Ann Chen’s grassroots aerial mapping and multimedia educational workshop,

with youth from the Saulteau First Nation in British Columbia


By: Ann Chen

(Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow, 2014-2015, and recipient of a Fulbright Canada RBC Eco-Leadership grant, 2015-2016)

Anne Chen 2

Last year on my Fulbright, I had the opportunity to attend the Indigenous Mapping Workshop at a Google office in Waterloo, Ontario. Organized by the Google Earth Outreach Team and the Firelight Group, the three day workshop brought together people from and representing indigenous communities across Canada working with mapping cultural and environmental data. It was at this conference that I met Donovan Cameron, a member of the Saulteau First Nations and GIS advisor. He invited me to teach a kite and balloon mapping workshop in his community and so we began hatching a plan last summer for a short educational workshop for the youth in his community.

Now, thanks to the Fulbright Canada RBC Eco-Leadership Program, I will be returning to Canada this summer to lead a week-long workshop with a group of Saulteau First Nations youth. The workshop will introduce indigenous youth to do-it-yourself, open-source low-tech mapping tools to expand their interest in science and the natural environment through the lens of civic science. The workshop will also include discussions about how civic science methods can be adapted to complement indigenous mapping knowledge and practices.

Ann Chen

I am looking forward to sharing these skills with this group and to get them excited about geographical data and mapping through a hands-on immediate method such as kites and balloons!

Photos courtesy of Ann Chen.

The Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leadership Program provides grants to Fulbright Canada grantees and to Fulbright Canada alumni to undertake community-based environmental initiatives.

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