Tribal Ambassadors Through Technology
Track: Tribal/Indigenous GIS Programs
Authors: Nicole Lim
The Tribal Ambassadors Through Technology project is comprised of Native youth ages 9 to 24 from Sonoma County in Northern California, who currently participate in the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center’s (CIMCC) Native Youth in Action (NYA), service learning program. During the two year period, the youth engaged in GIS training and hands on development for CIMCC’s high-tech exhibits and educational programs. The program sought to increase CIMCC’s capacity to provide GIS technology training to Native youth and enhance resources for K through 12 students and educators. The youth worked to create a new CIMCC exhibition called California Indigenous. When completed, California Indigenous will present three GIS stations that cover six “cultural areas” of California. Each of the stations will display information about tribes, natural resources, cultures, native language, biographies and historical events. Icons on each layer will appear so that CIMCC visitors can explore graphics, videos, texts, oral histories and more. During the project native youth engaged in GIS skills and data set content development. They worked toward applying their training and skills to mapping and content creation, research and narrative presentation. Tribal community informants were engaged to work with the youth in documenting and presenting oral histories and California native perspectives.