"Clues on the Map: Using Historical Maps to Recreate California Indigenous Landscapes in a GIS" Ruth Askevold on GIS Day 09

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The Indigenous Mapping Network invites you to attend Ruth Askevold's presentation at 
Berkeley’s Geospatial Innovation Facility on GIS Day November 18, 2009.  Her talk will be from 5:30 - 6pm. Ruth is the GIS Analyst, Historical Ecology for the San Francisco Estuary Institute. Her evening presentation is titled "Clues on the Map: Using Historical Maps to 
Recreate California Indigenous Landscapes in a GIS". Her presentation will examine how the Historical Ecology Program at the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) uses maps in a GIS to reconstruct historical landscapes, and how using these maps can help us understand native land management and landscape conditions at the time of colonization.

Ruth Askevold poster for IMN at UCB GIS DAY

Historical maps and narrative accounts of the San Francisco Bay area hold clues about the landscapes inhabited by California's indigenous peoples before Euro-American colonization. But because these maps and descriptions were created to protect colonial interests—and are not simply objective mirrors of what existed—they reflect the biases and perspectives of those who made them. Mapping practices included replacing California's Indian and Spanish/Mexican place names with new place names, imposing township and range lines over natural features, and using precision surveying techniques that replaced more descriptive maps. In this way, cartographers attempted to overwrite tribal environmental and cultural knowledge and impose a new order on the land.

This presentation examines how the Historical Ecology Program at the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) uses maps in a GIS to reconstruct historical landscapes, and how using these maps can help us understand native land management and landscape conditions at the time of colonization. SFEI’s approach includes georeferencing historical maps and textual data (explorer's narratives, newspaper accounts, and related map attributes) and allows for multiple interpretations of sources, as maps are combined and recombined in a GIS. Through examples from various San Francisco Bay Area watershed-based projects designed to support environmental restoration and management, I show how we can find clues on maps and traces on the land that allow us to consider native land management practices. Additional methods such as interviews with tribal members and large- scale eco-archaeological research are also considered.

For more information and additional events see:  http://gif.berkeley.edu/gisday.html
GIS Day 2009 at U.C. Berkeley is Organized by the Geospatial Innovation Facility and co-hosted by the Bay Area Automated Mapping Association (BAAMA) and Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF), with support from the Northern California Region of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

 

Review of "Whakairo te whenua, Whakairo te tangata: Carve the land, Carve the People " Dr. Simon Lambert, Maori Geographer

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 November 2009 13:18 Written by Melissa V. Eitzel

 "Whakairo te whenua, Whakairo te tangata: Carve the land, Carve the People " Dr. Simon J. Lambert, Lincoln University, New Zealand
Simon Lamber "Carving the Land, Carving the People"
On October 16th, we had the good fortune to have Dr. Simon Lambert come down from Davis to talk to us about Maori culture, history, socio-economics and horticulture.  We had some 20 people in attendance, with a few all the way from Stanford, one from Davis, and here at Berkeley we had some geography students and public policy students as well as environmental science students. The audience included both grads and undergrads as well as some community members/tribal GIS professionals.  The talk was quite wonderful and went by so fast with so much information that I will do my best to recreate some of what Simon shared with us.  He spoke casually and with great humor, while conveying a great deal about the situations facing his people and some of the larger context in which New Zealand finds itself.  I'll try to mention some of his slides as I go. Rosemarie will post his presentation for you to see on the website.

(Editors Note: Special thank you to Dr. Joshua Viers from U.C. Davis, who made the arrangements for Simon Lambert to visit Berkeley. Also, thank you to our co-sponsors - the Asian Pacific Islanders Student group and Native American Indian Graduate Student Association at UC Berkeley)
Simons Full PDF presentation, click on image
8 videos of Simon's presentation approved for release at http://www.youtube.com/user/IndigMapNetwork
and a few pictures: http://bit.ly/1R8vDr
)

Simon began and ended with greetings in Maori, translating as he went. He explained that the word "whakairo" means "to cause wonderment" - so perhaps the interpretation "carve" refers to shaping or creating; he suggests that it is related to the carving in Maori architecture as well.  So the question is partly, "how shall we shape the land, and how shall we shape the people?" - inherently recognizing that the two are inextricably linked.  Throughout the talk, Simon used Maori words and interpreted them for us, and mentioned various creation stories. He remarked that there are a lot of mixed families in New Zealand, commenting "we're all mongrels here...never trust a purebred dog."  He discussed some of the geography and place-names of the islands; showed examples of Maori art (a particularly beautiful and unusual stained glass window in a meeting hall depicts what colonization could have been - a partnership).  He talked briefly about colonization and the importance of land and surveying (an example of a harvesting basket woven from surveyor's tape).  The Maori have parliamentary representation, and there is even a Maori party (of course, Simon adds, not all Maori agree with the Maori party... but that's politics for you).

