In this essay I analyse and reflect on the role of elders and grandparents in the maintenance and conservation of the cultural landscape of the World Heritage Site “Pimachiowin Aki” in Canada, through the creation of stories that in turn build invisible maps that teach new generations about the place, the intangible value for the c and the role of everything that makes up the place.
Topic: Cultural Landscapes
The Elders, thanks to the knowledge received of their ancestors, know another type of map, the one of the superior world, where all the beings of great power live, from the spirits of animals to the great and powerful Thunderbird. This knowledge of these wise Ojibwe allows them to creates maps of the visible resources and is also the bridge to pass from one map, the physical one, to another, the spiritual one.
In this essay, I will focus on the role of the Elders, and the importance of their participation in the creation of the maps and atlas for the nomination of Pimachiowin Aki as a World Heritage Site. They, with their knowledge and oral tradition, were vital to making maps of various kinds, not only cartographic ones but also maps that give instructions or that create paths, being the proof that “all heritage is intangible” (Smith, 2015). They allow both, the Ojibwe community and the world, to see the invisible around us.Tathiana Sánchez, Elders: the cartographers of tangible and intangible worlds. 2020.