About

The Aboriginal Mapping Network (AMN) was established in 1998 as a joint initiative of the Gitxsan and Ahousaht First Nations and Ecotrust Canada. Over the years the network has grown from its humble beginnings as a knowledge sharing forum for local First Nations technicians, leaders and decision makers to become a valuable strategic resource for practitioners of traditional knowledge mapping around the world. The AMN now has a mandate to support aboriginal and indigenous peoples facing similar issues, such as land claims, treaty negotiations and resource development, with common tools, such as traditional use studies, GIS mapping and other information systems.

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We'd love to hear from you! Please tell what you liked, didn't like, or would like to see on the AMN web site. We'd also appreciate hearing about any stories or news items that you'd like to share with other aboriginal mappers.

New Website Features replace Newsletter

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Chronology of the AMN

Fall, 1996 Darlene Vegh and Russell Collier, members of the Gitxsan Strategic Watershed Analysis Team (SWAT), and David Carruthers, Ecotrust Canada, independently saw the need for a network in British Columbia.

Spring, 1997 At the GIS 97 conference in Vancouver, Ecotrust Canada, with the support of Russell Collier from SWAT voiced the idea during a roundtable discussion on First Nations mapping issues. The notion of a network was received with enthusiasm.

Fall,1997 Ecotrust Canada hosted a conference call on the idea of a network, with representatives from the Ahousaht, Kwakiutl, Gitxsan, and Haisla First Nations. It was unanimously agreed that the Network was much needed.

Spring, 1998 At the GIS 98 conference in Toronto, Ecotrust Canada raised the subject during a talk on GIS use by First Nations. It was met with overwhelming support and interest from individuals from across Canada. At this time a promise was made that the Network would materialize in the summer of 1998.

Spring, 1998 Ecotrust Canada, with the help of Roman Frank from the Ahousaht Nation, began submitting funding proposals to various foundations.

April, 1998 Ben Johnson, a graduate student from the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, began his thesis entitled The Aboriginal Mapping Network: A case study in the democratization of mapping. In response to the various issues identified during Ben’s research, the AMN was structured with four main activity areas: (1) a dynamic web page; (2) informal round-table workshops; (3) an annual mapping conference; and (4) a publication series.

April, 1998 Leah McMillin joined the Ecotrust Canada’s Mapping Office team and assumed the role of AMN Coordinator. Through a team effort, material for the web site was collected, organized, and peer-reviewed.

June 1, 1998 The Aboriginal Mapping Network web site was launched.

March 3-4, 1999 The AMN hosted the first two day First Nations GIS conference in Vancouver. The event was dovetailed with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs’ conference on ‘Implementing Delgamuuk’w’ to discuss mapping from a First Nations legal and institutional perspective. In all, around 80 native participants attended, with panel presenters from across Canada and as far off as Barrow, Alaska and Australia.

July 26-27, 1999 The first roundtable workshop was held: Moving Traditional Use Study Information Into a GIS: Challenges and Methods. Co-hosted with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, this was a highly technical workshop, which brought together 10 different Nations and guest speakers for two days of brainstorming solutions to common problems from the field.

October 28, 1999 Conference call with a planning committee to begin discussions on the 2000 annual conference.

November 29-30, 1999 The second roundtable workshop was held: Crown Land Referrals: A First Nations’ Approach. This workshop addressed issues relating to the crown-land referrals process in B.C. A panel of leading professionals and lawyers from a variety of fields were invited to discuss referrals issues from a policy, legal and technical perspective. The second day focused on a strategy sessions with only First Nations, laying the foundation for collaborative work between Nations in building a toolbox of best-practices approaches.

April 11, 2000 The third roundtable workshop was held: Provincial Data for Landscape Analysis: Limitations and Applications. This was a one-day discussion, co-hosted with the Heiltsuk Nation. The focus of this roundtable was to learn how to better use government-prepared data for applications such as modeling rare and sensitive ecosystems, terrain stability and wildlife habitat mapping.

May, 2000 Laurie Flahr, a graduate student from the Resource and Environmental Management program at Simon Fraser University is hired by the Sliammon First Nation and Ecotrust Canada to compile a Crown-Land Referrals Toolbox for Referrals Practitioners. Two Sliammon First Nation interns, Davis McKenzie and Wendy Lessard, were hired for summer 2000 to assist with this project.

June 21, 2000 AMN celebrates its 2nd anniversary. The web site is remodeled to better facilitate communication, share stories and news items, and improve site navigation.

2001 Chief Kerry's Moose goes into its second printing.

2002 In partnership with the Sliammon Nation, the AMN launches Kla-soms Kwuth Tooqen - a Crown-Lands Referrals Toolbox online.

2002 AMN co-hosts a second workshop on Crown-Lands Referrals with the Sliammon Nation.

August, 2006 Shortly after celebrating its 8th anniversary, the newest AMN web design is unveiled with new features: the discussion forum, usermap and events calendar. Explore and Enjoy!

September 29, 2006 The AMN is presented at two international geospatial conferences - the 44th Annual Conference of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association and Public Participation GIS Conference.

October, 2006 With a grant from the Law Foundation of British Columbia, phase 1 of the Crown-Lands Referrals Toolbox web page revisions are completed.

May, 2007 AMN reaches an agreement with GeoConnections, the Haida Nation, and Lil'wat Nation to develop a web-based system that will enable them to respond more effectively to Crown Land Referrals and will support their decision making with regard to land and resource planning.

August, 2007 AMN receives its 1000th registered user since the remodeled web page is unveiled.

September, 2007 AMN co-hosts the Referrals Web-based Geospatial Tool development workshop with the Haida Nation and Lil'wat Nation.

 

 

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Website Redesign Credits

The AMN website redesign project and port to the open-source Drupal CMS was done by Charles Burnett and Mike Davison of MapsWest Geoscience (now GeoMemes).

Design ideas were contributed by Galen Davison of Galen Davison Creative.

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