The arctic and subarctic regions of Canada are experiencing amplified climate change impacts, which are disproportionately impacting Canadian indigenous populations’ ability to safely travel on land to acquire resources. Less predictable and more dangerous travel conditions are impacting not only the health and safety of individuals but also the traditional lifestyles that are vital to the cultural well-being of these indigenous communities. The University of Waterloo’s Computer Systems Group has developed a novel decision-support tool termed “Collaborative-Geomatics.” This web-based informatics tool can allow for the community to monitor, in real-time, the safety of travel routes. Using handheld GPS tracking systems, the utility of the geomatics system to present real-time travel conditions was carried out in a Canadian First Nations community, located along the Western James Bay coast. The results of this study showed that the collaborative-geomatics tool offers the potential to monitor and store information on the safety of travel routes, helping to promote adaptive capacity and aid in knowledge transfer within arctic and subarctic indigenous communities.
Part of the book: Geospatial Technology