*sobs quietly*

late edit: DISCLAIMER: The pictured map is not actually a representation of the territories before colonisation. It’s a hypothetical map of what countries there might have been had the continent not been colonised, thus all the names and borders are fictional and have never existed.

For good actual maps, check out native-land.ca.

North America prior to illegal immigration
Image of a map showing indigenous tribes and their origin.

Poor Beothuk


Now do the ones before them.

@Smokeydope@lemmy.world avatar

I always find it hypocritical whenever anything is labeled as an invasive species like were not the biggest of them all lol

@Jake_Farm@sopuli.xyz avatar

Yes lets start exterminating people.

@MisterNeon@lemmy.world avatar

Why do you have the Aztec Empire extended into the Chihuahua Desert? That’s Chichimeca territory. Why are the Tarascans removed from the map?


Why is Haida Gwaii covering half of BC when the island they’re from isn’t even on the map?

@MisterNeon@lemmy.world avatar

They penciled in “Olmec Kingdom”. That’s like me going over to a map of Greece and writing Mycenae.

Stalinwolf, (edited )
@Stalinwolf@lemmy.ca avatar

Are there any other white North Americans here that grew up in mild reverence of your alleged mixed Native American heritage, and then find out later (through DNA tests or what have you) that there isn’t even the slightest trace of native in your bloodline, and all of your relatives (who have Cherokee art in their house and shit) have all been terribly misled by some weird family rumor for decades?

Like, I suppose the silver lining here is that it’s probably a good thing to have more white people out there who respect and are sympathetic toward the plight of native genocide, but holy fuck, boys… It doesn’t seem as though anyone in the family has an explanation for it. Every last person just grew up accepting that our Grandmother/Great Grandmother/Family Matriarch was half Cherokee.

It’s my understanding that this is a common thing in Appalachia, and while my family is from the Great Lakes, my Great Grandparents fled Kentucky during or shortly after the Harlan County strikes, so I imagine the rumor began all the way back then. Though this rumor only gets weirder for those familiar with the miner strikers when you note my (confirmed) descendency from one of the primary villains of that period, who was most certainly not of Cherokee blood. But who am I to say whether or not he engaged in coitus and/or matrimony with someone believed to have been.


Elizabeth Warren


Not to say she gets to claim tribal membership, but her DNA test corroborated her family story. I never understood why she got so much shit for that.


Wait, it actually did? I thought the whole issue was that she “lied” about it to get special treatment in admissions for schooling.

So these asshats going on about “Pocahontas warren” aren’t even correct? They’re just mocking how DNA transfer happens over generations? That would absolutely be on brand, mock someone for your own ignorance…


Yes, though it didn’t “prove” ancestry to the high standards required for tribal membership, which requires linking one’s ancestry back through specific names using official genealogical records. She is estimated to be 1/32 Cherokee ancestry, exactly in line with her family stories, and the same as the current chief of one of the Cherokee nations. But, to be clear, we should also be respectful of the Cherokee nation’s political sovereignty in determining membership.


It’s up to the tribe if she can claim membership or not. Many tribes require that you can prove direct descendancy from someone on the final rolls of the Dawes act. No amount of native DNA will gain you access if you can’t prove direct descendancy. Tribes with casinos and casino money are especially guarded about letting people in, sometimes excluding groups who meet the criteria and have proof. There was a group of about 50 people who sued a tribe to be admitted when I was younger. They wanted in, because getting in meant you were financially set for life. They had all the proof needed to get in, but still lost the case. It’s hard to win in court against groups that have billions of dollars, especially if those groups make the rules.


Right, Warren claimed Cherokee ancestry, not tribal membership. A story was passed down in her family and the DNA test results are in line with that story. She learned about the culture, visited the lands, and even published a cringey cookbook. By all accounts, her beliefs about her heritage were sincere and plausible, if embarrassing.


It’s conceivable that someone could have been accepted into a tribe and grew up believing themselves to be Native American, but the whole confirmed-descent-from-primary-villain thing really blows that hypothesis out of the water.


Yes, everyone in my small town in north Georgia made this claim.


