Carleton Researcher Fraser Taylor Receives CFI Award for Indigenous Project

Carleton’s Fraser Taylor, distinguished research professor and director of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC), has received $516,323 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds (LEF/ NIF).

This funding will support the creation of a research system for the collection, analysis, dissemination, active use and preservation of local and traditional knowledge by indigenous experts, researchers and decision-makers.

“The support from CFI is most welcome and will provide the GCRC with the facilities and equipment needed to expand our existing research in exciting new directions in co-operation with our northern community and institutional partners, “ said Taylor. “It is a welcome vote of confidence in the quality of our work and an important building block for the future.”

Canada’s northern communities are undergoing fundamental changes, and are subject to increasing political interest with respect to sovereignty issues, as well as increasing pressure to extract natural resources. Local and traditional knowledge is disappearing just as it is most needed to respond to these challenges.

Integrating this knowledge with existing data management systems is difficult, especially in the North. Internet connectivity, cultural norms, concerns over access, use, and possession of local knowledge, education, technical capacity and the need for unique representations of data derived from predominately oral cultures are all challenges.

“Research and innovation is a forceful driver of growth in our communities,” said Gilles G. Patry, president and CEO of CFI. “Today’s funding will allow a talented group of researchers and students to create the solutions, products and ideas Canada needs to prosper.”

The infrastructure acquired from this award will facilitate the development of systems designed to host and interact with local and traditional knowledge in unique new ways, and make that information more widely available and useful to all concerned.

The GCRC aims to merge technology and cartography in new and interesting ways. Cybercartography, a term Taylor introduced during a conference in 1997, has since been accepted around the world.

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About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. For more information, visit innovation.ca.

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