Linguists estimate that around 1,200 Indigenous languages were spoken in North, Central, and South America before the arrival of European colonists. In North America, about 300 languages were spoken, but because of assimilation pressures only about half of these languages still have speakers today, and fewer and fewer children are learning them.
Native Land Digital is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization. You can use the website directly above by entering your address, or by mousing or clicking around on the map to see the relevant territories in a location.
Since 1990, Federal law has provided for the repatriation and disposition of certain Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. By enacting NAGPRA, Congress recognized that human remains of any ancestry "must at all times be treated with dignity and respect." Congress also acknowledged that human remains and other cultural items removed from Federal or tribal lands belong, in the first instance, to lineal descendants, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations. With this law, Congress sought to encourage a continuing dialogue between museums and Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and to promote a greater understanding between the groups while at the same time recognizing the important function museums serve in society by preserving the past. (US Senate Report 101-473).
A diverse and multifaceted cultural and educational enterprise, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. The NMAI cares for one of the world's most expansive collections of Native artifacts, including objects, photographs, archives, and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.