Matawa’s Four Rivers Drone Team Nominated for a Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award!

The “Game Changer” award is given out to a group who “introduces new offerings, breakthrough solutions or a revolutionary approach, to think differently about how they serve their community”.

For almost two years, despite the challenging and uncertain circumstances brought on by the Covid19 pandemic, Four Rivers developed an innovative approach, using revolutionary technology, to find a way to capture environmental and climate change related data. With the use of drones, Four Rivers staff were able to work outdoors and maintain safe distances, while still capturing revolutionary data.

Demanding travel schedules and grueling physical work was also required to complete all drone flights in nine Matawa communities over 50 days. The whole team showed tremendous dedication and commitment to complete this improbable feat in record time. Four Rivers drone team now includes some of t he first Indigenous Advanced Done Pilots in the country, who are blazing a trail and inspiring others. This drone imagery work marks the first time in history that some Matawa communities have ever been mapped with quality imagery, as opposed to grainy satellite images. These new, high resolution, 3D, geospatially linked maps with sub-centimeter accuracy, have provided never-before-seen imagery, to assist the Matawa member communities with everything from environmental monitoring to capturing infrastructure and climate change needs.

The technology is expending every day and impacts how environmental stewardship, climate monitoring, terrain analysis, infrastructure planning and cartography can be done better in the future, and Four Rivers intends to stay on the leading edge.

Click below to see a short video of the Four Rivers drone team award submission: