In the course of the development of Makers and Materials of the Americas, the Longyear Museum of Anthropology’s curatorial team discussed the ways in which maps are not neutral. The exhibition aims to move away from traditional anthropological modes of reinforcing boundaries set by colonial forces, while still considering how environmental zones play a large role in the creation practices of different makers. For this reason, we found it important to include geographical references that take into consideration the communities being represented within the exhibition. 

Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, working to “create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources.” The project–its first iteration created in 2015– serves as a resource that is actively taking on the difficult task of mapping Indigenous territories through research and community contributions. The organization is constantly updating its information as it works towards the goal of being a space that represents Native peoples on their own terms. Native Land Digital strives to increase visibility of Indigenous history and strength, in turn, changing the ways in which we discuss and communicate with Indigenous populations. The portion of the map displayed on the Makers and Materials of the Americas website is just a glimpse of the abundance of information that can be found and explored on the Native Land Digital website– linked below.

–Audrey Chan, Colgate Class of 2023

Where Was I Made? (click, drag, and hover on map to interact)

Key corresponding with the Where Was I Made? map