Growing up I recall meeting a lot of people who spoke about their native American heritage, I’d say the majority who made that claim were POC. I wonder if the percentage of people who found out they didn’t have any native genetics in them via testing was similar in POC vs white ethnicity’s.


My family (Appalachia) swears this one or that one was full Cherokee. My dna shows mostly what you’d expect. English, Irish, and Scottish. I also have 1% Nigerian dna. I figure that’s probably it. Someone was making an excuse for being a bit dark. That doesn’t explain how everyone I know is white as snow and claiming native ancestry though.

My wife shows 3% native ancestry, so her people didn’t make it up.

A lot of dna was lost to genocide though, so some can’t be tested for.


My wife’s family is Appalachian (WV) and what I’ve distilled is that anyone who could tan at all (ie not completely ghostly Scotch-Irish) was told “well that must be indian blood in you!”

And then later they tell their grandkids “Your uncle roy was part-cherokee!”

Then those kids grow up and tell their kids, “Your great uncle Roy’s grandma was Tenskwatawa’s sister!”

It’s all just a bad game of telephone with foggy memories and no real fact-checking.


I’m Sitting Bull!


Similar story here. Both parents born in Eastern KY in early 1900s, primarily Irish ancestory. On my dad’s side it’s said one of the 5 brothers that came over from Ireland in the early 1800s together married an native American but we’re not sure which one. My dad and I have very dark hair and skin - nobody guesses I’m irish - and little facial hair, so we’d just assumed we must be part of that Native American line. 23andMe says otherwise… no Native American, 75% Irish/English, some French and German… nothing else.

Why the heck am I so dark skinned that people asked if I was Mexican as a kid?


Prehistoric Irish perhaps?

Your French side could also explain dark eyes, as some proportion of Normans are known have black hair and eyes


Thanks for sharing that… I’d never heard of the prehistoric Irish. I have very tan skin but green eyes so not too far off.


It’s becoming quite the scandal in Canada, where academics are claiming indigenous heritage to get sweet teaching gigs. Buffy St.Marie is the latest greatest liar.


Hah, that’s wild. My dad has an incredible amount of genealogy research (he’s the kind that will go to city halls in bumfuck middle of nowhere) and the instance of Cherokee in our family traces back to late 1800s. I believe it would be my great, great, great grandmother. Her family were survivors of the 1830-1850 genocide (aka the trail of tears), and she was born a while after in Oaklahoma. Her information was recorded because she married a Christian man, under pressure from her parents according to letters found. My grandmother is a member of the tribe in Oaklahoma, for all the good that it does as she never actually did anything with them.


That is exactly what happened to me. I didn’t find out until I took a 23 and me test. I didn’t believe the results, took the Ancestry.com test, got the exact same results. Had some interesting conversations with family after that, but basically, no one is willing to accept it’s been a lie the whole time.


So there’s a lot to unpack here but I’ll give it a try:

  1. You could have native ancestry even if it doesn’t show up in a DNA test. Consider a person with ancestry A has a kid with someone of another ancestry, whose descendants do not reproduce with another person with ancestry A. Then that ancestry would logically show up in these percentages: 100 50 25 12.5 6.25 3.125 <2 <1… But this assumes that it divides evenly, which it does not. Even if it did though, in this example that ancestry might be undetectable after about 8 generations.
  2. There’s a lot of “I have a native ancestor” narratives out there. Why? Claims to American legitimacy, alleviation of colonial guilt, that one guy in a feathered headdress cried about littering and I’m sad about it too, etc.
  3. It doesn’t matter. Ancestry is pointless. Your DNA is just a listing of the traits your body was originally constructed on. If a native couple adopt a white kid and raise them on a reservation that child has had more of the native experience than a white passing person of native ancestry raised in Boston. Even more importantly though, none of it changes the fact that colonialism was a crime, we all should have empathy for its victims, and the way forward is by treating people with respect and dignity and trying to repair the damage while preventing it from happening again.

That was me. Grew up thinking that one of my great grandparents was full blooded Cherokee. Took a DNA test only to find out that my DNA only had like 1 or 2 percent Native American DNA.


