This Indigenous Map Will Show You Who Used To Own The Land You’re Standing On

This Indigenous Map Will Show You Who Used To Own The Land You’re Standing On

Do you know who owned your home before you did? What about who owned your land 500 years ago?

Native Land Digital, a Canadian nonprofit, has rolled out a website and app where users can enter an address and see which Indigenous nation used to own the land you're standing on. It's all part of an effort to raise awareness of the real lived history of Indigenous peoples in a long era of colonialism.

The Indigenous map doesn't include the actual legal boundaries of the nations, but it does provide a useful snapshot of what different nations used to call home. The Indigenous map also links out to several websites about Indigenous nations, treaties, and more for context.

“Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together,” the website states.

“What we are mapping is more than just a flat picture. The land itself is sacred, and it is not easy to draw lines that divide it up into chunks that delineate who ‘owns' different parts of [the] land. In reality, we know that the land is not something to be exploited and ‘owned', but something to be honored and treasured.”

View the Native Land Map

To expand and improve the map, Native Land Digital is asking for help from its users. They only require two “reasonable” sources of information for a nation or people to be added to the map. These could be academic sources, oral sources, historical sources, or others that they deem reasonable.

Of course, land acknowledgments are a step in the right direction—but they’re not a cure-all for Indigenous communities.

Here are a few other simple ways to support Indigenous communities:

  • Donate your time and/or money to an Indigenous organization whose mission you support
  • Participate in Indigenous-led grassroots movements and campaigns
  • Create an Indigenous Land Acknowledgment statement using this guide from the Native Governance Center

Last Updated on April 4, 2021 by Jared McKiernan

6 Comments on “This Indigenous Map Will Show You Who Used To Own The Land You’re Standing On”

  • Avatar for no one

    no one


    With all due respect .. what exact day /year/date does this map represent? Because, several 100 generations of native tribes have continuously wiped each other out for 2 -5 -15 thousand years, stealing each others’ sacred land, over and over??? get my drift?
    This complete line of discussion is false, cant show a snapshot of something and say this is whats happening? theyve killed each other, civilly or violently, for 5-15 thousand years

  • Avatar for Teresa Pierret

    Teresa Pierret


    With all due respect no one owns the land or the Earth or anything in it but He Who Created It, and to claim otherwise is narcissistic and arrogant and exalting oneself about God who Created the Earth for every human being of all Ethnicities whom He Created in His Image.

    • Avatar for MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher

      MaryStarshine, Retired Public School Teacher


      While I agree with you Teresa, and I DO! Many others who are controlling everything in this country of The United States of America, do not share our elevated way of thinking. So to them, I speak about the rights of my family who DID live here back in the 1700s before the USA was even A COUNTRY!!! My uncle had a professional search done before he died and gave me a copy of it… I WOULD LIKE EVERYONE WHO IS NOT A NATIVE RELATION TO GET THE “H” OUT OF THIS STATE!!! LOL!!! Seriously, they are allowing “foreigners to polllute it”.., dirty water, dirty air and now THE PANDEMIC!!! Oy vey!!! and charging a hefty price to live here, too! without a cent to me or my family!!!

  • Avatar for MaryStarshine Matlock

    You GO! Jared,,,

    WOW! is all I can say about the new, updated website. It’s very Large and VERY CONFUSING and hard to navigate with Paul not at the helm now. Paul and I are about the same age, so you know how OLD I am!

    Please let me know who to contact if I have questions about all that is going on since you take over.

    Is Paul still a part of ?

    I just got my first virus shot Friday and plan to start attending pow wows in FLA as soon as I can, probably next month after I get the next and last shot for the virus.

    Thank you for assisting me and letting me know who to contact on this website for assistance.

    Like Paul Gowder, I am also a retired public school teacher.

    Thank you for your kind assistance. So much is changing…

    MaryStarshine Matlock
    St. Pete FL

    • Avatar for b Todd

      b Todd


      Second interest in St Pete,FL location.

    • Avatar for Paul G

      Paul G


      I’m still the CEO of! Haven’t gone anywhere. The team has grown. Jared and several other writers are helping produce more content.

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