Whose Land?

The Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) at the University of Arizona invites you to join them in exploring the Arizona Trail during the month of April while also recognizing the ancestral lands upon which we hike, run, pedal and ride. To participate in this wellness challenge and cultural education initiative, post a photo from your AZT adventure on Instagram, tag @uarizonanalsa, and share whose ancestral land you’re on. NALSA hopes to log a total of 800 miles with student and general public participation, and covering every passage of the Arizona Trail would be amazing. You can also log your information on this spreadsheet online.

With 22 federally recognized Native American tribes in Arizona today, and tens of thousands of years of cultural history within the Grand Canyon State, it’s safe to say that every foot of the AZT is on native land. Understanding who has lived here is a wonderful way to connect with the land while honoring past, present and future generations.

Need helping learning more about ancestral lands? There a smartphone app called Native Land that’s a good start, which includes various layers of cultural history based on your location. To dig deeper, check out the websites for each of Arizona’s tribes here. Within each of these independent websites, search under the Cultural Department pages and look for maps and information on ancestral lands. You may be surprised to learn that present-day locations of many tribes’ reservations are a tiny fraction of their historic homelands, and some are located far from their original territory.

Follow @uarizonanalsa on Instagram for weekly updates on progress and to learn more.