Indigenous Mapping Network at UC Berkeley July Mtg

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:29

 Indigenous Knowledge
to Improve Conservation 
through Data 

Kai Henifin, Conservation Biology Institute

IMN at UCB July 2009 Mtg

The conservation community has begun to recognize the need to incorporate a more holistic group of stakeholders into environmental discourse. Indigenous communities around the world have started to utilize mapping technology to ensure their participation in land and resource management internally as well as externally. In order to promote these emerging working relationships between scientist, practitioners and community members as well to minimize the need to learn proprietary software Conservation Biology Institute has created Data Basin.  Data Basin is an innovative web tool that enables individuals and organizations to download a vast library of conservation datasets, upload their own data, and produce customized maps that can be easily shared.  The participation of a diverse group of stakeholders in conservation ensures a broader understanding of environmental impacts as well as the opportunities to protect and sustain our natural resources. 

Kai Henifin is a Cultural Ecologist/GIS Analyst with the non-profit organization Conservation Biology Institute. Her work focuses on furthering conservation efforts through inclusion of Indigenous  Knowledge which historically has been excluded from conventional science.

If you are unable to attend
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103 Mulford Hall is located on the Berkeley campus, immediately to the left of the west gate entrance, and across the street from the eucalyptus grove. It is close to the intersection of Oxford St and University Ave. For an interactive campus map and directions please see and


Indigenous Mapping Network meetings at UC-Berkeley convene mapping practitioners, indigenous community members, indigenous rights organizations, researchers, and technology professionals to discuss current issues in indigenous mapping.

Our meetings are intended to create a platform for supporting indigenous mapping collaborations and linking communities with emerging technologies.

Mapping approaches can include thought-maps, performance, materials, as well as GIS, web, and mobile phone technologies.

***We are looking for officers to help us form a Berkeley student group!***

Thank you to the UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management for co-sponsoring this event!

For more information visit or contact Sibyl Diver, doctoral student, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (out of town in July) or Rosemarie McKeon, IMN board member, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Ways of Knowing: Traditional Knowledge as Key Insight for Dealing with Environmental Change/American Meteorological Society CFP

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Indigenous/Traditional Knowledges

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 10:24

The American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) annual meeting theme this coming January is “Weather, Climate, and Society: New Demands on Science and Services” and is a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for environmental anthropologists, cultural geographers, and Native scholars to engage with researchers and practitioners in the fields of climate and weather. The theme also reflects the title of a new journal being published by the AMS that has anthropologists and other social scientists on its editorial board. The meeting will be held in Atlanta, GA, from 17-21 January 2010.  Please see the meeting website for more information:

We are seeking participants for a pre-approved grass-roots session within the Fifth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research. The session abstract, details, and specific instructions are included below. Please feel free to forward this information to potential interested parties!

- Heather Lazrus and Randy Peppler


Ways of Knowing: Traditional Knowledge as Key Insight for Dealing with Environmental Change

American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Fifth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research

January 17-21, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Papers are sought for a session entitled “Ways of Knowing: Traditional Knowledge as Key Insight for Dealing with Environmental Change” to be held at the Fifth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research. Following this year’s annual meeting theme of “Weather, Climate, and Society: New Demands on Science and Services,” this session will explore the role of “non-scientific” forms of knowledge as part of the repertoire of insight needed to deal with environmental changes, including climate change. This session builds upon a American Meteorological Society Town Hall Meeting in 2009 titled “Climate Change, Indigenous Communities in the United States, and AMS: Needs and Opportunities.”

All forms of knowledge – not just recent advances in weather and climate science – may be useful in helping to conceptualize and understand changing environmental conditions and human adaptation to them. Oral history, observation, and experience may also be contextualized within worldviews that promote particular ways of being in the world. According to the Choctaw people, “The ancient ones walked barefoot, sat and lay on the ground because it was good to touch the earth. The old Choctaw believed the Great Spirit created the earth and all the creatures that drink from her bounties and listen to her whispers. The Choctaw’s passion and kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky and water continues today. The earth nourishes and provides for man. Man must care for the earth and do it no harm. If the earth dies, man dies” (from a poster for American Indian Heritage Month, November 2008).

