Mapping and GIS

Maps can be a powerful visual representation of a community’s land use, rights and interests, giving added leverage in consultations and negotiations with governments and industry or in regulatory and environmental assessment processes.

What We Do

Mapping is a critical foundation of our work with communities, especially in our traditional knowledge and use (TUS) studies, Indigenous planning, and ecology studies. We work with community members to map out the locations they and their families rely on for hunting, trapping, fishing and other important activities. Using state-of-the-art software, we analyze this information to clearly show a community’s rights and interests on the land, and how these could be affected by industrial development or land management policies.


Firelight’s mapping and GIS team includes professional cartographers with decades of experience working with Indigenous communities to map their knowledge and land use in culturally appropriate ways. We also have extensive experience providing training and workshops to communities.

Capacity Building

We provide one-on-one and small group mapping training and on-going support to enhance communities’ research and data collection capacity, both in interview settings and out on the ground using GPS. We also co-host large-scale Indigenous Mapping Workshops, during which we deliver technical training on mapping tools (Google, QGIS, ESRI) so participants can collect, manage, share, and publish their own map data.


Steve DeRoy
MSc Geographic Information Science
Vancouver Office
Phone: (604) 563-2245

When we sit down with community members, the first thing we say is that we work for them – nobody else… This is especially important when people are sharing information about the land; they must have the opportunity to control what is said or not said.

Steve DeRoy
Mapping team lead


Direct-to-Digital Guide

Download the Direct-to-Digital Guide

Direct to Digital Mapping Guide

Firelight’s Direct to Digital Mapping Guide is designed to assist community members in mapping points, lines and areas using Google Earth software, and gives step-by-step guidance on how to manage and store the data. The guide is best used alongside an interview guide for focused data collection specific to a community’s goals and needs. The guide is a tool used in Firelight capacity building training and workshops.

The Firelight Group

Research, policy, planning, mapping, negotiation, advisory, and capacity building services for Indigenous and local communities.


VICTORIA (250) 590-9017
EDMONTON (780) 760-1255


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