From Elder's Knowledge to Co-Management Utilizing Participatory Action Research (PAR) and a Geogrraphic Information System (GIS)

Robinson, Mike and Ozzie Sawicki. 1996. "From Elders' Knowledge to Co-Management Utilizing Participatory Action Research (PAR) and a Geopgraphical Information System (GIS)" Sustainable Forestry Partnerships: Forging a Network of Excellence. Pp. 122-128.

Mike Robinson and Ozzie Sawicki, both of the Arctic Institute of North America, provide a basic but detailed explanation of how participatory action research (PAR) and geographical information systems (GIS) can be combined to form a powerful resource decision-making tool. By joining PAR and GIS, traditional ecological knowledge and western scientific knowledge can be fused together. By incorporating both knowledge systems into decision-making, sustainability and economic development can be realized.

Robinson and Sawicki stress the importance of PAR as a research method when mapping cultural land use and developing co-management plans.The primary goal of a PAR project is to contribute towards community development via adult education. Essentially, PAR is process by which researchers/trainers will enter a community with the objective of training local members until the trainers are no longer needed – the community can solve problems locally without relying on external assistance. Because the community is the core to any PAR project, the original problem must be defined by the community, the research must involve the entire community and the problem must be solved by the community.

The article goes on to provide a very informative overview of GI,S including hardware and software requirements and GPS. The authors describe three GIS systems, low, medium, and high cost systems, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. In addition, Robinson and Sawicki define the key terms of GIS systems and list the key requirements that every GIS should include. They tailor this discussion towards small communities that seek an efficient and effective computer-based GIS.

"From Elder’s Knowledge to Co-Management Utilizing Participatory Action Research (PAR) and a Geographic Information System (GIS)" is a thorough overview of a research methodology that seeks to promote healthy communities by allowing them to become self-reliant and economically independent.

Review by Leah McMillin


Vancouver Coastal Aboriginal Planning Committee: Regions

Here is a map that I created for the Vancouver Coastal Region Aboriginal Planning Committee a few months ago. It illustrates the regions that comprise the Vancouver Coastal Region.

ITEC's 11th Annual Conference- "Community Environmental Stewardship for the Future"

06/20/2006 9:30 am
06/21/2006 12:00 pm

The Inter-Tribal Environmental Council (ITEC), a consortium of 40 tribes from Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, is holding its 11th Annual Environmental Conference, "Community Environmental Stewardship for the Future." The conference will be held on June 20-21, 2006 at the Sheraton Oklahoma City Hotel.

Maintaining Cultural and Ecological Diversity on the Central Coast: Co-Management Options

First Nations Cooperative Management of Protected Areas in British Columbia: Tools and Foundation
by Julia Gardner
Dovetail Consulting,
April 2001
Occasional Paper Series, Issue 25:02 December 1999