(NEXSTAR) – October 11 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day thanks to a recent proclamation, and an open-source project is working to educate people on the history of the lands we inhabit.
The proclamation was an effort to reframe the holiday, acknowledge the way native people have been wronged throughout the country’s history, and honor their contributions and cultures.
One way you can celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day is by learning about the historic Native American residents of your hometown, city or place of work. An open-source project makes it easy: Just text your city or ZIP code to (855) 917-5263. The bot will text you back with the tribe or tribes whose homeland it is.
In Los Angeles, the bot tells you you’re on Chumash, Kizh and Tongva land. In New York, it’s Munsee Lenape land. Chicago is Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Myaamia and Peoria land, the text says.
The Land Acknowledgement Bot uses data from a Canadian nonprofit, Native Land, which has also created a map with all the approximate boundaries.
Victor Temprano, who runs Native Land, emphasizes his project isn’t an academic or perfect survey of Native territories around the world. The project is also constantly evolving as the team receives feedback from tribes and tribal members. Temprano says the map is meant to inspire people to learn more and get educated on the history of where they live.
“The map has gotten a reasonable amount of attention over the years, and it typically spikes in popularity around Thanksgiving, ‘Columbus Day,’ and National Aboriginal Day,” Temprano says on Native Land’s site. “I hope it has encouraged some complicated and necessary discussions across the world.”
If the map is too overwhelming and texting isn’t your thing, the Land Acknowledgment Bot also lets you type your ZIP code or city in online. Just click here.