ESRI Conservation Program Resources:

Native/First Nations: Papers 1

Jump To Page: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 . Jump to Papers: 1

(ECP and CTSP grantees, reports, and other sites of interest for conservation geograpy, mapping and GIS. Grantees are coded by program and year of grant at the end of their name/state, i.e. e91 means ECP grant in 1991. c=cstp, cm=ctsp-mac, cs=ctsp-software)

Scholarly papers and ESRI Conference Proceedings

Applying Computing Technology to Preserve Cultural Inheritance . (NPACI, National Computational Science Alliance-- UC San Diego, MC 0505 -- 9500 Gilman Drive -- La Jolla, CA 92093-0505 858-534-5000 -- 858-534-5152 (fax) -- "UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO -- An interdisciplinary group at UCSD, including the arts, humanities, ethnic studies, and SDSC, as well as several local American Indian leaders hosted the Tribal History and Technology conference May 12 to initiate an exchange of world views about how to apply computing technology to a very new applications area: preserving cultural inheritance. The conference-the first of its kind held at UCSD-was the brainchild of Rosemarie McKeon, artist, M.F.A. student in UCSD's Visual Arts Department, and SDSC (San Deigo Supercomputing Cener) staff artist....The conference began with a blessing from Jhon Goes In Center, a Lakota Indian and president of Innovative GIS Solutions. He reminded the audience that, in native communities, a blessing functions much like striking a gavel in a business meeting: Both help focus subsequent thinking and activity....For tribal communities to enhance and perpetuate their cultures, a first step is to conduct an inventory of their resources, which are conceived broadly to include natural resources (topographic features, water resources, flora, and fauna), sacred areas, cultural aspects (language, ceremonies), etc. Hence the appeal of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), one of the key focus areas of the conference, for monitoring and mapping environmental and cultural tribal interests."

GIS Implementation in Wisconsin Winnebago Nation (1995 Paper, HE, PING, Ph.D) (Editor's note: the Winnebago call themselves by their self name, the Ho Chunk nation, and request that others use this name as well)..."The integration of technology with cultural concerns on an early stage of setting up, involving the Winnebago people in training and using existing sources to develop various applications were keys to the progress of the Winnebago GIS program."

GIS Implementation at the Squamish Nation (by Jason Calla, GIS Coordinator, Squamish Nation, with contributions from David Buckley, Innovative GIS Solutions, Inc. and Richard Koett, System Administrator, Squamish Nation. From GIS'97 Natural Resource Symposium, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, February 1997.) "The Squamish Nation is a First Nation whose traditional territory is located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Since the arrival of Europeans in the late 1700s and the subsequent growth of the City of Vancouver within Squamish Nation Traditional Territory there has been massive immigration and exploitation of the natural resources which previously had been accessed by Squamish people. This land and resource base had allowed the Squamish culture to flourish and for the Squamish people to be self-sufficient for many generations. Today much of this land and resource base has been alienated, exploited and depleted and the Squamish people and their culture face numerous challenges to survive. The Squamish Nation has had to look for new tools to manage the increasing needs of its members and the decreasing land and resource base. This investigation has resulted in the implementation of a Geographic Information System (GIS). This paper will explain the experiences of the Squamish Nation in implementing a GIS....Most computer software will run on a variety of platforms. In choosing a hardware/software combination, it is usually best to choose the software first, and then settle on what hardware platform is most suitable. The Squamish Nation chose ArcInfo from ESRI as our GIS software, for a number of reasons. In choosing a software package, we looked for capability, programmability, compatibility and longevity. In terms of capability, we were not able to predict any potential use for our GIS system which could not be handled in ArcInfo. In terms of programmability, we saw that ArcInfo’s extensive macro language would allow us to build custom applications and user interfaces to suit our own needs. In terms of compatibility, we wanted to be able to share data easily with other organizations. We were aware that many organizations in our area were using ArcInfo themselves, and that ArcInfo provided tools for all common data import and export formats. Lastly, in terms of longevity, we were satisfied that ESRI’s large customer base world-wide would ensure a stable market presence and source of support. "

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as Decision Support Tool(s) to Incorporate Indigenous Knowledge in Aquatic Resources Management in Lao PDR (Contact Address: | M. Ataur Rahman, Department of Geography, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1 Phone: (519) 885-1211 ext. 5488 Fax: (519) 746-0658 E-mail: ) "Indigenous people in rural communities spend their entire lives interacting with their local ecosystems. They must successfully and sustainably manage their local ecosystems in order to survive. Viewed from a Darwinian evolutionary perspective, therefore, the knowledge of indigenous rural communities is under continuous intense selection pressure. Such selective pressure, over time, produces a body of indigenous environmental knowledge extremely valuable for sustainable resource management (Altieri 1987; Rappaport 1968; Senge 1993). | The GIS provides a useful platform for storage, retrieval and analysis of indigenous knowledge of the rural communities. It is a powerful tool for visualizing indigenous knowledge. A GIS can display desired data combinations and can produce hard copies of maps, graphs, figures or tables. Capacity to recombine data makes the GIS an ideal tool for scenario techniques, displaying the results of alternative management options, a useful instrument in policy debates and decision making (Kohler 1995). A GIS can thus contribute to better communication among the stakeholders of resource management: the policy makers, experts, managers, and obviously, the indigenous rural communities. "

Indigenous Land-Use Information Project (School of Applied Geography, Ryerson Polytechnic University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 2K3. Contact: Professor Frank Duerden, School of Applied Geography, Ryerson Polytechnic University or Dr. Richard Kuhn, Department of Geography, University of Guelph. ) Proposal for a 3-year study: " Increasing attention is being paid to means of incorporating indigenous land use information in the overall land use and resource development process in the Canadian north."