Climate change and the associated shifting patterns of weather and plant and animal life already are having a highly local and enormous impact and adaptive burden on native peoples. Those in the Arctic (e.g., recent fieldwork of Chie Sakakibara: “Cetaceousness and global warming among the Inupiat of Arctic Alaska”) and tropical islanders (e.g., recent fieldwork of Heather Lazrus: “Weathering the Waves: Climate Change, Politics, and Vulnerability in Tuvalu”) currently are significantly affected, but native peoples living close to the land anywhere may be keen to notice the effects of environmental change. Tim Ingold and Terhi Kurttila (Perceiving the environment in Finnish Lapland, Body & Society, 2000) defined traditional knowledge as that knowledge “generated in the practices of locality,” knowledge both historical and dynamic in content and unique in its locatedness. Fikret Berkes (Sacred ecologies: Traditional ecological knowledge and resource managemen! t, 1999) wrote that interest in “non-scientific” knowledge should not be “merely academic” – its lessons have practical significance for the rest of the world in addressing issues related to the environment. Raymond Pierotti and Daniel Wildcat (Traditional ecological knowledge: The third alternative (commentary), Ecological Applications, 2000) believe such knowledge can yield “unexpected” and “non-intuitive insights” on how nature works. Vine Deloria, Jr., and Daniel Wildcat (Power and place: Indian education in America, 2001) wrote that connection to place and knowledge about it remain important issues for native peoples.

Our session seeks to initiate engagement on this topic within the meteorology community and invites scholars from all disciplines working with native peoples on weather, climate, and environmental issues to present on their research. Papers on any aspect of this topic are welcome, with priority given to scholarship on place-based knowledge and narratives. Depending on the number and nature of submissions, we will host 15-minute presentations followed at the end by a 15-minute discussion session, or a panel-type discussion involving shorter 5 to 10-minute presentations from the panel and more discussion time.

Please first contact Randy Peppler ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and Heather Lazrus ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) with your intentions and preferences if you are interested in participating in this session. Abstracts then should be submitted electronically by August 3, 2009, at to the Fifth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research in the category "Policy and Socio-Economic Research Methods and Their Applications." A $90 abstract fee includes the submission of your abstract, the posting of your extended abstract, and the uploading and recording of your presentation that will be archived on the AMS website. The abstract fee (payable by credit card or purchase order) is charged at the time of submission (refundable only if the abstract is not accepted). No funding is available to support speakers. A one-day conference registration option is possible, however. Authors of accepted presentations will be notified via e-mail by late September 2009. Instructions for formatting extended abstracts will be posted on the AMS website at a later date. Extended abstracts up to 3MB must be submitted electronically by January 13, 2010. All abstracts, extended abstracts and presentations will be available on the AMS website at no cost. For more information about the Symposium please see


Rosemarie McKeon’s Top Walkabouts at ESRI UC 2009

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I'll be at ESRI Users Conference in San Diego on Monday July 13th through Tuesday July 14th. Not sure about Wednesday :)
Here are a few things that I will be commenting on at
There is also a series of pictures to accompany my walkabout, that are being added to a set on Flickr. Please let me know if you'd like to see pictures of a particular booth: rose @ indigenousmapping dot net. Enjoy!

