On Friday September 9th 2022, the Mulokot Foundation and the Association of Indigenous Village Chiefs in Suriname (VIDS) were awarded with the ‘Special Achievement in GIS Suriname award’.
The two organizations received this distinguished recognition for their work
on the creation of the map of the Wayana area in the south of Suriname. The map was created using the software program ArcGIS from Gissat NV. This company was founded in 1999 and since then supplies geographic information system, (GIS), with the software of ESRI and satellite measuring equipment of TRIMBLE. During the ceremony, the executives of Gissat NV indicated that it they were very impressed with the fact that the Mulokot Foundation and VIDS were able to create a map of the entire Wayana area in such a short time span (January- August 2022). According to them it is rarely seen that organizations have mapped an area of 24,000 km2 so quickly and well.
On Monday August 8th 2022, ahead of the International Day of the World’s
Indigenous Peoples, the Mulokot Foundation officially launched the Map of the
Wayana territory. The total area was found to be 24.865 square kilometers, which is approximately 15% of entire country.
The creation of the Wayana Map will significantly contribute to the fight for
Indigenous Land Rights. Up till now, the boundaries of the Wayana area were only
known through oral narratives. Recognizing the need to preserve the knowledge of
our ancestors, The Mulokot Foundation felt the need to document this information.
During the entire mapping process, the organization worked closely with the community. For example, seven youngsters were trained who helped to demarcate the boundaries and peculiarities of the Wayana area. In addition, the elder villagers shared their knowledge that helped to designate old villages.
The map should be seen as the start of a multi-year project called ‘Bio-cultural monitoring system’. In this system, in addition to the map of the Wayana area, all details, such as demographic, geographical and cultural information, will be specified.