoples, working to reclaim her culture and confront the impacts colonization has had on her family. The land and her people are what drive her forward in telling stories and uplifting Indigenous voices. Micheli works with Natives Outdoors, On the Land Media and additional grassroots organizations that elevate underrepresented BIPoC voices specifically in the outdoor industry. She is a map nerd at heart and one of her biggest passions is the decolonization of maps and reclaiming of visual space. Micheli graduated from the University of Colorado with a honors BA in Geography and Indigenous studies. There she learned of the worldwide efforts for the decolonization of maps as a way to combat the erasure of colonization. She additionally worked with the Karuk Tribe for her thesis where she highlighted the importance of co-management and ancestral fire practice as a way toward autonomy on lands taken. As the Research Director, Micheli will work to make relation with Tribes, Nations and Confederacies and further strengthen bonds between Native Land Digital and Native communities. Her goal is to make all peoples feel listened to and further research the accuracy of land acknowledgements on the map.
Makayla is a museum nerd and a Payómkawichum (Luiseño) woman who is very passionate about embracing all aspects of her identity. Her academic background is in preserving cultural heritage and advocating for Indigenous voices within institutional spaces.
Makayla was raised and currently resides on her ancestral land in Southern California. She is an alumna from UC Santa Barbara and has her BA in Art History and Anthropology with a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. She is passionate about preserving cultural knowledge for future generations. For this reason, she felt drawn to work with Native Land Digital as its mission is to amplify Indigenous voices through making knowledge about Indigenous peoples and lands accessible to all!
She has worked with Santa Barbara California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) as a Peer Advisor at local schools, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) as a Museum Technician in their Collections Management department.