What We Do

We work with elders and knowledge holders to map how Nations use the lands and waters of their territories for hunting and trapping, fishing, plant gathering, camping, and many other important activities. We also do archival research and demonstrate links between contemporary and historical use and occupancy. This data can inform many processes including the establishment of baseline conditions, the characterization of cumulative effects, and the assessment of potential impacts to culture and rights from proposed development or changes in legislation. We tailor our methods to meet community needs, provide results that are timely and effective, and strengthen local voices both within and beyond the community. Firelight’s expertise in spatial and qualitative data collection as well as GIS, ecology, planning, health, and socio-economic research is at the core of this work.


Firelight’s Indigenous knowledge research team is led by professionally-trained social scientists with extensive experience doing research in Nations with community members in addition to their academic credentials. We strive to use the most up-to-date, best methods and practices in our work so that all of our research is defensible in any setting.


We provide training for Nations that wish to strengthen their techniques in Indigenous Knowledge Research. Common training topics include:

  • Direct-to-Digital mapping methods;

  • Interview techniques (including how to develop questions and lead interviews);

  • Data analysis (coding);

  • Transcription;

  • + more!