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Examining the Potential Use of the Collaborative-Geomatics Informatics Tool to Foster Intergenerational Transfer of Knowledge in a Remote First Nation Community

  • Andrea Isogai (a1), Daniel D. McCarthy (a1), Holly L. Gardner (a1), Jim D. Karagatzides (a2), Skye Vandenberg (a1), Christine Barbeau (a1), Nadia Charania (a1), Vicky Edwards (a3), Don Cowan (a4) and Leonard J.S. Tsuji (a1)...


Northern First Nations in Canada have experienced environmental change throughout history, adapting to these changes based on personal experience interacting with their environment. Community members of Fort Albany First Nation of northern Ontario, Canada, have voiced their concern that their youths’ connection to the land is diminishing, making this generation more vulnerable to environmental change. Community members previously identified the collaborative-geomatics informatics tool as potentially useful for fostering intergenerational knowledge transfer. In this article, we assess the potential of the informatics tool to reconnect youth with the surrounding land in order to strengthen the adaptive capacity of Fort Albany First Nation. The tool was introduced to students in an environmental-outreach camp that included traditional activities. Students used global positioning systems and geo-tagged photographs that were loaded onto the informatics tool. Semi-directed interviews revealed that the students enjoyed the visual and spatial capabilities of the system, and recognised its potential to be used in conjunction with traditional activities. This pilot study suggests that the tool has the potential to be used by youth to provide an opportunity for the intergenerational transfer of Indigenous knowledge, but further evaluation is required.


Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Andrea D. Isogai, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada. Email:


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