The Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı wants a good idea of what computer-based mapping information exists and how to use it best. Overall, our goals are:
Goal 1: to identify all the previously-recorded information on maps.
We’re asking ourselves: What maps can be found in the RRC offices, that have elders’ and hunters’ information on them? Are there maps in offices in Yellowknife or elsewhere? What projects happened recently or long ago, that included recording information on maps?
Goal 2: to bring this information together
We’re hoping to bring the maps, or paper or digital copies of them, to the SRRB office.
Goal 3: to make the information accessible to the communities to see and use.
We’re planning on creating a web-based map that RRCs can look at, once they enter a password to protect the special information.
Goal 4: to save the original research maps from decay.
In some cases, the maps are old and ripped and need to be cared for by a professional who will carefully preserve them for future generations.
There are two specific projects that are underway now to further these goals.
The first project, Dene Mapping Project Repatriation and Analysis: Understanding valued places at the intersection of caribou ecology and harvesting, includes work with the maps and computer files from the Dene Mapping Project, undertaken by the Dene Nation across the NWT in the 1970s and 1980s. There is a trails map from this work which is being updated to modern computer standards, and other hunter/trapper wildlife observations on the maps which have remained hidden for decades will be brought to light and made available. The old maps will be preserved by a specialist known as a conservator, and scanned for use in decision-making and research. Once the information is updated and available, the SRRB will be working with the communities in meetings and workshops to understand how and when to use this information properly.
The second project is much broader in scope: Wildlife, Habitat and Harvesting: Responses to Exploration and Development in the Central Mackenzie Valley (CMV): State of Spatial Knowledge Component. Overall, this project is focussed on aboriginal harvester responses to oil and gas exploration and development from traditional knowledge and scientific perspectives. For the spatial state of knowledge component, the project’s goals are to identify and make accessible all the maps – computer and paper – that people have recorded information on and make sure that they remain confidential but useful for communities as appropriate.
Through these and other projects, we are weaving together the information provided so generously over the years by many knowledgeable hunters, trappers, and other land-users, and hope that their knowledge and memories will last long into the future through the power of computerized mapping technology!