Interactive Map Shows On Which Part Of Indigenous Land You Are Currently Living

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Interactive Map Shows On Which Part Of Indigenous Land You Are Currently Living

This amazing interactive map, known as 'Native Land', shows you which part of Native American land you are currently living on. The project developed by Vancouver-based web developer Victor Temprano is built upon user feedback and current historical knowledge leading to a fairly accurate depiction of which native peoples inhabited different parts of the North American continent. While these changed over time due to migration and conflict, the map has been hailed as a way in which those living today, both within Native and non-Native communities, can reconnect with their local history. The map also allows people to see what languages were spoken by Native people in their area.

You can access the map here.

Using the map is simple. Just enter your current address and you will be given a quick insight that the creators hope will be a stepping-stone to more research and personal understanding of an area's history.

Temprano says on his website:

"Native-Land.ca started during a time of a lot of resource development projects in British Columbia. While mapping out pipeline projects and learning more about them for the sake of public awareness, I started to ask myself whose territories all these projects were happening on. Once I started finding the geographic data and mapping… well, it just kind of expanded from there."

He also added that an initial motive for building the site was due to the fact that many maps that already existed mapping Native peoples were deeply unsatisfactory. Temperano said:

"I feel that Western maps of Indigenous nations are very often inherently colonial, in that they delegate power according to imposed borders that don't really exist in many nations throughout history. They were rarely created in good faith, and are often used in wrong ways. I am open to criticism about this project and I welcome suggestions and changes."

One thing Temperano guards against is using the map in an oversimplistic way. Instead, he hopes it will open a wider conversation about how we map history and come to understand those that inhabited the land, both then and now. A teacher's guide that accompanies the map posits these questions:

"What are the difficulties when it comes to mapping Indigenous territories? Who defines national boundaries, and who defines a nation? How have colonial maps attempted to dispossess Indigenous people of their land?"

Native land rights are now a matter of great public debate. Only last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that half of the US state of Oklahoma was in fact Native territory, which should in time lead to greater rights and opportunities for the Native people still living in the state. The issue of Native rights has also been pushed to the top of the political agenda due to industrial projects such as the Keystone pipeline. The oil pipeline was built to move oil over 3,400 km from Canada to the United States. While environmental concerns were shared by many citizens, the fact that the pipeline crossed Native lands resulted in a huge protest movement organised by the Native peoples themselves. After taking office, new US President Joe Biden effectively ended the Keystone project. A huge victory for Native campaigners.

A post shared by Native Land (@nativelandnet)
A post shared by Native Land (@nativelandnet)
A post shared by Native Land (@nativelandnet)

h/t: [My Modern Met]

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Thinking Humanity: Interactive Map Shows On Which Part Of Indigenous Land You Are Currently Living
Interactive Map Shows On Which Part Of Indigenous Land You Are Currently Living
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Thinking Humanity
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