Monday July 13th

Map Gallery
3:30PM 8:00PM Sail Area
Tribal / Indigenous GIS Map Showcase / Map Gallery Reception  
4:00 pm – 8:30 pm, NE Corner of Sail Area Meet by 6p

Indigenous, Affiliates, and Friendly Mapster UNconference UNwind with UNhost bar
8:30PM - Dicks Last Resort Bar and Grill

‘Tribal GIS’ Booth within the Federal Showcase: Native led effort to support Tribal GIS Users.  
Exhibit Hall - Booth F1128 Look for the “Federal” Banner towards the rear center

Tuesday July 14th

Tribal / Indigenous GIS Sessions   
 Protecting Tribal Lands and Resources
 Gathering Community Knowledge
 GIS for Tribal Government
 Preserving Indigenous Culture
1) Protecting Tribal Lands and Resources
Tuesday, July 14 8:30 am – 9:45 am, Room 31C SDCC
Indigenous Communities face a wide array of pressures both internal and external on their lands and natural resources.  This session will focus on the ways Indigenous / Tribal Communities across the country are using GIS technology to define and protect their lands and natural resources.   

Paul Backhouse
Tribe / Organization: Seminole Tribe of Florida
Contesting the Everglades: Archaeological Investigations at the Fort Shackelford Site
The Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) of the Seminole Tribe of Florida has initiated a program of archaeological research in an attempt to locate evidence for Fort Shackelford, a Seminole War fort known to have been built around 1855 on the Big Cypress Reservation in southern Florida. Management of the program is unique in that it involves investigations by a local university field school class under the direction of the THPO. Within this structure, many aspects of the project rely heavily on THPO based expertise with Geographic Information Systems to present, manage, and interpret the findings of the research. It is hoped that this program can be used as a model for indigenous groups seeking to utilize the benefits of collaborative associations with academic institutions without losing intellectual control of their cultural resources.  
Jennifer Cutler
Tribe / Organization: Nisqually Indian Tribe
Nisqually River Steelhead Acoustic Tracking in Puget Sound, Washington
The Nisqually River winter steelhead population has been in decline since the early 1990’s. The numbers of adult steelhead returning to the river each spring to spawn are at critically low levels. Similar patterns of decline are occurring in other Puget Sound steelhead stocks, suggesting that the problem may be due to conditions in Puget Sound or in the Pacific Ocean. In an effort to determine movement and mortality patterns during their time in the marine areas, acoustic tags were placed in steelhead smolts as they left the Nisqually River. Smolt movements from the Nisqually River through Puget Sound and the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca were then monitored by a network of acoustic receivers or ‘listening lines’ placed under water. Preliminary results of the information gathered during this study will be presented using ArcGIS Desktop animation and cartography tools.

2) Gathering Community Knowledge
Tuesday, July 14 10:15 am – 11:30 am, Room 31C SDCC
Indigenous Knowledge is shared by the community. Each Tribal Member has a story to tell that in many cases was handed down for many generations.  GIS can serve as medium to gather and store this knowledge for future generations.  This session will showcase innovative programs from engaging the community with GIS programs from North America and around the world.  

Gideon Cauffman
Tribe / Organization: Yakama Nation
Participatory GIS: The Preservation of Indigenous Root Gathering in Yakima The presentation will demonstrate that consultation with tribal citizens is essential for creating a strong working model. The use of USDA data, Solar Analyst, in situ field work, in conjuction with participant observation allowed the creation of a strong working model in order to locate root gathering areas utilized by the Yakama and Wanapum on U.S. Army Garrison, Yakima Training Center.  
Richard Resl
Tribe / Organization: USFQ, UNIGIS, AMAZONGISNET
The Self Determined Atlas Project of 10 Amazonian Indigenous Nations
10 years ago, AmazonGISnet indigenous user group gathered to build a regional resource platform to share relevant knowledge of their territories in order to create a self-determined spatial expression of their Amazonian identity. Along the line of this network initiative legal, environmental, social, cultural and political aspects were treated within workgroups of young native technicians guided by their leaders of each nation. Fighting for their rights, cultural survival and sustainability of their concepts of living within the fragile rainforests of the Amazonian Lowlands of Ecuador, these 10 nations decided to create their own ATLAS PROJECT aimed at giving a living testimony of this community based survey and mapping experience in 5 native languages carrying the signature of both technical and thematic knowledge of the local habitants. The Atlas now builds the basis for a collaborative regional autonomous planning and zoning approach of more than one million hectares of inhabited rainforest.
Jeroen Verplanke
Tribe / Organization:
International Institute for GeoInformation Science and Earth Observation   
Mobile GIS to Manage Indigenous Technical Knowledge in Developing Countries