To be fair, those kinds of numbers are consistent with a Native ancestor maybe 5 or 6 generations in the past. Blood would be diluted by half each generation.

If you assume 20 years/generation, then that’s like 100+ years before you were born. Maybe some time in the 1800s.

Of course that’s an idealized scenario, real life is more messy and uncertain. For example if 2 people that were both half native had children, then the children would also genetically appear to be half native.

Also you never get perfect 50% splitting of genes over many generations because of how genetic recombination works when egg & sperm cells reproduce. The result is that there’s a chance you contain 0% DNA from a distant ancestor. It’s like a 5% chance you have no DNA from a 5x great grandparent. Keep in mind, for an idealized family tree you’ll have more than 100 ancestors at the 5x great grandparent level.


Yes, sort of. Let me tell you my tale.

First, my parents nor grandparents had a significant amount of Cherokee or other American Indian items on display. It’s possible my grandparents did but they had tons of knickknacks and if they did have some they weren’t a significant portion. So that’s a no to one of your questions.

However, I was always told I was 1/16th Cherokee. I don’t remember who told me this originally. It was never a big deal, more just like a fun fact that was shared with me. I never really thought anything of it. At some point in college I remember hearing how all white people believe they’re 1/16th Cherokee. For context, my mother’s family that the ancestry allegedly comes from is from Dahlonega, GA which is sort of the southern most tip of the Appalachian mountains. Well, maybe not the most southern but pretty far down. So the Appalachian part tracks. Also, of course, the Cherokee were from Appalachia so that tracks as well.

So, when my grand parents died we were going through their stuff and we found some paper explaining how we were Cherokee. I don’t want to oversell this paper. It wasn’t a certificate. It was sharpie written on printer paper. But it was a little family tree showing how my mother and her siblings were 1/8th Cherokee. I want to be totally clear. I don’t put faith in this. I don’t necessarily even believe it’s correct or anything. However, it was fascinating to see that my grandparents actually believed it. Moreso that I didn’t make up that I was told this growing up. Does that make sense? Sort of like a reassurance that I wasn’t crazy for believing I was told this. I didn’t necessarily believe the accuracy of the claim, just that the claim was made.

My best guess is that this ancestor who would be my grand parent’s grand parent, may have been partially Cherokee but that was exaggerated. I don’t really know.

I viewed being 1/16th Cherokee growing up like I view the results of my DNA test now. Just some interesting information about my heritage but not exactly important. The way I sort of see Irish stuff now, which 23andme said I was. I don’t feel some great call to return to my roots, but it’s slightly more interesting than it would’ve been otherwise.


Well, it was a sign of the times but, if you were kinda tan you had to have a story that explained how you definitely weren’t black.

@Smokeydope@lemmy.world avatar

Somewhat similar: I’ve met at least a dozen people who all claim to somehow be related to al capone most likely because of some rumor started in their family 50 years ago.

People/families like feeling special and unique, a inherited culture is one of the easiest ways to achieve that feeling I guess even if faux.


I’m glad they colonizers brought some large bodies of fresh water with them at least.


This map has some really weird boundaries that totally don’t match reality. Here’s a more accurate map: native-land.ca

@Swedneck@discuss.tchncs.de avatar

unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work in firefox


Not sure if you’re on mobile or desktop, but it works perfectly for me in Firefox on mobile. Screenshot here


Working fine for me, and on mobile too

@samus12345@lemmy.world avatar

Works for me.


Works fine on mobile Firefox for me


Bookmarked, this is amazing


Holy cow! This is awesome! Thank you very much for sharing this here!


That is a well designed map. Kudos to the creator.

@MisterNeon@lemmy.world avatar

It even has a filter for language distribution over geography!

That makes me so happy and sad at the same time.

@Jake_Farm@sopuli.xyz avatar

Even this map is questionable, especially in all of eurasia.

@Jake_Farm@sopuli.xyz avatar

The Sami do not predate the Scandinavians.

@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Also, the Anasazi died out centuries before Europeans arrived.

@Nakoichi@hexbear.net avatar

Yeah the map is shit but I appreciate someone pointing this out right now while there is a peak in awareness of the struggle of colonized people.

