Sharing connections with land through web mapping No Images? Click here
News from Ecotrust Canada


Voices on the Land

As we head into the final days of summer, the word “Okanagan” probably conjures up images of fine wines, sweet cherries, and burgeoning vineyards. But for the Okanagan Nation Alliance, this land is far more than a weekend getaway – and they want the world to know it.

The Okanagan Nation Alliance asked us to build a tool to help describe their multi-dimensional, deeply historical relationship to this place.

From that challenge sprang Voices on The Land – a modern exploration of the Okanagan’s deep, rich history. In the online map, guided tours travel through communities and landmarks while embedded videos and markers tell the Nation’s story in the Colville-Okanagan Salish language.

We invite you to experience the Okanagan as its people see it.


Alex Annejohn has always been interested in the ways people and places interact. She joined Ecotrust Canada earlier this year through a GIS practicum program at BCIT, and has stayed on in a web mapping and programming support role. Voices on the Land was one of her first major projects with us. “The ONA has a wealth of stories and information.  I enjoyed working with them to find ways to showcase some of those stories and relationships with the land.”

“Allowing people to record, assert, and share their connections with their important places is what web mapping is all about.”


We built Voices on the Land to help the Okanagan Nation Alliance paint its own story on the digital landscape, preserving and sharing its history for next generations.

And in this age of Big Data, it’s an important reminder that “data” comes in many forms. Voices on the Land places the histories of the Syilx people on the landscapes to which they are so irrevocably tied. And for those of us not steeped in the Okanagan’s rich culture, it offers a glimpse of the true intertwining of people and place.

Ecotrust Canada’s cartography tools afford communities new platforms on which to tell their stories. From recording oral histories to documenting traditional land use for legal cases, we are proud to support First Nations in the assertion of their Rights.


With thanks,

Brenda Kuecks, President