Critical. Subversive. Irrepressible.

AWOL

Critical. Subversive. Irrepressible.

AWOL

Critical. Subversive. Irrepressible.

AWOL

AU president search had limited student, late faculty input
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Guided through Indigenous DC

AU professor’s app highlights DC locations important to Indigenous history
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Michelle Miramontes

Prior to becoming the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., was home to the Nacotchtank (Anacostan) and Piscataway people, according to a map created by Native Land Digital, a Canadian-based nonprofit focused on Indigenous ways of knowing.

Elizabeth Rule, an assistant professor of Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies at American University and citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, created the mobile app Guide to Indigenous DC as a way of preserving this history. 

“The [app] really arose out of a critical need that I saw amongst my own students and in my own network,” Rule said. “And the need was to have greater understanding of the fact that Washington, D.C., has always been an Indigenous place, that it is still an Indigenous place, and that it will continue to be an Indigenous place.” 

The app includes a map guiding users through a nine-mile walk with 17 stops that pay tribute to the Indigenous history of the city. 

“It’s also this place where Indigenous peoples have left their imprints and made their marks across activism, across the arts, as well as in politics,” Rule said.

Rule also launched Guide to Indigenous Baltimore in 2021, according to the Guide to Indigenous Lands Project website.

These photos highlight some of the D.C. locations featured in the app.

Casey Bacot
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  • (6) A mural created by artist Joerael Numina at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University includes symbols and representations of Piscataway culture.

  • (7) A protestor had a sign saying D.C. is Piscataway land near the White House.

  • (8) The Native Nations March occurred in 2017 against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • (12) The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Black Canoe by Bill Reid (Haida) was installed at the Canadian Embassy in 1985.

  • (13) The National Museum of the American Indian opened in 2004.

  • (14) The Native American’s Veterans Memorial is a stainless-steel hoop on a steel drum.

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(6) Mural of Piscataway History and Culture. (Michelle Miramontes)
(13) National Museum of the American Indian. (Michelle Miramontes)
(14) Native Americans Veterans Memorial. (Michelle Miramontes)
(13) National Museum of the American Indian. (Michelle Miramontes)
(6) Mural of Piscataway History and Culture. (Michelle Miramontes)
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About the Contributor
Michelle Miramontes, Multimedia Producer
Michelle Miramontes (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in international relations and history.