Mapping and labeling of unofficial indigenous territories

Good day, in Latam we have a conversation, and your global experience could be very useful:

Have you worked on OSM issues of perimeters/boundaries of unofficial indigenous territories, which then overlap official administrative territories? OSM allows it, and users accept and respect it?

To be more precise: they are not recognized (by law) as Protected Areas; they are not recognized by law nor in official maps as an administrative boundary of any kind. They would be drawn by the communities themselves to identify their traditional area of use and vernacular authority.

Thanks in advance

Seems to be running into Verifiability - OpenStreetMap Wiki issues but I am not familiar with the topic.

But I suspect that OSM may be unsuitable for this kind of data.

Are this areas marked in any way? Some posts/border stones?

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I’m not sure how the boundaries are marked, because not there yet, but I guess there are physical symbols of the limits. I’d like to know cases in the world, maybe in Africa in the areas of customary rights…

I feel like an unofficial area could be considered verified. First it would have to known to locals otherwiseit is not worthconsidering. Then it must have a well defined set of landmarks that are part of well known border as described by the people that created it. This should allow the inclusion of things like a named valley that is surrounded by mountains peaks. There are mojar cities with weaker legal descriptions of their exising borders.

Hi mapeadora,

I will present you the situation in Canada and how we did map.
In Canada, there are more then 600 communities identified by the federal government grouped in three Groups : the First nations, the Innuits and the Metis. The First nations are grouped by nations, which are then divided in communities. The government also provides maps of these communities villages and boundaries of indigenous territories with various status (agreements, revendications, etc). See Indigenous Peoples and Lands

I know that these infos have been added to OSM at least for Quebec province. For a particular community we can find the community village itself plus the community territory

To better describe the communities, I did propose on talk-ca and added tags to describe these community villages.
indigenous_group: [first_nation, inuit, metis]
indigenous_nation : nations part of the first_nation group
indigenous_community : The choice of a name belongs to the community
The boundaries of the territories were later added. I should go back to add tags corresponding to each community.
See this Overpass query overpass turbo

The administrative level of the community and grouping these indigenous communities in regional structures needs sometimes some adaptation. Canada is divided in provinces and each has his own regional structure and the administer these vast lands. There is a diversity of status with services provided by various level of government and by various autonomous status for these communities. Some have negociated specific agreements with governments.

North of Quebec, Innuits have an agreement with the Quebec and Canada governments and administer themselves the regional structure financed by these governments. If you look for Inukjuak, you will find the village plus the community territory identified with “Terre de category I”. This is a legal status related to revendication of territory by the indigeneous people. We also see that the community is part of Kativik, the administrative region north of Quebec.

I understand that your situation, recognition and protection of the communities can be quite different but if there is enough consensus how to describe, you could use tags similar to Canada to describe these communities and add if necessary a note about the unofficial definition of the territory.

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It was a rather unfortunate choice of the Canadian community when they decided to put the territory status into the name tag (e.g name:en=Mistissini (Category I Land)). This badly interferes with search and labeling. I really can’t recommend that. Put the status into a separate tag and reserve the name for the actual name only.

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I dont know how many contributors have introduced this category labelling to describe territories outside of the community village and it was not discussed. I plan to revise, placing this info in a description tag but needs first to find the documentation about this classification related to territory status (ie. revendication, etc.).

Seems to be running into Verifiability - OpenStreetMap Wiki
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Verifiability issues but I am not
familiar with the topic.

“unoffical” (or “not defined by $THIS_LOCAL_GOVERNMENT) ≠ “vague”. We map desire paths, even though they are “unofficial”.

“vague” or “fuzzy edges”, it’s less clear. We map the country of Germany, even though it’s vague about it’s borders. But the OSM data model assumes there’s a clear linear border. However, one could model some things as point clouds (like mountain ranges).

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Have you worked on OSM issues of perimeters/boundaries of
unofficial
indigenous territories, which then overlap official
administrative territories? OSM allows it, and users accept and respect
it?

Ireland (the island) is split into 4 provinces. Northern Ireland is a subset of one province. So we had to map 3 of the provinces as boundary=administrative and the 4th (Ulster) as boundary=historic. Trying to explain this to Germans who expected a logical ordering was fun¹. :rofl:

¹ plenty of illogical admin systems in Germany :stuck_out_tongue:

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