AUGUST 27, 2007 (VANCOUVER) – In May 2007, Ecotrust Canada’s Aboriginal Mapping Network reached 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. This system will use the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) to connect to current and new geospatial information.

Through the portal, non-technical users will be able to access services, create location-based or “geospatial” data, and make and view maps. As well, with secure access, users from different First Nations will be able to view basic geospatial information, along with their own Nation’s secure cultural information, while ensuring that sensitive cultural knowledge is protected.

This project will develop efficiencies in the Crown Referrals process for First Nations Communities who have limited access to geospatial information. It will provide decision-makers with direct access to relevant information for improved Referral decisions. It will also provide a mechanism for community members (youth, Elders, councillors, etc) to input geospatial knowledge describing their cultural use of the land and obtain training to support their use of the system.