visualization technology What are some of the unique challenges that come with preserving indigenous cultures and land? How does your software help indigenous communities? A unique challenge that comes with preserving Indigenous cultures and land is that each nation has its respective traditional knowledge of the land and heritage, and in most cases, that traditional knowledge is sacred. It’s not always available in a shareable or digitized format so that poses some unique challenges. When developing the software we wanted to surface that data, integrate it, and make it available while also respecting the information and data sovereignty of that Nation, as it may not be suitable to share with everyone such as industry or even regulators. But, it is important to have and retain that data.
By having a tool that visualizes the land and all of the data-related projects, activities, and the
Can you walk the readers through an example of how this technology would be used in a negotiation or land management scenario? First Nations typically have a referral process, supported in some cases by the government, so when
a project or an activity is being proposed on the land a referral needs to be done. Engagement is sometimes not possible at the deepest level that everyone would like. Whether it’s because of things such as the
make it more accessible. Communities will now
pandemic limiting our access to one-on-one inperson engagement, limiting our availability to one another, or the remote nature of such activities.
land management, or even traditional knowledge
We live in a fairly diverse geographic part of the world; we have mountains, glaciers, deep forests, wetlands,
two speakers of the traditional language so it’s
it is sometimes quite difficult to access so our tool facilitates those conversations from the perspective of
culture and heritage of the land, the visualizations have an accessible repository or common operating picture that can be used for education, training and language retention in their community. Some communities only have one or really critical to capture that while we can and
make it available to everyone in their community.
What are your thoughts on the impact of this technology on land management and negotiations?
and coastal lands. Because of the diversity of the land,
accessing the land virtually. We can visualize the
process and the referral by encouraging the exchange of data related to the referral and bringing it into
Guardian, and we do so from a very hands-off perspective. By using Guardian, First Nations are able to bring in data that are given to them by the regulator or industry itself and can visualize and make those assessments on their own in context to their own data.
The impact of this technology is about creating transparency and equal footing by making the same data accessible between industry, landowners, and regulators.
What is your advice for indigenous entrepreneurs during this challenging time?
When coming to the table to have those conversations, everybody can be talking about the same thing from a data-driven perspective. It really removes the question of are we talking about the same thing, the same place, what data or version each group has. Creating that common repository, evens the playing field for everyone, making transparent discussions and negotiations possible.
I think the time is now; to pursue passions and dreams. If you have a mark to leave on the world, go and do it. There’s a lot of support out there so when facing challenges, which you will as all entrepreneurs do, it’s about perseverance, so make sure it’s something you can be passionate about, and surround yourself with the right people who believe not only in just your vision but in you as an individual. Go find those people, build that network, and get out there and do it.
50 - CanadianSME - April 2022