How can we tap natural capital—timber, wildlife, fresh water, plants, minerals—to produce economic wealth in a socially and environmentally responsible manner if we have little understanding of our surrounding landscape?
In 1995, Ecotrust Canada began its work on the coast by collecting and then mapping scientific data and the traditional knowledge of First Nations and coastal communities using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. Since then, Ecotrust Canada has held GIS training sessions or helped set up mapping programs with more than two dozen First Nations and communities. We also operate the Aboriginal Mapping Network, a free, online resource and forum connecting mappers around the globe.
Ecotrust Canada’s mapping and GIS program is founded on six operating principles: open access to public information; respect for local and traditional knowledge; a commitment to best practices; helping to realize local community visions; building long-term local capacity; and a commitment to network communities and individuals. Taken together, these principles promote what we call “information democracy” and they result in the greater empowerment of communities.
We provide services for customized solutions in:
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Land/water use and resource planning
- Software development
Our team includes community development planners, cartographers, GIS analysts, and software developers — all with extensive experience working with First Nations and rural communities in British Columbia.
We tailor our work and processes to the specific needs of each community, designing customized on-site training and technical support programs. These training programs give communities the knowledge and tools they need to develop long-term, local capacity for problem-solving.
- Traditional Use and Occupancy mapping
- Land use inventories and planning
- Cumulative effects assessments
- Land and water spatial analysis and modelling
- Forest inventory techniques
- Fish and fish habitat inventory techniques
- On-site community needs assessments
- Introductory to advanced GIS training
- Data collection
- Database management
- Web-based mapping and resource management tools
- Customized maps and reporting tools
- Communication design and publication
- On-call technical support
We support communities in mapping more sustainable futures — helping them understand, communicate, and engage with their territory and decision-makers.