Place Name Restoration in Haudenosaunee Territory

Authors: Sophie Brown*, SUNY ESF
Topics: Cultural Geography, Indigenous Peoples, Regional Geography
Keywords: Toponymy, Language, Indigenous Mapping
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download



This poster explores the research design and theoretical implications of my ongoing research into Haudenosaunee toponymy in the Upstate New York area, with specific focus on the place names of bodies of water in the Oswego River/ Finger Lakes Watershed. The aim of this project is to compile, map, and translate Haudenosaunee place names; in doing so, this project seeks to linguistically and conceptually analyze the ways these names work to describe, define and create the landscape of the region. One of the premises of this research is that damage to connection to place often translates to damage to place itself, and that the accuracy and authenticity of our environmental language is compromised when colonialist language and place names that exist outside of time and place are used rather than indigenous paradigms. This research works to examine, acknowledge, and support indigenous relationship with the land, as well as to resist colonialist forces of erasure and distortion as they are enacted on the place names of Haudenosaunee Confederacy territory.

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