November 16, 2020

It is crazy to think that a decade has gone by since CES (formerly Northern GIS) was founded. It has taken a lot of hard work, perseverance, and invaluable support from some amazing people to get us to this point. What started as a home-based GIS business, has grown into a company that continually broadens its capacity to produce innovative tools. We are incredibly fortunate to have worked with over 40 First Nation communities and their supporting organizations, along with municipalities, educational institutions, and non-profits.

One of the many great opportunities that we have had as a company has been the experience of interviewing Elders throughout communities in Northwestern Ontario. Listening to the legends and stories they share and learning about their past ways of life has been nothing short of incredible. Being trusted with this invaluable information is something we will never take for granted and we are honoured to share in the responsibility of protecting it.

It is exciting to see how the range of what we can offer has grown over the years. Even in the unpredictability that this pandemic has brought forward we find ourselves working just as hard, if not harder, to create new projects and build new services. We keep an open mind that leads us to taking on unique and innovative initiatives that provide solutions for our clients while also allowing us to grow our own capabilities as a company.

Some of the more recent projects we have had the chance to explore with our clients are building systems that support the protection of traditional lands, tools for creative language revitalization, and community food security initiatives such as greenhouses and gardens. We are also discovering the value our new drone is adding to our GIS and mapping projects. The imagery and data that it collects allows us to provide our clients with up-to-date visuals of their communities and create precise 3D models. Our drone is able to produce real life representations that can assist with planning and development, while also protecting lands from flooding, erosion, and more.

We have taken many steps to get to where we are – some small and routine, others big community greenhouses and gardens that support them in becoming more self-sustaining and in exciting new directions. Sometimes the steps we took did not work out as planned or led us towards making tough decisions, but we always managed to find ways to grow and overcome those challenging moments. Though at times we took advice that led us askew, our intention to do right by our clients never faltered and we have worked hard to learn from them. Heading into this next chapter, we will continue supporting our clients however possible by developing the tools, services, and training that can lead to self-sufficiency.

Jordan Shannon, Founding Partner