The Decolonial Atlas is a growing collection of maps which, in some way, help us to challenge our relationships with the land, people, and state. It’s based on the premise that cartography is not as objective as we’re made to believe. The orientation of a map, its projection, the presence of political borders, which features are included or excluded, and the language used to label a map are all subject to the map-maker’s bias – whether deliberate or not. Because decolonization is a process of unlearning and rediscovering, we’re especially committed to indigenous language revitalization through toponymy – the use of place names.
The Decolonial Atlas is a volunteer-run project. Our original content is offered for free through the Decolonial Media License 0.1. We want to get these maps printed and into communities everywhere, with priority given to indigenous schools and cultural centers. You can help by contributing here via PayPal. 100% of funds raised will go toward printing and mailing maps. To request a poster map, fill out this form.
Who we are
Jordan Engel is an independent mapmaker and researcher originally from Ga’sgöhsagöh in Onödowá’ga:’ territory, who founded the Decolonial Atlas in 2014. As a settler, Jordan’s introduction to decolonization came while living with the Maȟpíya Lúta thiyóšpaye in Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke.
David Gross grew and studied on Tongva Nation land, calling Puntitavjatngna and Pasbengna home for more than two decades. Now living on Chochenyo Ohlone land, David is very grateful to be working with and learning from Jordan Engel and the Decolonial Atlas, engaging with social media and working with the community that this atlas has built.
Countless others who have contributed their skills and perspectives to the project: indigenous languages speakers, cartographers, graphics designers, artists, historians, cultural consultants, and our online community. The Decolonial Atlas especially wouldn’t be possible without people like Charlie Lippert, Karonhí:io Delaronde, Arden Ogg, Hadrien Coumans, Dakota Wind, Nick Mitchell, and Luisa Maffi.