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Mapping the Ground We Stand On

In the wake of the release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015, PWRDF’s former Executive Director, Adele Finney, spoke with public engagement staffer, Suzanne Rumsey, about how PWRDF might create an education piece in response. Adele and Suzanne, together with Esther Wesley, former Coordinator of the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation, developed a narrative and a process called “Mapping the Ground We Stand On.” The resulting workshop explored Indigenous presence and Settler arrival on the map of Turtle Island/Canada.

Piloted at PWRDF’s National Gathering in the fall of 2015, this “education for reconciliation” resource was further developed and delivered in parishes and other venues. In 2019, PWRDF launched a new five-year strategic plan. The fifth goal is “Mutual Reconciliation: We will accompany and support First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, guided by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the priorities of Indigenous communities and organizations in Canada.” In 2019, a decision was taken by PWRDF to train a national network of Mapping Exercise facilitators in Winnipeg. Filmmaker, Tim Wilson, joined the training to document that process and produced two videos, available on PWRDF’s Youtube channel.

The facilitators are:

  • B.C./Yukon: Nancy and John Denham (Diocese of New Westminster), Michael Shapcott (Diocese of Kootenay)
  • Rupert’s Land: Elizabeth Bonnett (Diocese of Rupert’s Land), Jennifer Marlor (Diocese of Rupert’s Land)
  • Ontario: Greg Smith (Diocese of Huron), Cheryl Marek (Diocese of Toronto)
  • Canada: Gillian Power (Diocese of Nova Scotia/PEI), Mike MacKenzie (Diocese of Nova Scotia/PEI)

Virtual Mapping Exercise

In late May 2021, with the encouragement of our facilitators, PWRDF launched a virtual Mapping Exercise workshop to be delivered over Zoom. The workshop is approximately two and half hours long, with breaks, breakout rooms and interactive elements. We hope it will prove to be a helpful complement to the in-person workshop as we move into a post-pandemic world, reaching audiences that might not be able to participate in-person.

The map of truth and reconciliation in Canada is still very much incomplete. PWRDF remains committed to being part of the journey towards finding a more complete map.

To inquire about bringing a virtual or in-person Mapping Exercise to your parish or community, please email PWRDF Public Engagement Program Officer Christine Hills, who will forward your request to a facilitator for your ecclesiastical province.


Watch this video describing the in-person workshop

Click here to share a trailer for our video!

For post-COVID times, each ecclesiastical province group has been equipped with a large floor map of Canada and is ready to bring this education for reconciliation resource to you. It is ideal for a synod, clergy retreat day, youth gathering, PWRDF parish representative day, or Indigenous awareness event.

“This resource can be helpful,” wrote National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Mark MacDonald in his introduction to the Mapping Exercise. “It is another layer, another lens, of the story of colonialism. It allows some personal application and consideration. In this exercise you will uncover the truth and the falseness of many of the maps that are part of our individual and collective lives.”

If you would like to host a Mapping Exercise (virtual or otherwise), PWRDF will cover any travels for our volunteer facilitators. Local hosts are asked to cover any costs associated with the venue or refreshments and provide tech support. We will bring the map!

Print resources:

Mapping the Ground We Stand On (Facilitator’s Guide), 3rd edition