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Beading our stories

The map presented here is the result of a research project started in 2019 with young people from the Indigenous community of Montreal/Tiohtiá:ke concerning their relationships with and in the city. This collaborative research project used participatory mapping to share their stories, experiences and knowledge of the city and within the city, while provoking collective analysis and co-creation of new knowledge and perspectives. The project seeks to make Aboriginal presences and experiences visible in order to respond to the coloniality of the urban space and the violence that results from it. It is supported by research networks such as Tryspaces and the Indigenous division of the Quebec Youth Research Network Chair.



A creation committee made up of seven young people who participated in the research was formed in the fall of 2021. The analysis of the stories collected was partly carried out by this committee. The committee met in the spring of 2022 to analyze, select and organize the compiled stories in order to “pearl” a common collective narrative. It also decided on the objectives and format of the knowledge mobilization tool through which to disseminate the results of this analysis. The members were all in agreement to create a tool that would first be built and accessible to other young people in the indigenous community of Montreal, whether they have been settled in Montreal for a long time or whether they have recentlynt migrated. The committee also aspires to make it a tool for raising awareness and awareness of thetheir presence and identities through their visibility.

Mapping workshop (Fall 2019)

In the fall of 2019, a first counter-mapping workshop was organized at INRS by Stéphane and Marie-Eve, in collaboration with Ángela López Urrego. Four young women and an Indigenous Elder came together with the INRS team to reflect on their relationships with and in the city, to create individual maps representing these relationships, and to share them in order to tell the story of Montreal/Tiohtiá:ke since their experiences. This workshop also served toplace the participatory methodology that guided the rest of the project.

Mapping Online Workshop Series (Fall 2020)
We held online mapping workshops, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. Seven Aboriginal youth participated in these workshops. This allowed us to come together around a common project in these more difficult times and to have a sense of community. We were able to deepen the different experiences of life in Tiohtiá:ke.

Interview Series (Winter 2021)
Interviews of one or two sessions were carried out with 7 participants in order to deepen the reflections of the realities lived in Tiohtiá:ke explored during the mapping workshops held online. It also made it possible to reach other people and add other voices to the collective narrative that was being built.


Transcription and analysis of the material collected (Spring 2021 - Spring 2022)
By the research team, including the research assistants who participated in the project.

Formation of the creative committee (Fall 2021)
A committee made up of seven people who had participated in one or other of the stages of the research was formed to decide on the form to be given to a knowledge mobilization tool, its objectives and its content. The committee decided to make a digital story map to share the experiences of the participants.


Analysis session with the creative committee (Spring 2022)
Five members of the creative committee carried out a collective analysis based on excerpts from the transcriptions of the workshops and the interviews carried out. They grouped these excerpts into different themes and organized them with the aim of weaving a common narrative. Discussions continued over a meal cooked by an Indigenous chef.


Editing selected audios (Summer-Fall 2022)
By the research team

Occasional meetings of the creative committee (2022-2023)
A series of meetings with the creative committee made it possible to make the main decisions concerning the creation of the narrative map. 


Creation of the website (Winter 2023)
Fabienne Théorêt-Jérôme, a young Anicinabe, worked on the illustration of the map based on the ideas and comments expressed by the creative committee.
Isanielle Enright, a language and web design specialist of mixed origin (Kanien'kehá:ka, Éireannaí, French-Canadian) designed the website. She worked with Fabienne to create the visual identity of the Site, and developed its structure around orality rather than based on written medium.

Publication of the website April 2023

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