For the first time in history, the Piikani Nation will have a database that allows them to track information about the land and its people. In conjunction with the U of L, the community will receive $430 thousand in funding to support the project.
"What we hope is to empower our own nation to make our own decisions with regards to land and land development. Currently the government does engage our community with land and land projects specifically with land planning. This will ensure that our community is well versed amongst itself to make informed decisions," says Manager of Piikani Nation Consultation, Ira Provost.
The second announcement was for nearly $2 million to support the Geography department in purchasing a multi-spectral LIDAR (MSL) imaging system. The advanced technology is a one-of-a-kind airborne 3D data collection sensor, which allows researchers to collect detailed images of land, water, and forestry. U of L Geography professor Chris Hopkinson says that this technology will add the the Universities role in being Canada's leader in this specific technology.
"For the last few years the University of Lethbridge has been a national leader in sensory technology and remote sensing in general, airborne and satellite based and so this gives us our own capability to basically lead and implement missions anywhere around the world."
Dr. Hopkinson hopes that the technology will arrive in May.