|Overview of the Native Place Atlas|
Place names in the United States are officially kept by the US Board on Geographic Names, which was first created in 1890 to address conflicting names and spellings that faced mapmakers in the American West.
The place names that appeared on the first maps of the West derived from Euro-American explorers, surveyors, and settlers. Native presence became “under-mapped” as the cartographic tools of settler-colonialism reconstructed the imagined landscape through place naming.
Out of respect for tribal knowledge and to safeguard against non-Native trespass, the map will not name or show the location of sacred sites.
Unlike drawings of territorial tribal boundaries, which are static and limiting due to the changing nature of these lines throughout history, Native Places allows viewers to see the spread of Native homelands through their linguistic presence.
The data currently contains nearly 600 place names.