Using GIS to Link Ecological Databases with Blackfoot Environmental Knowledge

By:
Ms Paulette Fox,
Duane Mistaken Chief
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Contemporary science has a minimal temporal experience with regional ecology. A linkage with Blackfoot/Blackfeet traditional environmental knowledge and information provides a unique perspective for notions of sustainability. This paper explored the cultural contexts of two ways of perceiving the surroundings: that of the Blackfoot Way of Life — Niitsitaapii Paatapiissin and that of the Indo-European scientific paradigm. Knowledge and spatial attribute information from the two are brought into juxtaposition through the use of geo-spatial modelling, Geographic Information Systems (GIS).Using GIS to link ecological databases and Blackfoot environmental knowledge must be executed with caution; given that we are dealing with Intellectual Property.

Before linkages could be established, common ground and residual barriers were identified. As a pilot analysis, Blackfoot significant sites were linked to Eco-region polygons. Eco-regions are delineated climatic regions as expressed by vegetation. The "water" based Iiyohkiimii Society of the Blackfoot/Blackfeet People are weather dancers, inter alia, and are the responsible authorities for constructing the rock formations (archaeological significant sites). It is the association to water, weather and/or climate that suggests a significant link between paradigms. Evolutionary ideas of Blackfoot Societies express continuity and context for sustainability in the twenty-first century. Missing linkages provide a basis for dialogue and future research considerations in the area with respect to Blackfoot traditional territory, Niitoahsinaan.


Keywords: Geographic Information Systems Blackfoot/Blackfeet Traditional Environmental Knowledge, Indo-European Scientific Knowledge, Ecological Databases, Eco-regions, Archaeological/Significant Sites on The Great Northern Plains, Societies of the Blackfoot People
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Ms Paulette Fox

The University of Lethbridge
Canada


Duane Mistaken Chief

Red Crow Community College


Ref: T05P0140