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August 11, 2016
Esri Observes The United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous People with Tribal Story Map Challenge

Redlands, California —The United Nations’ International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This year’s theme is right to education, and in honor of this, Esri partnered with seven tribes in a friendly competition to create Story Maps using the ArcGIS platform. The Story Maps bring attention to many different issues that affect tribal nations including climate change, forest resiliency and data sovereignty.

Story Maps are a way to tap into and explore ideas. Through interactive maps, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Seneca National, Santa Clara Pueblo, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Navajo, the Grand Ronde Tribe, and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) shared powerful narratives that educate viewers of the issues at hand.

Joseph Robertson, head of The Impact of Data Sovereignty on American Indian Self-Determination created a story map discussing the impact of data sovereignty on American Indian self-determination. Robertson is pursuing his PhD at South Dakota State University and his dissertation is teaching Tribal governments and stakeholders how to integrate not only GIS data systems, but fully centralized data systems using the Esri platform.

Robertson is changing his computational statistics PhD framework in real time to take advantage of the breakthrough GIS provides for a nation building by using the ArcGIS bridge with R. Now stakeholders can learn the basics of R for statistical learning and also use this approach for higher education. Esri’s technology will also teach tribes about the power of how a fully integrated GIS platform intersects the power of pure spatial statistics and analysis through theory and American Indian Law and Policy.

Regarding his implementation, Joseph Robertson said, “I am confident we can make an impact in showing Indigenous communities what is possible in a data driven world through the eyes of an Indigenous person with the skill set to make this possible.”

Explore the meaning of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People using this Story Map. Learn more about how Esri helps create a sustainable world for all people, visit go.esri.com/pr-susdev.

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