You are Here - 80 years of Canadian Geographic maps


Early Exploration
The Arctic
Foreign Adventure
Aboriginal Perspective

Mapping by memory

Image of a hand-drawn map of an area of Canada from 1822

Canada’s aboriginal peoples found their way through rough, unforgiving lands time and again. What’s more, they did this without permanent or conventional maps. This map was drawn in 1822 by the Inuk Iligluik at Winter Island. It was created from memory of the land. Many aboriginal peoples would sketch their maps in the snow and on skins or birchbark to find their way.

“Mapping by memory” from “Canada: Exploration", Canadian Geographic, 2000, 70th anniversary edition