It’s unfortunate that people only start talking about it when something like what is happening in Palestine breaks news for being so especially horrifying.

The fact is that this shit is going on right in our own back yard and has been for centuries and we should absolutely have solidarity with Palestine and their fight against the genocidal Zionist entity but we must also recognize that we have an important responsibility to fight against the bigger genocidal settler colonial entity that enables them and that is the US.

@rbos@lemmy.ca avatar

Haida Gwaii is the name of the island, not the nation. And the Salish are coastal. Totally wrong. :/


No. The interior Salish extend right to the Kootenays.

@rbos@lemmy.ca avatar

Ah, okay. Goes to show about being an overconfident white dude.


It is the name of the island. But not Vancouver Island.

@rbos@lemmy.ca avatar

Yeah, sorry if I wasn’t clear. Haida Gwaii isn’t even on the map!


immigration and colonialism are different things


This map is nonsense and implies rigid European borders. It ignored the hundreds of independent tribes on the continent. Comparing illegal immigration with colonizing is stupid too. Also the map implies native people never conquered each other or colonized others land which to be clear, is not justifying later European colonization, but we shouldn’t play into the noble savage trope.


Yes, colonizing is much, much worse than “illegal immigration,” which is a term conceived by colonists.

squiblet avatar

I'm not sure about some of this, like Anasazi were not contemporaneous with the other tribes listed.

@geogle@lemmy.world avatar

If I’m not mistaken, the name too means “Ancient Enemies” in Navaho.


Looks like a fictional alternative timeline map.


I think this map tries to apply European notions of borders and nation states where they don’t really apply.

@Akasazh@feddit.nl avatar

It’s also wildly inaccurate as it’s a fictional map of an uncolonized America in 2015

52fighters avatar

My wife is Ojibwe and her tribe illegally migrated several hundred miles west about one generation before Europeans arrived, taking land that belonged to other natives.

squiblet avatar

I lived up there (northern MN and WI) and there's a surprising amount of tension between Natives and Caucasians... then I found out that fact, that they'd come over and kicked out other tribes based on some wild rice vision, and was wtf?


Illegally? What law did they violate?


Every single person alive lives on land that has been “stolen” at least a time or two in our history. Focusing only on the horror of Europeans colonization is just one more way in which white people put themselves at the center of the human story.

I assure you that people with skin of every color have fought wars of conquest. It is not some special trick that only white Europeans could do.

FaceDeer avatar

Blaming white people for blaming white people is a bit odd. They get a lot of flak from all over.

livus avatar

@Pohl sure, but the reason European colonization of other places is focused on so much is due to scale and technology.

Scale and tech are what separates, say, the Shoah from Russian pogroms.

Scale and tech are also why so many people are still living with the aftermath. And that aftermath is why it's still relevant.


Yeap, it was a mess before the Europeans got here

livus, (edited )
livus avatar

@Compactor9679 much worse one after they got there though.

If changing borders = a mess, then Europe itself was a mess too.



FaceDeer avatar

And there's increasing evidence suggesting there might have been humans in the Americas before the ancestors of the modern first nations migrated here too, so they might even have mirrored the European colonization in their own way.

IMO it's not productive to focus so much on who has historical grievances against whom. We should simply focus on providing support for whoever needs it most, regardless of how we got to the situation.


“Provide support to who needs the most” I could not agree more. Giving stuff for free is the worst way to “support” somebody, you lose track of what hardwork is. Give everybody oportunites, not because they are one color skin or another but because of how competent someone is.

livus avatar

@Compactor9679 level the playing field though. Not much use having the "opportunity" to invest a thousand dollars if you don't have a thousand dollars.


Who said anything about investing 1K? Get to work and earn the 1K, dont thunk everybody ownes you anything becuase more than 200 years ago your family lost their land in a battle. If they lost that is too bad. If we look back enough everybody lost something at some point.

livus avatar

@Compactor9679 it was just a metaphor for unequal starting positions.

The reality is more to do with levels of education, health, parents with alcohol or prison, whether the early years are spent giving earnings to family etc. I just wanted an easy metaphor.

