Examining the Potential Use of the Collaborative-Geomatics Informatics Tool to Foster Intergenerational Transfer of Knowledge in a Remote First Nation Community

Andrea Isogai, Daniel D. McCarthy, Holly L. Gardner, Jim D. Karagatzides, Skye Vandenberg, Christine Barbeau, Nadia Charania, Vicky Edwards, Don Cowan and Leonard J.S. Tsuji (2013).

The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, Issue01, August 2013 pp 44-57



First Nations in Canada have experienced environmental change
throughout history, adapting to these changes based on personal
experience interacting with their environment. Community members of Fort
Albany First Nation of northern Ontario, Canada, have voiced their
concern that their youths’ connection to the land is diminishing, making
this generation more vulnerable to environmental change. Community
members previously identified the collaborative-geomatics informatics
tool as potentially useful for fostering intergenerational knowledge
transfer. In this article, we assess the potential of the informatics
tool to reconnect youth with the surrounding land in order to strengthen
the adaptive capacity of Fort Albany First Nation. The tool was
introduced to students in an environmental-outreach camp that included
traditional activities. Students used global positioning systems and
geo-tagged photographs that were loaded onto the informatics tool.
Semi-directed interviews revealed that the students enjoyed the visual
and spatial capabilities of the system, and recognised its potential to
be used in conjunction with traditional activities. This pilot study
suggests that the tool has the potential to be used by youth to provide
an opportunity for the intergenerational transfer of Indigenous
knowledge, but further evaluation is required.


  • adaptive capacity;
  • First Nations;
  • collaborative geomatics;
  • environmental change;
  • Indigenous knowledge

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