indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island

woodland winter


  Turtle Island: Storytelling Peopling North America:How? North American Culture Areas of Native Americans Maps

All maps are linked directly back to the Encyclopedia Britannica website. They have easy to read directions for citations. The links below go directly to larger maps on the page.

New England John Smith 1616 map

Early 1616 map

The Common Pot

Map and Geography Lessons

Astrolab 15531553 Astrolab,
Marie-Lan Nguyen
26 Dec 2008

Paleo-Indian Map
Encyclopedia Britannica
Aleut Population Distribution: Inuit and Arctic Peoples
Encyclopedia Britannica
Algonkian Distribution: Subarctic Peoples
Encyclopedia Britannica





Northeast Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica
Southeast Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica
Southwest Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica





Plains Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica


Plateau Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica
Great Basin Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica



California Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica


Northwest Native American Distribution
Encyclopedia Britannica
Canada: Districtuion of Native Americans
Encyclopedia Britannica

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John Smith Map 1616

Description: A facsimile of an early map of New England as observed by Captain John Smith in 1616. The map covers the coastline from Cape James (Cape Cod) and Stuards Bay (Cape Cod Bay) north to Pembrocks Bay, and includes the inscription "The most remarqueable parts thus named by the high and mighty Prince Charles, Prince of great Britaine."e; As noted in the text: "Smith's map did not originally contain a single English name, but the young Prince Charles, to whom it was submitted in accordance with Smith's request, changed about thirty ‘barbarous’ Indian names for others, in order that ‘posterity’ might be able to say that that royal personage was their ‘godfather.’ A number of Scotch names were selected, among others, by the grandson of the Queen of Scots." — Winsor, 1884, p. 198.

The first map that uses the geographical name of "New England" in it.

Place Names: Early America 1400-1800, River Charles, Oxford, Plimouth, Cape James, Cape Anna, Pembrocks Bay, Norwick, Cambridg, Edenborough, South Hampton, New England, Discovery, Colonial America 
ISO Topic Categories: inlandWaters, location, oceans 
Keywords: Smith's Map of New England, physical, kEarlyMapsFacsimile, physical features, inlandWaters, location, oceans, Unknown, 1616
Source: Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America Vol. III (Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1884) 
Map Credit: Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman


Figurative Map 1616

Description: A facsimile of a map discovered by Brodhead (1850) in the archives at the Hague, known as "The Figurative Map," cartographer unknown and dated 1616, one of a pair of similar maps. This is the oldest map of the territory now comprising the States of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.

"Notwithstanding the great care and detail exhibited in them, they are necessarily inaccurate, but highly interesting and instructive, as they indicate as they indicate the location of the several Indian tribes at the time of the arrival of the Dutch and of the Spaniards before them. The names given on these maps to some of the Indian tribes are so unmistakably of Spanish origin, that it is hard to believe they were not first applied by the Spaniards, and afterwards repeated by the Indians to the before–mentioned three Dutch prisoners among the Mohawks. We find one tribe called ‘Capitanasses,’ while in colloquial Spanish capitanázo means a great warrior; another, whom the Dutch later knew as Black Minquas, is designated by the name of ‘Gachos,’ the Spanish word gacho being applied to black cattle. Still another is called the ‘Canoomakers;’ canoa being a word of the Indian tongues of South America, the North American Indian could only have learned it from the Spaniards, and in turn have taught its meaning to the Dutch." — Winsor, 1884, p.434.

Place Names: Early America 1400-1800, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, New York State, Discovery, Native American 
ISO Topic Categories: oceans, location, inlandWaters 
Keywords: From the Figurative Map, borders, physical, kNativeAmerican, physical features, oceans, location, inlandWaters, Unknown, 1616
Source: Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America (vol. 4) (Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1884) 433
Map Credit: Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman

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The Common Pot: 
The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast


Maps that accompany book, The Common Pot by Lisa Brooks
Large interactive maps that further explain the geograpic regions in the Northeast and
their overall significance to the concept of geography, geology and Native and
Non-Native interaction since the 1600s. Click on map to enter website.


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Map and Geography Lessons:

Map on board at Deerfield, MAThree large maps, New England 1616, Figurative map 1616 and maps from NASA for the book, The Common Pot are provided.

1. A simple compare and contrast of these 3 maps provide a look at how maps were generated in the past and maps of the future. Ask lots of questions because students may have interesting opinions about these maps.

2. New England 1616 provides a very thorough defintion and students can easily learn that Native names were replaced by British names. The real question remains is why certain Native names remained, such as, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Agawam, Natchaug, Shenipsit, etc.

3. Figurative map 1616, the description suggests highly that the Spanish were up in the Northeast, or was the historian from 1884 incorrect. ??? Many Native American tribes are shown on the map.

4. The interactive maps for the book, The Common Pot, are the tools of the 21st century. Comparison of these maps to the others wll show where the Native Americans llived and traded on the many rivers and coastlines of the Northeast.

Photo taken by Steve Malcolm,
NEH Summer Scholar
at Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association,
Deerfield, MA

This site was created by Diana T. Mackiewicz at the NEH Summer Institute "Native Americans of New England: A Historical Overview," administered by the Five Colleges, Inc. and held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA, Summer 2013. Last updated August, 2013.