The settler ‘home’ is where the settler maps (and unmaps): Lee-Anne Broadhead, ‘Scales of justice: putting remembrance back on the map in Palestine and Mi’kma’ki’, Settler Colonial Studies, 2020


Abstract: This paper considers two remarkable efforts to counter the repressive effects of ‘colonial cartography’: the Nakba map project in Israel, and the Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek Mi’kmaw Place Names Digital Atlas and Website Project in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia, Canada). Undertaken by the Israeli NGO Zochrot (‘remembering’ in Hebrew), the Nakba ‘counter-mapping’ project seeks to challenge settler foundation myths utilized to perpetuate ongoing oppression. The Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek Mi’kmaw Place Names project deploys cartographic revelation – the recovery of erased place names – as a mode of cultural reclamation, confronting settlers with the natural and human realities of the ‘world’ they ‘discovered.’ In addition, by delineating the legends and lore encoded and embedded in those place names, the project helps place the Mi’kmaw language and worldview back ‘on the map’ of remembrance and dialogue. Linkages between the two examples of settler occupation are highlighted through a consideration of the ways the Canadian government assists with the ongoing oppression of Palestine, as well as the ways Palestinian-Indigenous solidarity efforts seek to resist entrenched settler-centric narratives (mental maps). The case studies are presented as part of a necessarily larger, on-going effort to give voice to those long silenced by the hegemonic ‘truth’ of settler societies.

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