Local communities in developing countries apply their indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) for sustainable resource management. If communities can use a user-friendly geo-database to assist management of their resources, they could also use the Geo-information tools to manage and preserve their ITK. Mobile GIS has been opted as a solution for many resource management issues. A PDA running ArcPad software connected to a GPS can supply the necessary technology for effective data collection in for instance community forests. The rapid price decrease of recent years has offered the opportunity to apply these tools in developing countries. Most interesting however is the possibility these tools offer to combine ITK and GIS mapping techniques. Experiences with community forestry have resulted in a field guide which communities can use to map forest resources with their indigenous knowledge of the area.
The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan: A Map That Tells a Story
Tuesday, July 14 10:15 am – 11:30 am, Rm 30C SDCC

Tribal / Indigenous Special Interest Group Meeting
Tuesday, July 14 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Room 31C SDCC
I will briefly introduce Indigenous Mapping Network (<5 minutes)

3) GIS for Tribal Government
Tuesday, July 14 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm, Room 31C SDCC
Like any local government, Tribal governments are faced with many challenges in providing effective community services.  GIS is increasingly used in support of many diverse Tribal Government services beyond the traditional project level GIS programs.  This session will showcase innovative applications of GIS across Tribal Government.   

William Fisher
Tribe / Organization: Confederation of Salish and Kootenai (CS&K) Tribes
Implementation of GIS on the Flathead Indian Reservation
The Natural Resource Department GIS program of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are involved in projects for other departments in the Tribal organization as well as City, State, Federal and other local governments and organizations like The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, The Flathead Basin Commission, The National Bison Range. This presentation is a small representation of the projects that the GIS department is involved with. We have utilized the tools of GIS for analytical and general mapping purposes for a number of projects including but not limited to Land acquisition, the uses of our natural resources such as Range, Leases, Homesites, Wetlands, Wildlife, The Tribal Police, The Culture Committee, Tribal Preservation and Fire Management. GIS is used in Analysis of all phases of Timber sales.

Joseph Walksalong
Tribe / Organization: Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Environmental Protection Utilizing GIS on Northern Cheyenne Reservation, MT.
An ideal solution for creating graphic information with associated geographical data to aid in the technological progression of the Environmental and Natural Resources management was the implementation of a viable Geographic Information System. With different generations of ARCVIEW the Environmental Protection Department and Natural Resources Department generated Projects which displayed the Reservation land categories, water resources, and land status ownership. Tribally owned land and Non-tribal lands were projected and overlaid with various features such as streams and rivers. Classifications for each perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral stream were developed and projected on the Reservation lands to show how the Environmental Protection Department will preserve and maintain water quality on these water bodies. ARCGIS 8.0 is also utilized to maintain a database of water resource features and land use features.  
Tia Morita
Tribe / Organization: La Jolla Indian Tribe / Univ. of Redlands MSGIS
A Water Utilities GIS on the La Jolla Indian Reservation
Water is an essential element of life, and as an essential government service, Native American Tribes must ensure the delivery of clean drinking water on their reservations. However, limited resources can challenge management and delivery of this most basic service. In an effort to improve water utilities management, the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians initiated a GIS project to map and analyze their domestic water system. The creation of a geometric data model required the integration of incompatible data sources (paper, CAD, digital, mental) into a comprehensive geodatabase using ArcGIS. Network analysis identified system weaknesses and helped to focus resources for future water projects; thus, resulting in more directed repairs and maintenance, and improved service delivery to

