“Maps can be seen as truth”: Why Indigenous communities are using digital mapping to defend their land

Mapping technologies and spatial data can pinpoint environmental hazards within a community

Why It Matters

GIS mapping superimposes layers of data about a location over a digital map to reveal trends and gaps in an area. For social purpose organizations working at local or regional levels, this information can be critical in driving awareness and funding towards specific communities’ challenges.

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In Northern Alberta, The Firelight Group – an Indigenous-owned consultancy working with Indigenous communities – has been working with a First Nations community to better understand water levels and flow. The research was initially prompted by community knowledge holders, who felt that lower river levels had changed their ability to navigate and travel through the river.

Five years of environmental and scientific-based mapping and monitoring confirmed what community elder

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