The Maori 'economy' is growing - but so are the issues facing the people (child poverty, alcoholism, etc).  Simon explained some Maori environmental concepts (all of which are really social concepts as well): whakapapa - genealogy, from gods through ancestors through family; papatunaku - earth mother; whanaungatanga - relatedness, kinship, family - the world is family; and kaitiakitanga - guardianship (this concept is mentioned frequently in environmental contexts).  In reviewing Maori horticulture, he made the observation that it is all necessarily globally minded because all crops grown are originally from somewhere else - whether brought by the Polynesians or by the Europeans.  So Maori farmers have always needed to look abroad for information on how to manage these crops.  He reflected that the Maori have always been challenged by the things other people were bringing into their world; but were always curious and engaged with it.  In some ways, Maori have adjusted to the larger world with the same active engagement that they had with their pre-colonization world.  He comments that indigenous people are not always good for the land - many bird species went extinct and the charcoal record shows a rapid increase in burning since people came to the islands.

Along with representation in government, there is a Maori tribal college which is quite active and the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act keeps land for Maori (though the best land is in the hands of the bigger agricultural producers, and especially the dairy industry is using a great deal of water and produces a great deal of pollution in groundwater).  Maori began growing crops for the large influx of settlers, supplying Auckland with the results of the labors as well as exporting to Australia. Recently a rejuvenated Te Ahuwhenua Trophy, awarded to the 'Maori Farmer of the Year', has received a great deal of attention.  Maori have a great deal of capital available in all categories: financial, cultural, natural, human, social... but there are still many challenges.

Simon then related three projects to us: the first was the work to protect the endangered kiwi bird (he commented that it's the way of the world to have an iconic national bird which is of course totally endangered). He points out that much of the labor for this project is either volunteer or underpaid! Here they are relying on human capital where the financial capital comes and goes.  He talked about bringing his children to see the kiwi birds, and the importance of education and learning.  The second project related to eco-toxicity risks from the pesticide 1080 (used to control the opossum, introduced from Australia, which devastates native forests).  There is a database created by two Maori researchers based at Lincoln University, Christchurch, Shaun Ogilve and Jamie Ataria, to help communities in their awareness and understanding of 1080 in their own environments, a great example of participatory mapping by the people and for the people.  Finally, Simon reports on a project involving customary fisheries.  The project has not achieved milestones set according to the government, but the fishers and the scientists are together, talking, and learning from each other, so it is not a complete failure.

Finally, Simon asked the provocative question, "Have native peoples failed the world?"  In an age where western culture is realizing the flaws in its view of the environment and the earth, people turn more and more to indigenous peoples for models of how to live in better harmony with nature; what Canadian First Nations researcher, Dan Longboat, calls "reindigenising humanity."  Simon finished his talk by saying that the first thing is to "hold up the mirror" or to use another of Dan's wonderful phrases, "revitalize the indigenous mind" - indigenous cultures must first look inside and see how they are coping with the world and the challenges that they face.

All throughout his talk, Simon also shared personal anecdotes about his family and life in New Zealand as well as the balance between what is traditional and what is practical.  It was a delightful talk and we are deeply grateful that he was able to come and speak with us.

I'm sorry to say that I wasn't able to attend the question-and-answer period, but perhaps another member of our network can report on the discussion which followed the talk.

Melissa V. Eitzel

Melissa V. Eitzel, PhD Student, UC Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Managemen


   

Indigenous Lands, Food Choices and Well-Being- Call for Abstracts/Speakers

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Indigenous people’s traditional foods are critical for maintaining health, preserving cultural identity and promoting sense of self-determination. In many regions of the world however, a complex set of factors are decreasing Indigenous peoples’ access to their traditional lands and territories, the result being that Indigenous peoples are now eating less traditional foods, and consuming more marketed, and/or pre-manufactured products.  This dietary change is having profound effects on the health, social, economic and cultural well-being of Indigenous peoples.  The objective of this IPSG session is to broadly examine the causes and consequences of shifting food choices among Indigenous peoples from around the world.  In this session, we will explore the complexities of food choice among Indigenous peoples, in particular as it relates to environmental dispossession and their health and well-being.  Food choice is not guided exclusively by affordability or individual characteristics. Rather, a range of influences such as geographic location, public education, politics, environmental change, technology, cultural preference and individual biological need, among many others, ultimately shape food choice – and it is this complexity that we seek to explore in this session.
 