That said, mathematically the fact remains you can work hard your whole life and make smart decisions but never overtake a useless layabout who has money in a trust fund.

Going back to my metaphor, if I have $1000 and invest it now, and you have to wait 5 years to earn $1000 before you can invest yours in the same thing, I will come out ahead. "Time in the market."


Unless I’m remembering middle school wrong, the map seems shy a few hundred tribes.


I also don’t recall there being lines


If you see the lines as approximations, I’m fine with it. There were no borders in the sense that nation states have them today of cause.


Sure. It’s a weird concept seeing these ancient people organized with modern standards in a map like this. I’m sure it would have seemed bizarre to them too.

Now show me a map of their power grid. Or wealth inequality. Etc


You want a GDP map of pre-contact America?

But seriously: don’t call them ancient. That compares them to the ancient people of the old world which they are not. They have a unique history. Call them pre-contact or pre-colonialism or pre-Columbus or something next time


Don’t call them people of the old world. That implies the world is only thousands of years old, which it is not.

Bla bla bla words

@Swedneck@discuss.tchncs.de avatar

i mean a trivial solution to this is to just use colours with a soft gradient at the edges, you have a rough outline but it’s clear that there is no hard border

HiddenLayer5, (edited )

And many more tribes and communities were outright murdered by colonizers before they could even be documented. There are plenty of tribes that are just lost to time or we know nearly nothing about because they have no surviving members.

Indigenous peoples also don’t necessarily view tribes, nations, etc as rigid categories where you’re either one or the other, no exceptions. That in fact is the European view where you can only be part of one empire and where every empire seeks to capture as much land and resources for themselves as possible. You’ll notice that the native-land.ca map has tons of overlapping territories.

@Nakoichi@hexbear.net avatar

For anyone interested in advancing this cause I can’t recommend enough to look into Chunka Luta Network.


The path to liberation lies in these decolonial struggles, the fight that indigenous people have been putting up against the US imperial project is inextricable from the fight to liberate the people of Palestine. The only way for any of us to be free, ALL of us must be free. That means that there is no fighting against Zionism without also fighting against the US settler colonial project that enables it.

Every small donation literally saves lives as temperatures are dropping fast and Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota is one of the poorest places in the country. Average life expectancy among men is ~52, and for women ~54. We are securing gas money for collecting firewood, warm clothes and winter supplies, food, and eventually building new housing and a community center.

It is hard to get direct aid to people in Palestine right now but you can fight the genocidal settler colonial project in your back yard by helping us build dual power and save lives.



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  • Nakoichi,
    @Nakoichi@hexbear.net avatar


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  • Saeculum,

    People use the tools they have access to, and some things are more important than worrying about using a platform that works because tool’s owner’s business model or actions are bad.

    @Nakoichi@hexbear.net avatar

    We are working on building a website and filming a documentary, I can personally attest to what we have been doing with the funding we have received thus far.

    I personally visited in august where we provided a whole buffalo for the sundance along with firewood and other winter survival necessities, and some of us volunteering our labor. You want colonized people fighting for existence to have a slick presentation to appeal to your white settler sensibilities? Like yeah we will have a website up eventually but that is so not on the list of priorities while we work to prevent people from dying RIGHT NOW on the rez.




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  • Nakoichi,
    @Nakoichi@hexbear.net avatar

    We are literally building a website right now, but in the meantime people are still fucking dying out there. Last year one elder on the rez was burning his own clothes to keep warm

    In the meantime these are tools immediately available to us to reach large numbers of people and building a website and hosting it also costs money.

    Right now our focus is getting folks through the winter and then come spring starting construction on new housing and the community center. We have the land and the people to do the work we just need to pay for it. And this will pave the way for more projects in the future such as a youth survival school, community gardens as a push toward food sovereignty, and a buffalo pasture so that they don’t have to go pay a white rancher a fee to hunt them. This will also bolster conservation and repopulation efforts regarding buffalo.

    Also we should have a 501c3 set up by the end of the year to lay your skepticism to rest.

    Apologies for the hostility but, like, this is an actual life or death situation and I gave you the links to what we have publicly available so far.

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