True North Resources: A Native-owned Solution for Tribal GIS Departments

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Last Updated on Monday, 08 February 2010 08:45 Written by Bruce Sinkula

When the Oneida Tribe (Wisconsin) needs supplies for their GIS department, they often turn to one of their own: True North Resources. TNR is an native-owned small business that supplies wide-format paper, ink, and foam-core board to tribal GIS departments. As a member of the Oneida Nation, Kathryn Turenske, founder/owner of TNR, is familiar with tribal departments and how they work.

Kathryn Turenske

"2009 was my first IMN conference. Conference host, Celene Elm (Oneida GIS director) invited me to participate as a vendor", Turenske said. Upon learning more of IMN's goals and mission, she decided to volunteer with some of the planning leading up to IMN 2009. "I loved meeting people who work in tribal GIS departments", Turenske added.

TNR offers expertise of wide-format media types and their applications for map making. True North Resources has helped tribal GIS departments be more effective and efficient with their supply purchases. "I want to be the 'go-to' native supplier of products for the indigenous mapping community", says Turenske.

For more information on how True North Resources can help with your GIS supplies, please email Kathryn Turenske at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 414-460-4909. Also visit


2009 FGDC / USFWS / FEMA Tribal Training Schedule Released

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Written by Rosemarie McKeon Friday, 12 September 2008 08:50

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has released the "2009 Tribal Training Schedule (pdf)".

FGDC, is an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) is this nationwide data publishing effort. FGDC works with various federal, state and tribal organizations to provide training, workshops, and education opportunities to assist Tribes in building the NSDI.


The Network in Indigenous Mapping Has Landed!

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Written by Rosemarie McKeon Wednesday, 10 September 2008 11:49

The Network in Indigenous Mapping has arrived! The IMN forum went “live” during the wee hours of the morning. Thank you for your patience. The forum demands serious test drivers... YOU. So, welcome to the driver's seat.


Native GIS Issues and the National Democratic and Republican Platform

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Written by Rosemarie McKeon Friday, 05 September 2008 17:18

American Indian and Alaskan Native Population from 2000 Census Map

Voters from and for Native American GIS  shops - Tribal consultants, cartographers, GIS analysts, students, coordinators, managers, planners - those of you who continue making maps despite lean budgets, big projects to meet big needs in the community, and who lack resources - You are important and your vote needed! We have an opportunity to identify (like federal funding for one) what is required to continue creating policy-changing cartographic products.

Yesterday, I received an email with a 4-page Native Vote pdf written by Native Vote Washington. The document refers to specific pages of the Democratic (html) and Republican (pdf) national platforms on different Native issues -  which agenda will ultimately affect your work. The brief comparison outlines each party's stance on treaties, sovereignty, trust responsibility, housing, education, and economic development.

The email included an excellent summary written by Alan Parker, faculty member of Tribal Government Studies at Evergreen State College and Director of the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute. It was sent to Theresa Sheldon, Co-Chair of Washington State GOTV (Get Out The Vote). Thank you Alan for permission to post your summary below:

“Theresa; This is an outstanding work product and very timely. I hope that you share it with the National Congress of American (Indians), NIGA and other national Indian organizations. I assume that the Republican statement is still, at least technically, up for grabs.”

“I assess the Republican statement as superior on the issues of Federal Bureaucracy, which indirectly supports Tribal Sovereignty, and the direct role of tribal governments. Their statement on Crime is more pointed and effective as is the point on Unions. It speaks directly to the issue of union intervention undermining tribal control of reservation enterprises as supported by the NLRB in the San Manuel case. Of course, the Bush Administration supported this overreach by the NLRB.”

“The Democratic statements on Sovereignty and Trust Responsibility are much superior, embracing the key Principle underlying the rights of tribal sovereignty and linking Trust Responsibility to treaty based land exchanges and broad commitments. The Democratic Party included two key provisions from the Obama Campaign position that the Republican platform neglects, committing to an annual summit between the President and tribal leadership and creating a White House position on Native Policy issues…”

Developing specific recommendations for the transition team, listing our technology concerns and need for planning, and "land / water / environmental management policy issues” was Alan’s additional recommendation to the Indigenous Mapping Network. The notice is again echoed below.

An online forum was created today (presently offline for security etc. tweaks through the weekend). Next week, you can comment, share your GIS / map, contribute to the dream list, respond and help bring up some of the other issues pressing your needs and that of GIS in Indian country. Some quick checks: diminishing funds for getting the job done, support for GIS conference attendance or training, purchasing software, upgrading obsolete hardware, tools and service for building up tribal databases, etc etc. What’s on your must-have list? Which organizations should we link up to and merge activities with?

“The next big meeting of tribal leadership will be at the NCAI meeting, Oct. 19-24 in Phoenix. I recommend that you work with a group from your field to participate in the NCAI meetings to develop more specific recommendations for after the election. Assuming / hoping Obama / Biden win, they will create a transition team right away and attention should be focused on land / water / environ management policy issues to present to the Transition team. Hope this helps. Alan“

 NPR 2008 Interactive Election Map for Presidential Election


NVISION 08 - Terrain Visualization Highlights

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Written by Rosemarie McKeon Tuesday, 26 August 2008 09:37


"Visual Computing Week" festivities took place August 20 - 27 in San Jose - the heart of Silicon Valley. Most of the city's activities revolved around NVISION 08, a first for NVIDIA, the homegrown inventor of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and a leading manufacturer of graphic chips. The 9,200+ attendee mash-up included gamers, scientists, engineers, artists, developers, academics, press, nonprofits, business, and general public.

The conference featured several simultaneous events peppered with terrain visualizations, maps, and mapping.

Jeff Han Demo with Jen-Hsun Huang
Monday's keynote speakers included Jeff Han from Perceptive Pixel who navigated through various satellite and data sets describing San Francisco and the Bay area. Similar to a seasoned conductor, he waved through complex and varied data types, turning pages with either hand and touching particular areas on an interface free 100-inch wide computer screen for emphasis.



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