More and more communities and nationalities in the United States recognize October 8 as the Day of Indigenous Peoples, many residents of the country are interested in what kind of peoples were and where did they live? It is no secret that in the process of rapid colonization, European settlers expelled or subjected to genocide many Indian tribes, establishing new borders and land names. How was it before? The answer is provided by the Native-Land project.
The author and lead developer of Native-Land is Victor Temprano, head of Mapster, a company that develops mapping services for a variety of purposes. The project started in 2015, at the time of the boom in mining ideas in British Columbia, when a lot of new terrain data was required. Temprano worked on the routes of the pipelines and in almost every section was faced with the problems of confrontation between the builders and the indigenous population of those lands. Information about who and where lives became key for his employers, and involuntarily attracted the attention of the cartographer himself.
When Temprano compared the maps of tribal residences from real data with those presented in official documents, he saw one fundamental contradiction. In state maps, the boundaries of tribal lands are drawn from the principle “where they were colonized, there they will be”, in reality, many communities lived in other places and, if possible, returned back after exile. Moreover, previously there were often no clear boundaries, just two tribes could live on opposite sides of a river or a mountain range, using local resources together.
The Native-Land project is open to everyone and does not claim the academic accuracy of the data; rather, it is for informational purposes only. In addition to the lands of the North American Indians, there is some information about the Indians of Latin America and the Australian Bushmen.