Evaluating the inclusion of Inuvialuktun place names in online maps


  • Sarah Simpkin Carleton University




Toponyms, Place names, Inuvialuit, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Inuvialuktun, Indigenous Knowledge, Tuktoyaktuk


Place names, also known as toponyms, are a fundamental part of our cultural and geographical environment. Like many Indigenous groups, Inuvialuit in what is now northwestern Canada use place names to describe the landscape, guide and warn travellers, and convey important cultural information (Hart 2011, 9). Many efforts are underway to document, restore and promote the use of Indigenous toponyms in Canada, including their submission to provincial and territorial naming authorities (Inuit Heritage Trust 2016). A related means of raising the profile of Inuvialuit place names is their inclusion on maps that are readily accessible to the public. In their ten calls to action for natural science researchers working in Canada, Wong et al. (2020) underscore the need for Indigenous place names to be incorporated, with permission, in maps and text associated with scientific research to recognize the stories and Indigenous Knowledge behind the names (777). This paper is a step in addressing this call to action by presenting the results of an analysis of Inuvialuktun-language place names in the Tuktoyaktuk area. The analysis examines how readily the names are identified in official, and popular non-official sources and discusses implications for promoting Indigenous Knowledge more broadly.

Author Biography

Sarah Simpkin, Carleton University

A former GIS and Geography Librarian, Sarah Simpkin is currently the Associate University Librarian (Academic Services) at Carleton University. In addition to her work as a librarian, Sarah recently completed a Master of Science in Northern Studies at Carleton where she focused on knowledge mobilization in support of climate change research.

Feature Article, Sarah Simpkin




How to Cite

Simpkin, S. (2023). Evaluating the inclusion of Inuvialuktun place names in online maps. Bulletin - Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA), (172), 7–18. https://doi.org/10.15353/acmla.n172.5453

Similar Articles

1 2 3 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.