Google Earth recently made a wonderful new learning tool available to the public; one that helps tell the story of Canada’s residential schools and the devastating impacts the schools had on Indigenous people.
The new tool is part of Google Earth’s Voyager series and it takes full advantage of the powerful storytelling functionality Voyager brings to Google Earth’s popular mapping service. The result is a much needed primer on residential schools for elementary and secondary school students; told through a unique geographic lens.
The project was spearheaded by Canadian Geographic Education (Can Geo Education). They are the first Canadian organization to produce content for Google Earth Voyager. They join a growing number of prestigious Google partners such as NASA and the BBC.
Can Geo Education worked closely with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) of the University of Manitoba to create this new educational tool, one that helps students learn about the dark chapter of residential schools in Canadian history.
Google Earth Voyager shows students where each residential school is located on a map of Canada and explains why the schools were built, what attending a residential school was like for Indigenous children, the effects of the system on students, and how residential school survivors are working to move forward.
There are four modules for students and the general public to explore:
As Ellen Curtis, Director of Can Geo Education, states, the residential school system is a harrowing part of Canadian history, but a part of our history that is required learning on the journey toward reconciliation. We couldn’t agree more and we encourage everyone to explore this new resource.
Many thanks to Google and Can Geo Education for developing this 21st century learning tool, one that adds to the reconciliation journey by telling the story of Canada’s residential schools in a unique new way.