******
 
If you are interested in submitting an abstract for the above session, please, send your abstract to me by 4:00 pm OCTOBER 28th, 2009 (EST.). You are able to directly register at the AAG website and forward me your PIN (see below).
 
AAG abstract submission instructions:
 
In order to submit an abstract, go the AAG website (http://www.aag.org/), click on '2010 Annual Meeting'. You will then need to 'Register to Attend' for the conference and 'Submit an Abstract'. Once you do, you will receive a PIN number. Send that to me ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and I will include your paper in this session. The deadline for submission of abstracts is October 28, 2008.
 
Organizer:
 
Chantelle Richmond, PhD
Department of Geography & First Nation Studies
The University of Western Ontario
1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
   

Simon Lambert Presents "Carve the Land, Carve the People"

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 09:31

The Indigenous Mapping Network, American Indian Graduate Student Association, and Asia Pacific Indigenous Alliance invite you to attend:

"Whakairo te whenua, Whakairo te tangata:
Carve the land, Carve the People"
Dr. Simon J. Lambert - Maori Geographer
Lincoln University, New Zealand

“In this presentation, I explore the geohistory of Maori land use with an emphasis on contemporary challenges. In particular I wish to tease out a relationship between social capital and its connections to socio-ecological resilience, and an explicitly cultural resilience.”

Poster of IMN at UCB 10/16

Through the post-contact history of Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa/New Zealand, runs the history of some of modernity’s most radical technological revolutions. In a little over two centuries, Māori transitioned from a stone-age people through mercantile capitalism and its military accoutrements, fought intensive wars over land and commerce among themselves and with foreign invaders, and survived threats of cultural, even physical, extinction. Recovering through a politico-cultural renaissance in all its artistic and commercial socio-technologies, Māori now engage in corporate ventures that have a significant presence in the agri/aqua-food sectors.  Throughout this history, a constant trope of Māori culture and development has been the importance of family and tribal networks of trust, support and guidance. This very traditional social capital has been complemented, challenged and perhaps supplanted by networks that originate with assimilationist and modernising ideologies of colonisation. These hybrid networks now comprise the ‘sociability’ in which Māori individuals and collectives aid and abet their development.

Yet much debate seems to centre on the clear lack of Māori social capital. Standard social indicators continue to communicate the vulnerability of Māori. In the areas of employment, health and education, Māori ‘lag’ behind Pākeha and, more importantly, their own aspirations. While winning many legal, political and commercial battles, Māori collectively experience an uneasy relationship with State and corporate authority. Such dis-ease is now exacerbated by a recession that has seen a rapid increase in Māori unemployment and a corresponding dismantling of many social programmes. Once again, Māori sociability is under threat.

The antidote to this is assumed to be greater/better/more economic development. Strategic eyes turn to Māori agri- and aquacultural development, the ‘sleeping giants’ of New Zealand’s economy which, through antecedent pathways of a Māori presence in primary production, embed pathways to the future. In this presentation, I explore the geohistory of Maori land use with an emphasis on contemporary challenges. In particular I wish to tease out a relationship between social capital and its connections to socio-ecological resilience, and an explicitly cultural resilience.

http://imnatucb101609.eventbrite.com

If you are unable to attend
but would like to be notified of future meetings,
please add yourself to:
http://bit.ly/1916x2


LOCATION: 112 Hilgard Hall, UCB, Berkeley, CA 94720

Head east on University, which ends on Oxford. Make a left on Oxford and enter parking lot, by turning right at Berkeley Way, across from Yali's Cafe.

From downtown Berkeley Bart, head east on Center Street. Cross Oxford onto campus. Take semi-circular path that veers to left. Turn right at the West Gate, and walk on the left side of the street. Walk up and onto Wickson Road. Wellman Hall entrance is on the left. Hilgard is on its left.

ALSO, Hilgard Hall is directly in front of Mulford Hall, the location of our previous 3 meetings.

BACKGROUND:

Indigenous Mapping Network meetings at UC-Berkeley convene mapping practitioners, indigenous community members, indigenous rights organizations, researchers, and technology professionals to discuss current issues in indigenous mapping.

Our meetings are intended to create a platform for supporting indigenous mapping collaborations and linking communities with emerging technologies.

Mapping approaches can include thought-maps, performance, materials, as well as GIS, web, and mobile phone technologies.


For more information visit http://indigenousmapping.net or contact Sibyl Diver, student chapter president of Indigenous Mapping Network at Berkeley, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Rosemarie McKeon, IMN board member, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

   

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