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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives
Fiscal Year 1998

Table of Contents | Tribal Governments | Organizations/Events | States | Introduction | Education | Environment | Resources | Technical Assistance | General Coordination and Policy | Future Opportunities | Contacts |

Future Opportunities

TECHWEB. The USGS' EROS Data Center (EDC) has been asked to support TECHWEB, a U.S. Department of Education Technology Challenge Grant project involving six Native American elementary and secondary schools from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The EDC is applying for USGS Human Resources Initiative funds to enable it to help TECHWEB communities purchase new equipment, train teachers, receive computer technical support, and provide positive role models for at-risk Native American youth. Contact: Carrie Jucht; 605-594-6083, cjucht@usgs.gov

Federal and Indian Lands Map. A new map in The National Atlas of the United States of America TM series became available in December 1998. The map represents a new design for future maps produced by the USGS' National Atlas Program. The map will show the lands held in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Tennessee Valley Authority, Forest Service, Agricultural Research Service, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the Department of Transportation. The new sheet showing Federal and Indian lands, will be available for $4.00 from the USGS by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS. Contact: Harry Allan; 703-648-5530, hallan@usgs.gov

Tribal Colleges Cooperation. The USGS continues implementing the Executive Order 13021 on Tribal Colleges including discussing Tribal college and USGS research needs at the Tribal College Summit at Sprit Lake, North Dakota, November 13-14, 1998. The general theme of the summit was expanding assess to resources through collaboration and partnership with tribal colleges. This is being done by fostering relationships with tribal colleges, establishing a network of contacts, and matching available resources and opportunities with individual tribal college priorities. The USGS will also work with individual Tribal colleges to identify career and cooperative research opportunities. Contact: Susan Marcus; 703-648-4437, smarcus@usgs.gov

Developing and Expanding College Curricula. Dartmouth College's Native American Studies Program, Diné College, Turtle Mountain Community College, and the College of the Menominee Nation, are interested in cooperating with the USGS to expand their curricula to include more geographic information systems, metadata, framework, and standards courses. The curriculum improvement will benefit Indian students at these institutions. The students can then help their Tribal governments by sharing the expertise they have gained. Improving the technical capabilities of American Indian governments and individuals will assist tribal governments monitor and manage their resources, and will increase business and educational opportunities in their communities. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) will be meeting with Dartmouth to explore these opportunities and the USGS will work through the FGDC. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan; 703-648-6084, bgallahan@usgs.gov

National Indian Education Association. The USGS distributed educational materials at a USGS booth at the National Indian Education Association conference, in Nashville, Tennessee in October 1998. Contact: Carrie Jucht; 605-594-6083, cjucht@usgs.gov or Mark Barber; 605-594-6176, barber@usgs.gov

American Indian Heritage Foundation Coordination. The American Indian Heritage Foundation, in conjunction with the National Native American Law Enforcement Association, the U.S. Secret Service Native American Liaison, and the USGS, through its support of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), have met regarding Federal coordination and expansion of GIS opportunities on reservation lands. Upcoming meetings will include GIS presentations from the FGDC and other National Performance Review Community Demonstration Projects, particularly from law enforcement organizations. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan; 703-648-6084, bgallahan@usgs.gov

Intertribal GIS Council. The Intertribal GIS Council and the USGS, though its support of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), have met and will cooperatively plan and develop the 1999 Intertribal GIS Council Conference. In 1998, the FGDC gave a presentation on the its programs at the annual conference. In 1999, the FGDC will play a more active role in the event. Upcoming activities with the Intertribal GIS Council include: a directory of GIS courses and programs offered at Tribal colleges, universities, and technical schools; creating scholarship and student intern programs, and; integrate GIS programs into tribal schools. Contact Bonnie Gallahan; 703-648-6084, bgallahan@usgs.gov

Native American Earth Science Course. The USGS is working cooperatively with the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center of the Haskell Indian Nations University to develop a college-level course in the earth sciences titled "Introduction to Earth Sciences: An Indigenous North American Perspective on Earth Knowledge." The primary sources for the concepts and principles conveyed in the course will be a combination of existing earth sciences texts and traditional North American Indigenous sources: stories, symbols, ceremonies, and social institutions. Recent research with traditional Native peoples has revealed to non-Native scientists the tremendous amount of knowledge Indigenous peoples possess by virtue of longstanding experiences and histories understood and shaped by the places Indigenous people call home. Plans for the project in 1999 include developing place-based teaching modules for tribal homelands in the Great Plains and Northern Rocky Mountains regions of the United States. Teaching modules will also be developed for regions in Alaska. Internships for Native American students with on-going USGS projects will be offered in the summer of 1999, and a video introducing the concepts of this earth sciences course for tribal colleges will be produced by the end of Federal fiscal year 1999. Contact: Sharon Crowley; 703-648-6453, scrowley@usgs.gov

University of Buffalo Native American GIS Program. The University of Buffalo's Doctoral Studies Program in Geographic Information Science, its Native American coordinator, and the USGS, through its support of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), will be coordinating the availability of graduate fellowships. The fellowships will include assisting the USGS in developing cognitive models of geographic space, computational implementations of geographic concepts, geographic information and society, human capital research using GIS, environmental modeling, and regional modeling and optimization. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan; at 703-648-6084, bgallahan@usgs.gov

Michigan Tribal Environmental Group. USGS staff attend quarterly Michigan Tribal Environmental Group (MTEG) meetings. Michigan Tribes, the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, the Environmental Protection Agency, USGS, and other groups are represented in the MTEG. These meetings serve as a forum for discussion of environmental issues pertinent to Michigan Tribes and USGS. Contact: Tom Weaver; 517-887-8912, tlweaver@usgs.gov

Southwest Strategy. The USGS helped to organize and participate in the Gathering of Indian Nations and Federal Agencies, held November 4-5 in Laughlin, Nevada. Representatives of 10 agencies met in Las Cruces, New Mexico in November 1998 to discuss how to share digital geographic and other data, what specific types of data are needed by the land managers, and how these data can best be assembled for use in decision making. Contact: Russ Livingston; 303-236-2730x221, russ_livingston@usgs.gov

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI). Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) and the USGS, through its support of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), have been exploring cooperative opportunities for workshops, curriculum expansion, and satellite broadcasting. To facilitate these activities, the parties are investigating the possibility of expanding an existing Memorandum of Understanding between SIPI and the Bureau of Reclamation to include the FGDC. The needs of BIA educators and FGDC officials will be discussed in upcoming meetings between SIPI and FGDC. Executive Order 13021, on Tribal Colleges and Universities, provided some of the impetus for these contacts. Contact: Bonnie Gallahan; 703-648-6084, bgallahan@usgs.gov

Continuing Cooperation with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California has indicated an ongoing interest in having the USGS conduct water resources investigations on their Tribal lands throughout Eagle Valley and Carson Valley, Nevada and into California. The USGS has significant knowledge of water resources in these areas and has collaborated successfully as a cooperator jointly with Tribal and local jurisdictions where the entities have lands within a common hydrographic area. Contact: Jon Nowlin; 775-887-7600, jonowlin@usgs.gov

The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.

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