Native Land Digital Shoutout

December 2020

[Instagram Post]

I’ve started doing monthly shoutouts to organizations engaging in advocacy, mutual aid, and other work, as both a resource to call on and for those looking for organizations to $upport. I hope to faithfully represent their goals and work, using social media to share examples of what real-world change and advocacy look like.

This month I’d like to highlight @nativelandnet, a great resource for starting to learn about the people who originally lived in your area, particularly if you are in Canada, the US, Mexico, Australia or New Zealand (and expanding to include more of Latin America as well as parts of Europe and Asia). The map does not reflect legally recognized boundaries, though, so be sure to do your own research about treaties and contact the nation in question regarding official boundaries.

This tool can serve to start conversations, education, and cooperative efforts, but it is important to recognize that maps “can serve as potentially colonial artifacts,” and to learn to see the land we live on as more than just a resource that certain entities can exploit for profit. Native Land also provide some resources about territory acknowledgement, a teachers’ guide, blog updates and news articles. When it comes to the former it is especially important to contact the nation in question, as perspectives vary on how land acknowledgments function in different situations.

Use this map as a starting point. Perhaps there is an organization like Feeding Nunavut which aims to combat food insecurity among the Indigenous population of your region. If a tribe is federally recognized and you own property like a farm, you may be able to transfer jurisdiction and taxes to them (US). Consider “paying rent” for the occupied land where you live–sending a fixed monthly amount of money to the nation or tribe who originally lived there. And above all, listen to calls for action from Indigenous organizations and leaders themselves.