Learn More About Where You Live
June 27, 2017 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Native Land is a resource to help North Americans learn more about their local history. Search a North American address to learn more about native territories, languages, and treaties.
posted by Capt. Renault (16 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Seems interesting, but all I get is a 404 error for my area, http://native-land.ca/Chochenyo
posted by Frayed Knot at 9:32 AM on June 27

What a great resource. It looks like its been pretty thoroughly sourced. Can anyone with greater knowledge of aboriginal geography comment on the resources used to create it? There are so many possibilities for the layers of educational information that could be built on top of this.
posted by westmorelander at 9:55 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]

The map layering is wonderful (especially the languages), but I, too, follow links out to nowhere.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:05 AM on June 27

This has very little info. I'm inputting Chicago, and I get one giant green area saying Pottowotami, no decent links from that.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:18 AM on June 27

I got one 404 but a bunch of other links that do work.

Really interesting tool, I hope it can see further refinement in the future.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:37 AM on June 27

Weird, when I input Chicago and click the Potowatami link, I get this. A link to the tribal website doesn't seem like a not-decent link... are you getting something else?
posted by palomar at 11:37 AM on June 27

You should also be seeing Miami in Chicago. I am.

The tribal website links are just the default "territories" result. You gotta click the checkboxes for "treaties" and/or "languages," then click the coloured areas on the map, for more detailed stuff about those things.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:46 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]

It appears to be just links to outside sources, whatever they could find on the net. It's not exactly systematic, nor is it thorough. The maps, at least from my limited knowledge, are good generic representations of known areas based on earlier charts, not necessarily scholarly researched. There are a lot more developed resources that could have been used to flesh this out more.

But boy, is this a cool resource. It's a great start of a project, bringing together all this information. I hope they keep working at it, building it up further. There's a great value in this.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:56 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]

Not ready for release yet.

It properly chose the historic tribe for NW Montana, but out linked to a band from Canada. No links to the Salish-Kootenai tribe whose reservation is all of 30 miles north of me.

For Browning, Montana, the only out link for the Blackfoot tribe was to a one-page document of the Blackfoot language.

Not ready for release yet.
posted by ITravelMontana at 12:15 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]

Pretty cool. I notice that the Tseshaht band's claimed territory is missing while the Hupacasath's isn't. There's some long-running contention about who owns what in central Vancouver Island. They're both members of the same tribal council -- the council's territory is shown but doesn't completely overlap with theHupacasath's territory.

So, a little lacking, but something like this would be very much non-trivial and problematic to compile perfectly.
posted by klanawa at 12:32 PM on June 27

It appears to be just links to outside sources

Maybe this is a feature, not a bug. I think it is good that the linked sites are created by the people represented, rather than to wikipedia. In the sections of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama that I explored, I was linked to the websites of the Chitimacha Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. I didn't click on every territory and language on the map so I'm sure there will be exceptions, but it seems good to me that the Nations are being allowed to speak for themselves.
posted by CheeseLouise at 12:44 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]

Seems at odds with what's taught in school here - it doesn't look like it has Shawnee anywhere at all.
posted by dilettante at 12:58 PM on June 27

I think this seems like it was someone's personal project and it was not ready for this level of attention, since it's now showing bandwidth exceeded and it had some fairly basic problems with stuff like malformed URLs. A very cool idea, though.
posted by Sequence at 1:09 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]

Oh shoot, I'm getting the "exceeded bandwidth" message too. I would love a tool like this! It's a great idea.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:28 PM on June 27

It properly chose the historic tribe for NW Montana, but out linked to a band from Canada. No links to the Salish-Kootenai tribe whose reservation is all of 30 miles north of me.

This is really tricky and I'm surprised anyone is even willing to take it on. You'll never make everyone happy as there is so much dispute about these details. I think this map is supposed to cover traditional territory, not current territory.

For what it's worth, the Ktunaxa (the Canadians you refer to) and the Kootenai (US) are historically the same people. And the Salish-Kootenai are actually historically three different tribes that now share a reserve. I think only the Kootenai actually had traditional territory over their current reserve. So, for traditional territory, I don't think the map is as bad as you'd have it.
posted by ssg at 1:31 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]

This is really neat - I live in upstate New York and we learned about the Iroquois Confederacy in school, but this site showed me a tribe I'd never heard of (the Wenrohronon) who were conquered by the Iroquois in the late 1630s.
posted by SeedStitch at 6:50 AM on June 28

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