A guidebook to land use and occupancy mapping, research design and data collection

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Since its publication in 2000, Chief Kerry’s Moose has been a huge success—around the globe in fact. The Taiwan Forestry Research Institute translated part of Moose—a guidebook to land-use and occupancy mapping, research design and data collection—into Chinese. Indigenous peoples as far away as Australia are using the reference book.

“We adopted the approach that is outlined in this guidebook, and built an inventory of quality information about our historical uses of Tsleil-Waututh territory,” says Chief Leonard George. “The resulting maps and documentation are benefiting our negotiations for co-management of traditional lands, and helping us build the relationships and understanding required for the protection of our Aboriginal title and rights. Our land use maps are thus aiding in the survival and growing strength of our nation, and will benefit future generation.”

Written by Terry Tobias, the book was published by Ecotrust Canada and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs in response to a need expressed by Aboriginal leaders and researchers across Canada about the poor quality of land-use and occupancy maps, and the absence of instructional materials in the field.

Chief Kerry’s Moose is an excellent learning tool for First Nation’s environmental and cultural staff who may wish to interview Elders and other experts about Innu life on the land,” says Richard Nuna, Manager of Environment, Culture and Conservation for the Innu Nation.

Terry Tobias is now building upon his seminal work. Over the past few years, he has conducted interviews with 102 of the most experienced practitioners and technicians throughout North America. They represent more than 1,000 years of cumulative experience with use and occupancy mapping. Tobias is compiling this information into an authoritative book, setting standards for mapping and pointing to best practices. The book will be rich with community maps, photos, graphics and case studies.
   
Known by its working title, Moose II, the book will be published in 2008. For more information and to join a worldwide mapping movement, visit the Aboriginal Mapping Network website, www.nativemaps.org.
 


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