News

Featured video: Can Google help First Nations preserve their history by mapping the land? Brian Thom and Ray Harris think so, and they have struck a partnership between a BC First Nation and the tech giant to do just that. Video: The Globe and Mail, 2014.

First Nations learn to map territories using Google Earth

Aug. 25, 2014 — Google Earth may soon extend its global gaze to some of the most remote First Nations territories in Canada. Google employees will be teaching members from about 70 First Nations across the country how to chart their land on the application during a four-day Indigenous Mapping Workshop at the University of Victoria that starts Monday. Read more on the CBC News website.

Modern tools document histories of Indigenous terrain

Aug. 19, 2014 — Indigenous communities across Canada are engaged in intensively mapping their lands, waters, resources and knowledge. These maps have unparalleled importance today not only for future generations celebrating Indigenous knowledge, but in discussions over land and resource development and the recognition of Indigenous rights. Read more on The Ring website.

First Nations, UVic and Google partner to map traditional lands

Aug. 12, 2014 — The Lyackson First Nation's creation story says that its people descended from the sky, down a very tall Douglas fir tree. They wished to live on the tree, and asked a mystical creature to fell it. But the tree snapped in the process and became what are now Valdes and Galiano islands. That's how the Lyackson (which literally means “top of Douglas fir”) came to inhabit Valdes Island in the Strait of Georgia. Read more on The Times Colonist website.

University of Victoria puts First Nations land claim mapping in the spotlight

Aug. 11, 2014 — Native communities across Canada are mapping their lands, a step that is vital in land claim negotiations since many First Nations are running into problems of territorial overlap. But at the University of Victoria researchers have developed sophisticated mapping technologies to try to help clearly show land and resource boundaries as well as shared lands. Read more on The Vancouver Sun website.

Oral history goes digital as Google helps map ancestral lands

July 11, 2014 — As a commercial fisherman and an elder in the Stz’uminus First Nation, Ray Harris has long been a guardian of secrets. Neither his favourite fishing spots nor the oral history of sacred spaces around his community on Vancouver Island’s east coast have been easily pried from him. But he is now telling tales in the most irretrievably public way, contributing to an indigenous mapping project that imbeds his culture into the digital expanse of Google Earth. Read more on The Globe and Mail website.