TribalGIS Webinar February, 2020 - Repatriating our Ancestors using GIS

Added on :  8-Feb-2020
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In the past, Native people made maps to show the relationships between themselves and the landscapes they interacted with. After contact with Europeans, maps in North America began to change and instead show ownership of land. By understanding the distinction between these two methods, Tribal Nations can revitalize our mapping techniques by combining our traditional geospatial knowledge with modern mapping tools. This allows us to look at “The Role of Spatial Information in the Assessment of Cultural Affiliation” (Marozas & Goes in Center, 1998) and use geospatial information to, once again, show our relationships with the land. Currently the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Historic Preservation Department is using GIS to assist in repatriating “culturally unidentifiable human remains” from a federally funded institution. To do this we worked to identify and map the unsurveyed 1763 Treaty of Mobile with Great Britain so that we can legally demonstrate our right of possession (43 CFR 10.11) to our ancestors and work with other southeastern Tribes to respectfully rebury them back into the earth.