Native Maps of the Americas – Whose Land is it?

The history of the Americas is often taught beginning with the arrival of the Europeans and from a European cultural perspective. But, we all must remember that the land called “America” was already inhabited by vast civilizations!

The ancient Olmec Civilization, which originated from Africa, was one of the earliest great civilizations in Mesoamerica. This civilization dates back long before the Aztec empire and was centered on the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico area, today is known as the states of Veracruz and Tabasco. The Olmec culture developed in the centuries before 1200BC (BCE), and declined around 400BC.1

The Olmecs, best known by their giant head sculptures, were some of the first inhabitants of the Americas.

An ancient Aztec map of the Americas shows the many tribes and civilizations in the Americas before the invasion of Europeans. This land was later to become Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

This Aztec map (source unknown) shows the many tribes and civilizations that inhabited the “Americas” before the invasion of Europeans.

Most recently, Aaron Carapella, a Cherokee Native, created a map that shows the Tribal Nations of the United States before the European invasion.2 According to his research, there were over 595 tribes with people who lived throughout the entire land.

The first Native American map has been created by Aaron Carapella. It shows the Tribal Nations of the US before the European invasion. 

Whose Land is it?

Let us never forget the MILLIONS of Native Americas who were killed in the European invasion of the Americas. Europeans used genocide and mass relocation to take forcible possession of the land. Many tribes dwindled away from disease or other life-threatening situations and some were merged forcefully or willingly with other tribes.

In the United States, Native Americans were segregated and forced to live on “reservations” – land set aside for them by the Europeans. When the new country was formed in 1776, Native Americans were not included as citizens. Native Americans in the United States did not receive citizenship until 1924.

Why is this important to all of us now?

If we do not remember and teach the TRUTH about history, we will likely make the same mistakes of the past. It is a time to grow in our humanity, rather than to recede into the past by telling people to “get out of OUR country.”

Here is a lesson about Native American history that was made for the holiday season, but is appropriate for any occasion to teach and share the TRUE history of our past.

Don't Forget Indigenous Struggles On Thanksgiving

'America is a myth and the United States is on stolen land.'

Posted by NowThis Politics on Thursday, November 23, 2017

Politics Now: Don’t Forget the Indigenous Struggles on Thanksgiving


  1. Aztec The Olmec Civilization.
  2. Aaron Carapella, First Indigenous Map of its Kind; U.S. Map Displays “Our Own Names and Locations

Related Article: Faces of America are Changing: An Update on Immigration in the USA


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