GIS in International Wildlife
Tuesday, July 14 1:30PM 2:45PM Conservation Ballroom 20 D

Spatial Data: Infrastructure-The National Map and Regional Collaboration
Tuesday, July 14 1:30PM 2:45PM, Room 23B

4) Preserving and Understanding Cultural History
Tuesday, July 14 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm, Room 31C SDCC
Sometimes in order to understand the present we need to look to the past.  GIS is broadly used in Archaeology and applying a geographic approach to understanding cultural use of land and resources.  This session will focus on GIS as a medium for supporting innovative Tribal and Indigenous Archaeological programs.   

Sandra Gaskell
Tribe / Organization: ARC Archaeology, Tribal Consultant for the Southern Sierra
Miwuk Nation, Mariposa, CA
Tribal GIS Protocol Using Standard Tables Across Cultural Identifying Factors
Indigenous names relating to significant people and places along major tributaries descending from Yosemite Valley and emptying into the great San Joaquin River define culture boundaries. Compilation of data necessary for completing a Tribal GIS database used seven criterion listed by the BIA and implemented into theme layers. When GIS resource layers from other agencies are queried, patterns emerge to relate lineages of eleven cultural resource routes, through ceremonial villages, camps, and Treaty E, Treaty M boundaries, to ethnographic village records. Tribal GIS Protocols can be applied to data sets from other tribal cultures using a simple set of table guidelines for watershed nomenclature that may replicate this study.

Danette Johnson
Tribe / Organization: Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation Yosemite, CA
Five Decades of Historic Archaeology and Cultural Sites of Wah-ho-gah
While the NPS held scoping meetings in Wah-ho-gah Village with tribal participation, the Southern Sierra Miwuk Tribal GIS mapping system began an inventory of cultural resources and sacred sites. Chronology and practical activities of daily living such as contemporary bedrock mortars in context with the ancient mortar usage, leaching basins, fish and game hunting, automotive repair, and life in general in the New Indian Village, will be studied as part of the historic component of the CA-MRP-305 investigations from the 2008 fieldwork. Ethnography of the Tribe and by the Tribe can interpret historic features and artifacts post archaeological work. Tribal monitors work concurrently with archaeological projects throughout the territory. Wah-ho-gah Village in Yosemite began the planning phase in 1980, and fieldwork was completed during the summer of 2008 for compliance in order to build the new Roundhouse ceremonial complex to be used by the Tribe.  

Stacy Schumacher
Tribe / Organization: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Designing a Water Quality Database that meets the needs of multiple users.
Water quality data has been collected throughout the Umatilla Basin for decades.  Multiple Federal Agencies as well as departments within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have collected water quality data for their own purposes.  The GIS Program has taken a systematic approach to document the data, develop useful analytical tools, develop effective reporting tools and ensure that the information is accessible by policy developers.  By developing a centralized water quality database and providing access to download the information via the internet we hope to be able to provide information to guide tribal policy and the management of recourses.   

Industry Showcase - Federal Agencies - Demo Theater: Access to NOAA's Geospatial Data Using Interactive
Tuesday, July 14 3:00PM 4:00PM  Mapping Exhibit Hall B2

GIS in International Forest and Environment Issues
Tuesday, July 14, 3:15PM 4:30PM Ballroom 20 D

Federal Reception
Tuesday, July 14, 6:30PM 10:00PM,  Sapphire Foyer Sapphire Level,Sapphire Terrace Sapphire Level

Wednesday, July 15

 BIA / NGRC Special Interest Group Meeting
 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Room 28 E
  U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Led Discussion on the Dept. of Interior ELA and GIS Initiatives at the National Geospatial Resource Center

Thursday, July 16

 9:00 am – 10:00 am Federal Showcase, Demonstration Theater, Exhibit Hall B2
GIS Training, Resources, and Advancement Initiative in Navajo Nation U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Geospatial Resource Center Presentation


June 09

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