Institute for Advanced Study, Northrop, and University Honors Program Present

Keeping Accountability on the Table: Mapping Land-Grab and Next→

Past event
Oct 20, 2022
Graphic of a Minneapolis/St. Paul map included in the Land-Grab project.

Margaret Pearce, Cartographer

The Land-Grab Universities project presents archival evidence and historical narrative through multiple points of entry: writing, cartographic design, interactive web map, photography, and a large, open database. Cartographer Margaret Pearce will share how the maps and graphs are designed to amplify the project at multiple scales, consider other ways cartographic language collaborates for truth-telling, and imagine how cartography might contribute to what can come next—to keep accountability on the table.



Margaret Pearce is a Citizen Potawatomi tribal member and cartographer living on Penobscot homelands in Maine. She sees cartography as a form of writing whose secrets and possibilities she devotes her life to learning. She recently collaborated with Ho-Chunk Nation and Miami Tribe to map their Removals for the Field Museum, and with the Land-Grab Universities team at High Country News to map land-grant university Morrill parcel responsibilities, for which they received a George Polk award among others. She holds a PhD in geography and was a geography professor for 15 years, teaching courses in cartographic history, theory, and practice. Margaret Pearce is a 2022 National Geographic Wayfinder Award recipient.



Image Credit: Detail from Wąąkšik huunųp homąnįra wagųsiraregi higi hįnįhawi / We have been here since the beginning of time, by Josie Lee, Bill Quackenbush, and Margaret Pearce. Explore project.

Event Details

Event Info

You will receive an automatic email reminder one day and one hour prior to the event including the Zoom link and instructions for those who wish to attend in person.

Learn More - Explore These Themes

This Fall, the Spotlight Series brings together thought leaders to explore how geography and mapping practices inform identity, history, and the question of personal responsibility. The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between community and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested topics in the fall sessions.

  • Data Science
  • Computer Science
  • Mapping / Geography
  • Visual Arts
  • Art History
  • American History
  • American Indian Studies
  • Public Art
  • Agriculture and Food Business Management
  • Applied Economics
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Food Security

Start a conversation or reflect on this event using these questions as inspiration.

October’s Spotlight Series will be focused on the topic of Indigenous Mapping, a practice where Indigenous communities own, control, and possess both the geographic information and mapping processes of their communities. Cartographer, writer, and October Spotlight Series speaker, Dr. Margaret Pearce, researched and designed Coming Home to Indigenous Place Names in Canada, a mapshared by permission of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities and peopledesigned to create respect for Indigenous homelands and sovereignties, and a feeling for and understanding of place names.

  • If colonialism is defined as the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically, how would you define ‘intellectual colonialism’? 
  • In what ways does intellectual colonialism present itself in academic settings? How can Universities and academic institutions dismantle the legacy of intellectual colonialism? Why is dismantling important? 
  • How do changes in mapping combat inequality? In addition to updating maps, what other inclusive practices could inform and broaden our understanding of history? 
  • Along with land acknowledgment, how can we make sure we are honoring the original names of places and supporting the Indigenous peoples who live there?
  • Do you think it is important to understand the translations of Indigenous place names, particularly if you do not speak the language? Why or why not?