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Open Access Publications from the University of California

“Indians Don't Make Maps”: Indigenous Cartographic Traditions and Innovations


This paper highlights works created by Indigenous cartographers throughout history and reflects on the ways in which they engage ideas of space, nation, territory, and relationships to land, as well as resist colonial occupation and epistemologies. In this sense, it also asserts the technological and theoretical interventions Indigenous cartographers have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the fields of cartography and geography. Lastly, this paper makes the argument that an increase in cartographic training in Indigenous communities is necessary in ongoing efforts to document indigenous histories and cultures, as well as efforts to strengthen tribal sovereignty and mobilize towards restorative justice.

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