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Underground History: Seeing The Landscape With Indigenous Eyes

Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

A map is a map, right? It shows you where things are.

True enough, but maps can differ greatly in what the mapmakers choose to show. Maps from white settlement of the west were created by people who thought in terms of land ownership, a concept alien to the indigenous people who lived here already. Plus, there's the whole issue of lands included in treaties, and how maps did and did not reflect those.

In this month's Underground History, we take up the issue of maps, and learn about the difference between anti-colonial and de-colonial maps. Our guides: David Harrelson, who heads the Cultural Resources Department at the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and Natchee Barnd of the Ethnic Studies program at Oregon State University.

Underground History is a joint project with the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology. Chelsea Rose of SOULA is part of the conversation once again.


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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.