A Culturally Relevant Solution for the Implementation of Geographic Information Systems in Indian Country

Bryan A. Marozas
GIS Coordinator, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Many Indian tribes have been exposed to the benefits of automated spatial data and how a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be used for the protection and management of resources. Despite the efforts of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), tribal use of GIS technology is minimal. Reversal of this situation requires multiple solutions. This paper identifies one solution which will stimulate tribal interest, acceptance and commitment to GIS technology. The solution calls for the development of culturally significant GIS databases and applications.

BIA, tribal official, and consultants should seriously consider the proposed solution since funding for the GIS effort is continually decreasing. A consequence of the lack of federal funding is that the responsibility for the development and maintenance of spatial databases will be in the hands of the tribes. Therefore, any tribe considering effective management of their resources in the future should take an earnest interest in the abilities of the GIS today. Hopefully, the solution identified in this paper will provide an avenue for increasing tribal use of Geographic Information Systems.

For more informaiton, please contact:

Bryan A. Marozas
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Albuquerque Area Office
Branch of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 26567
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87125-6567