02 March 2017

Traditional lands

Katherine Crocker suggested that scientists should acknowledge when their work was carried was carried out on First Nations / native American territories. Karen James found an excellent (though still in progress) mapping tool that shows what locations in the United States and Canada were the territory of what tribes, nations, and bands.

It’s too late to put any acknowledgement in my existing papers, but hey, this one of the things academic blogs are for.

The collection of sand crabs in my doctoral work was carried out in the traditional land of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe.
One of my next papers, to be published in Journal of Coastal Research, had two locations.

My #SciFund funded field work took place in traditional Seminole land.

The last was the most interesting, and most affecting:

My local field site, which has been where I have collected animals for many of my papers, sits in a region of native Americans that have been collectively referred to as Coahuiltecan. They were not considered so much a unified tribe as bands.

Unlike the tribes listed above, which are still active, the Coahuiltecans were wiped out by European contact. It made me realize why I had never heard about local native groups, unlike other places I’ve lived. I knew about the Blackfoot in Southern Alberta, I heard much discussion about aboriginals in Australia, I saw Seminole buildings when I was collecting in Florida.

Thank you, Katherine Crocker. I learned something.

Update, 20 March 2017: My colleague Frank Dirrigl informs me that much of the lower Rio Grande Valley was Lipan Apache land.

Update, 14 August 2017: I stumbled across the webpage of the Carrizo/Comecrudo, who live in the South Texas area. Even the tribe’s own webpage describes them as “this little written about nation.” This article describes more, referring to the tribe as “Esto’k Gna.” It also explains my earlier fumbling efforts to discover what tribe was in this region:

Our Identity and Life Ways have been misinterpreted by many European-Americans including Spanish-Mexicans who have written about us. Through complete lack of knowledge or arrogance, they misidentified our Clans, Societies and Bands as being separate small “Tribes.” Many times, for devious reasons, we were intentionally mislabeled as other tribes such as the Lipan or the Comanche. A scholar went as far as making up a name of Coahuiltecan that grouped us with other Tribes from a whole region. The result was further confusion of our Identity. A priest even created the “Coahuiltecan” language by mixing vocabularies and grammar of languages from three different tribes.

External links

Native land
The Biggest Tribe You Never Learned About In Your Texas History Books

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