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ERIC Number: EJ841553
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Mapping Indigenous Depth of Place
Pearce, Margaret Wickens; Louis, Renee Pualani
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v32 n3 p107-126 2008
Indigenous communities have successfully used Western geospatial technologies (GT) (for example, digital maps, satellite images, geographic information systems (GIS), and global positioning systems (GPS)) since the 1970s to protect tribal resources, document territorial sovereignty, create tribal utility databases, and manage watersheds. The use of these techniques and technologies has proven to be a critical step for protecting cultural sovereignty by communicating the importance of Indigenous cultural knowledge to people outside the community. However, the inappropriate use of these tools negatively affects the expression and preservation of cultural heritage and cultural survival because of differing ontologies and epistemologies. This is not to imply that these techniques and technologies are inherently inappropriate for Indigenous cartographic representation; rather, the authors perceive them as flexible and capable of being adapted to suit traditional Indigenous cultural geographies if used in an informed way. Thus far, Western cartographic techniques and technologies have overwhelmingly been used to present positivist representations of space, although some mapmakers are beginning to expand these tools in innovative ways. This article contributes to this expanding dialogue by calling for a focus on cartographic language as a potentially useful means of incorporating Indigenous and non-Indigenous conventions in the same map. To illustrate this, the authors look at the example of "ahupua'a" resource management in Hawai'i and demonstrate how the innovative use of cartographic language can better express Indigenous cultural knowledge of natural resources. (Contains 10 figures and 38 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii