This is a map of East Van, and in no way is it objective. No map is. From their legacy in documenting/justifying colonization to a visual aid for developers and city “revitalizers” chopping up the Downtown Eastside and other anchors of East Van into smaller and smaller pieces, maps are collections for stories of violence. So too, can maps hold tales of resistance and hope and those who refuse to keep quiet, those who know that a story told can never die.
I'm Mickey Morgan, I use they/them pronouns, I'm a cartographer and translator and listener and storyteller. This map we’re making is composed of stories shared using various media and is part of a few inter-connected projects like a zine, an open source map, and a podcast, but primarily are ways to understand mapping as storytelling (and vice versa). There are two foundational stories to this map. First, I am a settler, a squatter wherever I am on Turtle Island. Land, Water, and Air which is rightfully stewarded and traditionally known by Indigenous people. East Vancouver is a colonial title and borders for Land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations, and where I create this is also Land of the Sto:lo nation. The colonial names, uses, and very shape of the Land as we know it now go hand in hand with the constructs of property, race, gender, disability, class, and all these other things which are made up as justification of violence-- as if there could ever be justification for such things. Two, East Van is my home, though I don’t live here and I am unable to physically be here, I owe it to my neighbours to show up. We are responsible to each other, all of us, even you.