The genocide of the Native Americans, First Nations, Metis and Inuit people (and the reasons it is truly one of the greatest tragedies of history) is a subject we’ve touched on before. The extent and gravity of the loss is still widely unknown to the majority of humans alive.
For the longest time, it was impossible to find a Tribal Nations Map depicting the many different groups that occupied the Americas at all — long before they were ever given that name — let alone any that did so with a high degree of accuracy.
Aaron Carapella, a self-taught cartographer from Warner, Okla. and founder of TribalNationsMaps.com has changed all that. His continental U.S. map of the Original Nations has over 600 Tribes alone. Below is a depiction of North America, as it originally was:
He’s also created similar Tribal Nations maps for Canada, Mexico (see below), Alaska, Central America, the entire North American continent and several custom and regional maps. Currently he’s working on one for South America.
Carapella identifies as a mixed-blood Native American himself, and has long been involved in Native American causes. These Tribal Nations maps are the first of their kind, set apart from any previous versions by their in-depth detail and use of both the original tribal names and their commonly-used counterparts, many of the latter being derogatory in nature.
Carapella invested over a decade’s worth of time, research, travel and consultation with Native American Elders in order to get the many intricacies of the massive project correct.
Needless to say, it is an endeavour that should be widely lauded and shared. Not only is Carapella aiding in the resurrection and preservation of the knowledge of these original cultures — as well as a return to the correct terminology for them — he’s providing the world with an essential puzzle-piece necessary to the healing so desperately needed by the descendants of all involved.
Ask any psychologist– past traumas cannot be buried. They must be fully looked at, accepted and transcended if they are to be healed. Not only are these maps an incredible look at the old-world very few of us are familiar with (you’ll find it in very few, if any, history books, even to this day) they are a mirror we all need to peer into.
You can view all of the full-size maps, map sets and prints for sale, as well as download the most comprehensive list of Native American tribes in existence (with a fully searchable excel spreadsheet) at the official website.
All images copyright Aaron Carapella. Shared here with permission.