Digital Atlas of California Native Americans

DISCLAIMER. PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING: The Digital Atlas of California Native Americans (Atlas) is for educational and display purposes only. The geographical information displayed in the Atlas is not for use in determining locations of cultures, boundaries or people for recognition, consultation or any other legal or policy purpose. The resources displayed in the Atlas remain the property of their owners as cited. All resources are found in the public domain or displayed with the owner’s permission.

Welcome to the Digital Atlas of California Native Americans. Created at the California Department of Parks & Recreation with generous financial support from the DRAM Antitrust Settlement, this web application (web app) displays a collection of map layers related to the history and cultural heritage of Native Americans in California. The map layers include:

  • Cultural Base Map: the 60 traditional cultural regions of California, with links to a directory of affiliated Tribes and Tribal Atlas pages
  • Historical Lakes & Wetlands: California’s lakes and wetlands as depicted in an 1866 survey, prior to major water control and diversion projects
  • Natural Resources: Natural resources traditionally used in different regions of the state
  • Estimated Population in 1769: Estimated population by region before colonization
  • Trails: Approximate routes of trails used before colonization
  • Trade Relations: Trade relationships that existed before colonization
  • Missions: Locations of missions established during Spanish colonization
  • Spanish & Mexican Land Grants: Land appropriated and privatized during Spanish and Mexican colonization
  • Treaty Lands: Reservations and cessions as negotiated between Tribes and federal agents in early days of U.S. colonization
  • An American Genocide: Incidents of genocide as documented by historian Benjamin Madley in his 2016 book An American Genocide
  • Bounty Lands: Lands granted by the U.S. government to militiamen who participated in campaigns against Native Americans
  • Reservations & Allotments: Reservations and public domain allotments (PDA) in the 21st century

The map layers may be turned on and off using the layers button near the upper left corner of the web app:

Location of map layers button in upper-left menu (circled in yellow).

Most map layers are interactive; users may click on the map for more information. Examples (click on image to open app):

Example 1: Pop-up information on trade relations, with trails and cultural base map also visible

Example 2: Pop-up shows regional population in 1769

Example 3: Pop-up shows date, grantor and grantee of Spanish land grant

Example 4: Pop-up shows information on treaty lands, including links to original document and transcript

Background map sources: Esri, USGS | Esri, HERE, Garmin, FAO, NOAA, USGS, Bureau of Land Management, EPA, NPS

Credits & References

Link to web app