Aboriginal Trail Mapping: A Tribal Approach

From the 2005 ESRI International User Conference Proceedings

Track: Ecology and Conservation
Author(s): David Schwab

The aboriginal territories of the Salish, Pend d'Oreille and Kootenai tribes are extensive and span across many states. The gathering of foods, medicines and social activities required extensive travel. The ancestral trail network established in the mountain ranges, plateaus and plains of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions connected all natural resource areas used by the tribes. Many of the ancestral harvesting areas continue to be used and cherished by tribal people today. The trails are direct evidence of our peoples' tie to the land and its environment. The trails encompassed routes through varied landscapes with diverse types of natural resources. Mapping, research and protection of pre-contact trails are essential in understanding the history and life ways of tribal people and their cultural landscape. This paper will demonstrate approaches the Culture Preservation is taking in an effort to manage their heritage properties through the mapping of aboriginal trail systems.

David Schwab
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Preservation Department
P.O. Box 278
Pablo, MT59855
Phone: 406-675-2700
Fax: (406) 675-2629
E-mail: daves@cskt.org