100 people will participate in a four-day indigenous mapping workshop at the University of Victoria from Aug. 25 to 28. The workshop will explore how geospatial technologies can be used in indigenous mapping projects, with about 40 First Nations sharing how they are mapping traditional territories and land use.
”Steven DeRoy, director of the Victoria research co-operative the Firelight Group, will speak about direct-to-digital methods that are replacing paper mapping.”
”Staff from Google Earth Outreach will show how to best use the widely accessible Google Earth to explore and map territories.”
”UVic anthropologist Brian Thom, who is co-organizing the workshop, is at the forefront of indigenous mapping research in Canada — using online tools such as Google Earth and Maps that he says have democratized the process by being free and simple to use.”
“Now you can take a laptop to an elder’s living room and we’ll fly through Google Earth to places they recognize and know in their territory. … It puts the technology in the hands of indigenous people to use.”
“In the Stz’uminus places project [which maps original Hul’q’umi’num’ names and cultural uses], the youth were excited to be recording elders’ stories with their cellphones and the elders were excited to be asked questions by the young people,” said Thom, who has worked as a researcher and treaty negotiator for First Nations and is the founder of UVic’s Ethnographic Mapping Lab.”
“The Lyackson, Hul’q’umi’num’ and Stz’uminus (Chemainus) mapping projects are all part of his ongoing research, which received a $75,000 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant and additional funding from Google. He is also working with an indigenous community in Russia.”