Government technologists across levels of government regularly call on the need to collaborate, but in New Mexico, that collaboration means more than between federal, state and local government, but cooperation with tribal nations.
Gar Clarke, the geospatial information officer for the state of New Mexico, also serves as the liaison between the state’s Department of Information Technology and tribal nations and communities. Clarke works with the Navajo Nation — a Native American territory that covers area in three states and has more than 350,000 residents — as well as several pueblos and tribes within the state’s boundaries on tribal GIS, technology and broadband.
“What is now forming, I think, in a very positive manner, is on the national scale,” Clarke says on the latest episode of GIS Addressed. “The intent here is just a lot more collaboration and discussion and the development of trust.”
Clarke also works as the National States Geographic Information Council’s liaison to the National Tribal Geographic Information Service Center — a group designed to share information, knowledge and education across tribal nations and communities.
“It’s interesting to note that when you listen to the discussions [at NTGISC events and conferences], we all have similar geospatial challenges and problem-solving skillsets that need to be honed in order for us to solve problems together,” Clarke says.
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