Mushkegowuk Council

2022 Weehtamakaywin
Christmas Newsletter Article:

Information Services

Wachay and Merry Christmas!

The Information Services Department (CreeGeo – Cree Geomatics) supports the Mushkegowuk First Nations and Council departments with training, GIS support, mapping needs, K-12 Geomatics education, Traditional Knowledge mapping and documentation, data collection and data storage and IT needs. We partner with our internal departments to deliver educational and youth programming to our six on-reserve schools and to community youth who attend provincial schools.

The team continues to provide online training to communities who are working with GIS and documenting and storage of their traditional knowledge as well as departmental and community requests for mapping needs.

As we are a self-funding department, we look for opportunities to do contract GIS work within Mushkegowuk and for other First Nations and the general public.

Our Department Focus Areas: Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Documentation, TEK values protection mapping from Mining and Forestry, TEK mapping, GIS in the Classroom, Camp Chikepak and Camp Chikepak Outreach, Climate Change Adaptation/Mitigation Information Program, Fee for Service work, Graphic Services, large scale printing, GPS & Drone Workshops, Mushkegowuk Department program support… and more.

Camp Chikepak

After holding camp online the past 2 years we were excited to be in-person again this summer for our 6th year, August 7-21 with 123 campers from all our communities. With the collaboration of many partners (Community Elders, Jays Care Foundation, Science Timmins, sewers, drummers, Timmins Archery club, soapstone carvers, Laurentian University and Mushkegowuk Staff) we came together to share in 2 weeks of traditional cultural learning and western science. It is a fun environment where kids get to be themselves, develop self-expression and build their confidence while participating in a full week of activities!

Planning will start for August 2023 in January!!

Camp Chikepak Outreach

Camp Chikepak Outreach is a program where we have afterschool hangouts over zoom, where we will be exploring traditional teachings, cultural practices and western science combined with our connection to the locational space and geomatics around the world. A few of the hi-lighted 42 tours last year were to Hawaii to see a traditional Mouri fishing management, Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, South African Safari, Niagara Bird Kingdom, Land use with Sam Hunter, San Diego Zoo, NASA, and many more.

GIS Education

We are now able to travel to communities, our GIS Education Specialists are back in communities, connecting with teachers to support their classroom geography activities. We connect traditional activities with western science and technology. Activities include drone flying, using GPS, Cree Language, trapping, fishing etc..

Licensed Drone Flyers!

As of May 2022, all members of CreeGeo are Licensed Drone flyers. Anyone who flies a drone greater than 250grams must have a minimum Basic License. Our team members all hold an Advanced license which allow us to fly over people and within controlled airspace.

Here we are at Chapleau Cree’s annual fall harvest, showing elders and youth the ins and outs of flying!

Climate Adaptation/Mitigation Information

For the past 3 years we have been participating in a project in collaboration with Laurentian University and 5 northern Tribal Councils to product information guides about Climate change adaptation and mitigation for communities. Information factsheets, a website and facebook page shares valuable topic based information for communities on how to adapt to the ongoing changes to our climate. A data HUB is being created to house all the print information and digital data to be launched at the end of September 2022. The current information can be seen here:

Marine Conservation Project Support

Information Services department is supporting the Lands Department with their mapping needs, placenames knowledge collection and the creation of a data HUB to house climate and lands related information.

Information Services People

Barb Duffin

Edward Sutherland
GIS Education Specialist

Nigel Spence
Program Assistant

Roxanne Metlin
GIS Officer

Tanya Iljas
GIS Analyst

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