Celebrating Excellence in Traditional Ecological Knowledge: ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition Announcement

This year, the Esri Native Nations team made a significant decision: to recognize excellence in Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) through the Esri ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition. TEK is not just about change; it’s about embracing change with grace and intentionality. It represents the ancient practice of systems thinking, emphasizing sustainability and harmonious coexistence with the earth.

At its core, TEK embodies the Indigenous worldview, which recognizes humans as an integral part of nature’s intricate tapestry. It’s a way of life deeply rooted in spiritual well-being, culture, and language, making it a holistic approach to existence.

In this blog post, we’re excited to showcase our TEK Award winner and highlight some of the outstanding ArcGIS StoryMaps stories from this year’s competition that beautifully encapsulate the principles of stewardship and ecological knowledge within their narratives.

Drumroll, please . . .

The Esri Native Nations TEK Award, a special award, is being presented to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) for its outstanding work on climate actions within the Flathead Reservation. The confederation has utilized ArcGIS StoryMaps—incorporating audio, language, maps, and visual illustrations—to communicate climate change’s impact on the Flathead Reservation effectively. Its approach highlights the ancient practices and systems of thought that prioritize sustainability and harmony.

You can explore the CSKT Climate Change Strategic Plan.

This year, we received numerous ArcGIS StoryMaps submissions that embraced the cultural heritage and long-term visions of Native Nations. Here are some of the runners-up for the TEK Award:

• Restoring a Healthy Inlet
• Owámniyuomni ed Wathóthoka kiŋ
• Seal River Watershed Alliance
• Preserving Intact Habitat on US Native Lands

We want to thank the participants who took the time to share their stories with us and the world. In 2024, we will continue to include special awards that address the unique challenges Native Nations face. Please look for news about the 2024 competition.

About the author

Ricklyn Hukriede

Ricklyn Hukriede is a Senior Marketing Manager at Esri, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to her role. She holds a master’s degree in Integrated Design, Business, and Technology from the University of Southern California's Iovine and Young Academy. In her current capacity, Ricklyn spearheads messaging and positioning initiatives within the government industry.

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