Researchers from the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development released a policy brief Oct. 20 detailing how Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques can be used in back-to-the-landing efforts across the Indian country.
The report notes that six federal agencies currently manage about a third of the land surrounding reservations that once belonged to Indigenous nations.
The use of geographic information systems helped the authors identify public and/or protected lands in relation to current and historic reserve boundaries. Between 1889 and 1890, Congress ceded approximately 13 million acres of reservation land to settlers through the General Allotment Act which authorized the President to divide reservation land.
Never miss the biggest stories and breaking news from Indian Country. Sign up to receive our reports straight to your inbox every weekday morning.
The GIS can show the extent of land return opportunities, including land that is: owned by federal or state governments; managed by the federal government or by the state within the current limits of the external reserves; existing within the former boundaries of the reserve; near or bordering current reserve lands; or protected areas designated for conservation management.
“Identifying where these plots are is an important first step for tribes and government agencies to begin developing land-return strategies,” wrote authors Miriam Jorgensen, research director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. (Harvard Project), and Laura Taylor, Harvard Project. researcher.
Do you enjoy an Indigenous perspective on the news?
For the past decade and more, we’ve covered important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and delinquent accounts related to assimilation, cultural genocide and at Indian Residential Schools, we were there to provide an Indigenous perspective and elevate Indigenous voices.
Our short stories are free to read for everyone, but they are not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to donate this month to support our efforts. Any contribution – large or small – helps us to remain a force for change in Indian Country and to continue to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time donation of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Indigenous news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thanks.