Living Proof: The Essential Data-Collection Guide for Indigenous Use-and-Occupancy Map Surveys by Terry N. Tobias follows the popular guidebook Chief Kerry’s Moose, which was published in 2000 and is available as a free downloadable PDF on our website.
Living Proof offers a peer-reviewed in-depth methodology for the collection of high quality Indigenous cultural data. At 486 pages the book includes over 150 maps, and an equal number of photos and graphics. The methodology is presented in an easy to read writing style with many supporting photos and graphics. Many aboriginal communities across Canada (and two Aboriginal communities from Australia) are presented with stories, photos and maps.
From the author’s introduction:
“Living Proof is about a land use-and-occupancy research method called the map biography. It is structured as a how-to manual to help readers design and run the data-collection component of a successful map project.
“Designing an effective use-and-occupancy research project is a creative process that requires reflection, solid thinking, common sense, experience, patience and a good work ethic. Templates are provided in these pages to help readers assemble the tools needed for their map surveys, but these are not one-size-fits-all solutions. Research design is much more than simply plugging values into a formula; a map will be only as good as the critical thought brought to bear in designing and running the project. The community’s own methodology will be described in a custom-written data-collection manual and the precise set of tools and conventions used will be determined by the unique context of the particular community and culture. Linda Ellanna, et al., are clear that, ‘. . . [T]here is no single mapping methodology which can . . . be applied to all ecological, cultural or temporal contexts. More specifically, whereas all mapping methodologies should conform to the scientific standards described above, variations in all dimensions of the methodology are not only possible but highly desirable – that is, the methodology should be keyed to the [specific cultural context and research] problem.’ ”