United States/American Indian reservations

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Flag of United States Part of United States mapping project.
A map of Indian reservations in the contiguous U.S.

An OSM project adding the boundaries, points of interest and related spatial data of the 561 Federally Recognized Tribal entities in the United States.

Following the events taking place over in the Standing Rock Reservation where the people of the Standing Rock Sioux are opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through their lands, a glance at OSM doesn't have much information related to these tribal lands. So the development of this wiki is a start in mapping lands of the First Nations onto OpenStreetMap.

Mapping features to consider and related data

  • Federally Recognized Tribal Boundaries - This dataset from the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation contains boundaries within the contiguous US and Alaska, categories include: American Indian Reservations (AIR), Federally Recognized Tribal Entities (FRTE) and Alaska Native Villages (ANV).
  • 2018 TIGER Shapefiles - American Indian Area Geography - Boundary shape files from the US Census. Note that while some tribal groups recognize the census boundaries as the official boundaries (such as Navajo Nation), other tribal groups have contested some of the boundaries. Before assuming the boundary is authoritative, check and compare with tribal GIS or other sources.
  • Cultural resources
  • Standing Rock Reservation
    • Area with high priority.
    • Dakota Access Pipeline (Perhaps this should be a separate project)
      • An environmental report has been published tracing the path of where the pipeline will be built, source Army Corp of Engineers
      • Using aerial imagery, if available, trace the current path of the pipeline if above grade.
      • Below grade pipeline should refer to the report from the Army Corp
      • Consider tracing the unbuilt path of the proposed pipeline. (What are OSM's standards for in progress man-made features?)


Indian Reservation Boundary Tags

Key Value Comment
boundary aboriginal_lands There is no world-wide consensus about how to tag Indian Reservations, but the de facto consensus in use in North America appears to be tag:boundary=aboriginal_lands. As of March 2019 the OSM default renderer "Carto" renders this tag with a light brown border.
boundary protected_area Alternative value to the one above. If you do use this tag, also use its "paired" tag, protect_class=24 (below). As of March 2019 the OSM default renderer "Carto" renders this tag with a light brown border.
protect_class 24 Per this 24 tag, the lands are under "Political Protection", "reservation / indigenous area / aborigine: self-governing communities with land + indigenous "
name:xyz * If any language other than English is used on the reservation, provide the native name of the reservation using the name:xyz tag, where xyz is the language's two- or three-letter ISO 639 code. Consult the language's Wikipedia article for the code. In some cases, there is no code, so use an ad-hoc code based on the language family. (For example, Mingo has no ISO code, but it can be represented as iro-min or i-mingo.) Localized name tags can also be used for any other feature, such as rivers, buildings, roads, etc.