Indigenous Geographies Overlap in This Colorful Online Map
August 6, 2018 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Native Land highlights territories, treaties, and languages across the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

FOR CENTURIES, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND their traditional territories have been purposefully left off maps by colonizers as part of a sustained campaign to delegitimize their existence and land claims. Interactive mapping website Native Land does the opposite, by stripping out country and state borders in order to highlight the complex patchwork of historic and present-day Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages that stretch across the United States, Canada, and beyond.
posted by poffin boffin (14 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you! Just this week I was wondering about this, since almost all the indigenous people in the U.S.A. have been forcibly removed from their home locations.
posted by Jesse the K at 10:25 AM on August 6, 2018

I like the overlapping borders and this quote from Leena Minifie:
“There’s overlapping borders and people say, is that a problem?” says Minifie. “In my view, that [question is] really tied in with Western ideas of geography and ownership. My feeling on this—and I can only speak to my own experience—is that we always had shared places, so that’s not a difficult concept.”
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:52 AM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is a really helpful resource. Thank you.
posted by delight at 11:02 AM on August 6, 2018

Thanks your - this is great. I love the overlapping borders, an idea suitable for all kinds of geographies, neighbours and languages and more - I'm going to stop having such clean polygons!
posted by unearthed at 11:15 AM on August 6, 2018

You are on the land of:
Niitsítapi (ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ, Blackfoot)
Tsuu T’ina
Ktunaxa (language)
Treaty 7

Some of these I knew, but others I had no ideas of. I have some research top do!
posted by arcticseal at 11:41 AM on August 6, 2018

I've wanted something like this for literal years. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by nogoodverybad at 11:49 AM on August 6, 2018

an interesting part of it for me was seeing the city/village/etc names locally whose origins i never really reflected upon which turned out to have native origins. stuff like massapequa and setauket are obvious but rockaway and merrick were a total surprise.

also i would like to travel back in time with my late grandmother and have her say "canarsie" to unsuspecting local native americans in her comically thick brooklyn accent.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:13 PM on August 6, 2018 [4 favorites]

an interesting part of it for me was seeing the city/village/etc names locally whose origins i never really reflected upon which turned out to have native origins.

In Michigan, we have... kind of the opposite problem.
posted by Etrigan at 12:18 PM on August 6, 2018 [5 favorites]

Thanks for posting this, I had a vague awareness that ALL the N. American continent was a patchwork of indigenous lands prior to the invasion of Europeans but seeing it laid out so clearly was a stark reminder of how much history and culture was destroyed.
posted by Bornanerd at 1:03 PM on August 6, 2018

Nice thought exercise...figure out how many out of the 50 U.S. States have Native names.
posted by notsnot at 3:31 PM on August 6, 2018

(By my count, fully half.)
posted by notsnot at 3:35 PM on August 6, 2018

I know that where we are is the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee.
posted by Kitteh at 3:38 PM on August 6, 2018

At my work we did a land acknowledgement exercise recently where everyone researched the territory where they were born. (The map has a section on the importance of Territorial acknowledgement if you are unaccustomed to this practice) For those from overseas, this could be an indigenous or local culture. I used this map to do mine!

I had known about K’ómoks (as the name of the area is Comox Valley, an anglcisation) and I'd heard of Homalco, but no the others...

For Canadians who have been following up on the TRC with some self-learning, this recent CBC map can also tell you about residential schools near you.
posted by chapps at 8:18 PM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is fantastic. The sad counter is this hybrid map of All Federal and Indian Lands (PDF; source), which is saddest because the "Indian Lands" are so few and sparse that they could be combined with other Federal lands.

These more detailed American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States Wall Maps from the U.S. Census names the tribal entities, but it still the history and heritage of native people. That map would look a bit better if you included state-recognized tribal entities, but there are still nine states with no recognized tribal entities. WTF.

Oh right, genocide. That's WTF.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 AM on August 10, 2018

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