( David Delsordo GIS Analyst, Forestry Department Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation P.O. Box 278 Pablo, MT 59855 PHONE: 406-676-2700 Extension 385 FAX: 406-675-2713 EMAIL: "Mapping Indian Country, 1998 will be a special session designed to serve the interests and needs of the Native American Community in the Upper Columbia and Upper Missouri River Basins. Our hope is to provide a forum where ideas and experiences related to the use of GIS in Indian Country will be shared with others. This program will be held in conjunction with and be a part of the Annual Montana/Idaho GIS Conference, Butte, Montana, April 27 to 30, 1998."

Mapping Native Lands: Spatial Data Technology Finds A Home In Indian Country (By Eric Brandt, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, orginally appeared in Winds of Change, Winter 1995, posted Paul Neto's website) "Today, more than 100 tribes in the United States are using some form of GIS to manage land and resource information, ,both on and off Indian reservations. For example, GIS is being used to support Indian land claims arising from the manu allotment acts that divided Native lands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Every indication is that diverse tribal use of the technology will continue to grow as GIS users gain experience and the cost of computer hardware and software continues to decline...Throughout the Northwest, tribes are actively using GIS. A number of well established user sites can be found. On many Northwest reservations, including Warm Springs, Colville, Coeur d'Alene, Nez Perce, Flathead, Quinault and Hoopa, timber and other natural resources are key technology drivers. Noteworthy IRMP (Integrated Resource Management Planning) efforts also exist on the Umatilla, Colville, Yakama, Spokane and Hoopa reservations...In Southwest, the Navajo Nation occupies the largest Indian reservation in the United States and boasts one of the largest tribal GIS operations." others include "San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache, Hualapai, the Colorado River tribes, the Fort Mojave Tribe and the Salt River Pima/Maricopa community..The Pueblo of Zuni...Tribes in the Midwest and Plains are applying GIS to a broad range of economic development and land status issues... Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has helped fund a 15-month project at South Dakota State University to promote economic development on three reservations in South Dakota and one in Wyoming. The project is helping introduce GIS to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Nation, the Cheyenne River Sioux, the Yankton Sioux and the Wind River reservations. "

Native & Environmental Grassroots Movements: Linking The Native Movement For Sovereignty And The Environmental Movement (By Zoltan Grossman, a professional cartographer in Madison, who has worked in support of Indigenous peoples from Wisconsin to the Philippines. He is a co-founder of the: Midwest Treaty Network, 713 State Street, Madison, WI 53703 E-Mail: ) "...The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is not simply a combination of the Native American movement with environmental activism. IEN has popularized a new angle on Native sovereignty that includes appropriate technology and the defense of natural resources. It has also introduced a new angle on environmentalism that includes supporting the survival of endangered cultures, and putting the protection of nature in a larger social, cultural, and economic context. ...It took Greenpeace and other environmental groups years to understand that subsistence gathering is an integral part of traditional customs and economies, and that opposing them not only legitimizes the hysterical claims of anti-Indian groups, but distracts attention from the real threat -- corporate devastation of the land and oceans. Some environmental groups have also been awakened by the movements against environmental racism and for environmental justice....Future Strategies: IEN's strategies have come directly from the grassroots Native groups on the frontlines. Most of IEN's workshops focus on giving these groups necessary technical skills such as testing and sampling, computer mapping, and restoring damaged lands. Yet many of the participants preferred to talk about building an ecologically appropriate economic base in their local communities, besides gaming.... "

The Role of GIS in Integrated Resource Management for First Nations Initiatives in Alberta (Ralph Makokis, MINSTIK Developments Ltd., Box 236, Saddle Lake, Alberta, T0A 3T0 David Buckley, formerly GeoMark Analysis Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, GIS'91 Natural Resource Symposium, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, February 1991.) "GIS technology affords the ability to integrate a wide range of environmental, demographic, and economic information in support of resource management initiatives. MINSTIK Developments Ltd. is a 100 % Treaty Indian owned company whose mandate is to develop and deliver GIS capabilities for First Nations resource management initiatives."

The Wild Path Forward Left Biocentrism, First Nations, Park Issues and Forestry A Canadian View . (Green Web Bulletin #44 by David Orton: This article is in press with Wild Earth magazine and will be published in the Fall 1995 issue. Wild Earth is published quarterly by the Cenozoic Society, Inc., POB 455, Richmond, Vermont 05477, U.S.A. ) "North American Wilderness Recovery Strategy proponents must address First Nations issues, because such issues, at least in Canada, will affect the successfulness of any emerging Strategy. It has become necessary to have views on aboriginal issues - including aboriginal rights and treaty rights, native sovereignty, and land ownership, - and be prepared to express them and defend them. A Wilderness Recovery Strategy entails building alliances. While there are strong mutual interests between native and non-native conservationists and environmentalists of a radical persuasion in fighting the Earth destroyers, there are often also contradictions which need to be publicly discussed. The fundamental question is usually, will natives take the "resourcist" road or preservationist path? Non-native environmentalists with biocentric/ecocentric views must feel free to express critical perspectives."


All text by the respective organizations, January 2, 1997

Compilation & web design: Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program, April 2, 1996


ESRI Conservation Program Home

|   Software - Data - Books - Consulting - GIS Store    |    News - Events - Careers - About ESRI   |
|   Support - GIS Education & Training - GIS for Your Specialty - Partner Solutions - Library   |

Copyright © Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.
Send your comments to:
ESRI Web Site Privacy Policy
July 19, 2000