Monday, February 3, 2014

Indigenous Land Mapping

The indigenous people in Brazil’s amazon have, for quite some time, been losing there land that had been their ancestors and theirs for generations. Reasons for losing their land include urban development, land for grazing cattle, and growing crops. Their land is burned to make way for the grazing cattle. There is also some conflict between members of the same village, depending on age, as to whether they should start fires like they traditionally did of not start fires for grazing because it’s dangerous. There is conflict between the state firefighters and the Pemon tribe because it’s their job to put out fires that the Pemon will start to farm or to hunt deer.

            Many Amazon tribes now willingly participating in participatory cartography to simply their claims to land that can be easily viewed and understood. Cartography means mapmaking. By participating in making these maps, there is less conflicting data and easily viewable polygons on maps  using GPS to map the boundaries of their land. The boundaries include their holy places where they live where they hunt there burial grounds etc.

            This mapping out of data can help Indigenous tribes with reservations settle disputes with outsiders about if this land is on your reservation or not. Using this mapmaking process will simplify conflicting data between tribes as well as the conflicting data given form different tribal member in the same tribe.. For tribes without a reservation this Global Positioning System mapping of their land may help them better protect their homes.

Sletto, B. (2009). Indigenous people don't have boundaries': reborderings, fire management, and productions of authenticities in indigenous landscapes.cultural geographies16(2), 253-277.


  1. This is another great way to use GIS. I know that we use it a lot in the U.S, but I wonder if it has
    been used for similar reasons here. We still have Native Americans and it might help to clearly
    map their land and government owned land.

  2. This is an interesting way to use GIS to stop conflicts within tribes. I never would have thought that GIS could be used in this way. I am sure many other issues could be solved using GIS.