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.


Board of Directors

Shauna Johnson

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 Kemper

Rudo is a non-native geographer and technologist working in solidarity with Indigenous and other local communities to co-create and use digital tools for self-determination and self-representation. He got his start working with communities in the Amazon rainforest in the early 2010s, where he accompanied communities like the Matawai Maroons of Suriname in mapping and monitoring their ancestral lands, and documenting their traditional knowledge and oral histories. Rudo currently works with Digital Democracy, where he is accompanying communities across the globe in building and using mapping tools to defend their lands, and stewarding the development of the Earth Defenders Toolkit, a collaborative digital platform for earth defender communities and their allies. Originally from Curaçao, Rudo has worked with communities in Suriname, Kenya, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, and the United States.

Mesiah Burciaga-Hameed

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

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

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.


Advisory Council

Aaron Carapella

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

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.


Tyler McCreary

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.

Jean-Luc Fournier

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.


Employees

Victor Sauca – Research Lead

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.

Makayla Rawlins – Volunteer Coordinator

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.

Tanya Ruka – Research Communications Lead

Tanya Te Miringa Te Rorarangi Ruka is a Māori Indigenous artist and designer living in Te Whānganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa (Wellington, Capital City of New Zealand). The land of 3 tribal nations: Te Atiawa, Ngati Toa Rangatira and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika.
She is of Ngati Pakau, Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau, Te Mahurehure Ngapuhi, and Waitaha descent. She is a member of the Taheke Gazetted Māori Committee of the National Māori Council. She has a Master of Art and Design, and works as an independent indigenous researcher, she is active in environmental issues from an indigenous perspective in Aotearoa and globally. Working with the Waitaha Executive Grandmothers Council she has been documenting and mapping the sacred stories of her Tupuna ancestors as evidence for tribal environmental issues involving land and water protection claims through the Treaty of Waitangi. As a Māori artist she is inspired by her ancestry, and the creation stories that place the land as ancestor, and the Master Navigator voyagers of the Pacific who always kept their eyes on the horizon in hopeful anticipation, bringing the tribe safely to land. Tanya works with Mātauranga Māori (ancestral knowledge and navigational tools) to design pathways of transitional Indigenous Futures and Indigenous Speculative Design. Working in the digital realm creating stories that firmly place indigenous concepts, knowledge, perspectives and ways of being in the landless territories of new imagined futures. She is currently working with dedicated indigenous and non-indigenous textile researchers, academics, scientists, engineers, growers and local Iwi (tribes). Documenting the journey to develop circular designed, native plant fibre materials and textiles that will help to connect people back to the land through indigenous ways of knowing. She is developing a Community Rongoā (Māori native plant medicine) Forest initiative weaving together ancestral knowledge with integrated app based technology. 

Tanya hopes to continue the legacy of her late Uncle, who was sent by her Grandmother into the world to open up pathways of communication with other indigenous tribal nations. As Research Communications Lead for Nativeland Digital she is honoured to be a part of the team and is dedicated to the representation of indigenous tribal voices and their homelands.  

Feel free to say ‘Kia ora’ (hi) to her @fog_moon_studio 

Emily Haines – Research Assistant

Emily Haines is a Métis and Polish-Canadian woman originally from the north end of Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the homeland of the Anishinaabe, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, and Métis on Treaty 1 territory. Her Métis relations have lived across the Métis homeland for centuries and include the Malaterre, Larocque, McIvor, Fleury, and Adam families among others. She has been living in Mistahi Sâkâhikan (St. Albert, Alberta) since 2001 and now lives and works in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta). She holds a BA in Anthropology and Classics and is currently pursuing a master’s degree through the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology at the University of Alberta, specializing in Indigenous Archaeologies. Her research involves investigating sites of historical Métis occupation in Edmonton, using GIS to map these sites onto the modern landscape, and to both encourage the vitality of modern Métis communities and to re-visualize Edmonton and other cities as Indigenous spaces. 


Racquel Banaszak – Digital Communications and Content Creator

Racquel Banaszak is an Anishinaabekwe from Zagwaandagaawininiwag (Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe) and an enrolled citizen of Mashkiiziibii (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe). She is a visual artist and Indigenous education advocate based in Bde Ota Othunwe/Gakaabikaang (Minneapolis, MN). She earned a graduate certificate in Native American Studies from Montana State University (2018) and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2012). She studied Aboriginal Visual Culture at the Ontario College of Art & Design University in Toronto, Canada. Her artistic practices focus on Indigenous histories, lifeways, and contemporary representation. She is interested in how federal Indian laws and policies have influenced personal and community narratives and identities. She advocated for Indigenous peoples and accurate representation through Indigenous education programming including advancing Indigenous curriculum for all and educational equity.