List of traditional territories of the indigenous peoples of North America

List of traditional territories of the indigenous peoples of North America

The following is a list of names of the territories of indigenous peoples of the North American continent. Autonymic names in native North American languages are in bold, translations of the Native names are in parentheses and quotes. The Native language or dialect of that form of the country's name is in brackets; for example, [Plains Cree]. Names for that Native country in other languages, such as conventional English names, are in a normal font and indented with a bullet unless only exonyms are yet known to the authors, in which case the exonym (in parentheses) is used as the main entry—such as where only the Abenaki name for "Mahican Country" is yet known.

Anishinaabewaki,[1] Anishinaabe Ahiki, Anishinaabe Aki [9] ("Anishinaabe Land") [Ojibwe][unreliable source?]

Apsáalooke Issawua[2] [Crow]

Atrakwae [Huron]; the Kahkwa language is unattested

  • Kakouagoga Country, Kahkwa Country

Báxoje Máyan ("Ioway Land") [Ioway, Otoe-Missouria Language]

  • Ioway Country

Benteh ("Among the Lakes") [Tanaina]

  • Dena'ina Country, Tanaina Country

Bodéwadmiakiwen, Bodewadmi kik ("Potawatomi land") [Potawatomi]

Chahta Yakni ("Choctaw Land/Soil")[4] [Choctaw]

Chikasha Yakni ("Chickasaw Land")[5] [Chickasaw]

(Chontalpa ("The Land of the Chontal")[6] [Nahuatl])

Chicora [7]

(Cuextlan [10] [Nahuatl])

  • Teenek, Huaxtec

Denendeh ("Land of the People") [8]

Diné Bikéyah ("Land of the People"),[9] Dinétah ("Among the People") [Navajo]


Eeyou Istchee, Iynu Asci ("Land of the People"); The Eeyou or Iyyu are the Northern East Crees, while the Iynu are the Southern East Crees. [East Cree]

Gawi Wachi ("The Place of Nurturing") [Tarahumara]

Gwe-uˊ-gweh-o-noˊ-ga [11]

  • Cayuga Country

Haida Gwaii [11] [Haida]

  • "Land of the Haida". Original Haida name was Xhaaidlagha Gwaayaai meaning "Islanda at the Edge of the World". Haida Gwaii is of modern invention.

Haudenosauneega [12], Aquanishuonigy [13]


  • Yaqui Country

Hopitutskwa ("Hopi Land")[12] [15] [Hopi]

Inokinki ("Illinois country")[13] [Miami-Illinois]

  • Illinois Country

Inuit Nunaat ("Land of the Inuit") [17] [Greenlandic]

Jiwére Máyan ("Otoe Land")[14] [Ioway, Otoe-Missouria Language]

Kalaallit Nunaat ("Land of the Kalaallit (Greenlanders)") [Greenlandic]

Kanién:ke, Kanienkeh,[15] Kanyę̂·ke[16] ("Land of Flint") [Mohawk]

  • Mohawk Country
  • Gä-neă-ga-o-noˊ-ga [11] [an Iroquois language]
  • Annien̈ę (with an n-diaeresis),[17] Agné, Agnée, Agnié, Anié [Huron]
  • Meqewihkuk ("Among the Mohawks")[18] [Maliseet-Passamaquoddy]

Karúk Veezívzaaneen ("Karuk (Upriver) Country") [18] [Karuk]

Kitaskino ("Our [inclusive] Land; Our [inclusive] Territory"), Nitaskinan ("Our [exclusive] land; Our [exclusive] Territory"),[19] Nehirowisi aski ("Autonomous Earth") The earth (aski) where Atikamekw can be autonomous (nehirowisiw). [19] [Atikamekw]

Kulhulmcilh ("Our Land")[20][21] [Nuxálk]

Kuna Yala ("Kuna Land") [21] [Kuna]

Kupa Pala Indian Reservation

  • Cupeño Country

Lakotah ("Allies") , Lakhota Makhoche[22] ("Lakota Country") [Lakota]

Lingít Aaní ("Land of the Tlingit") [Tlingit]

  • Tlingit Country

Lenapehoking ("In the People's Land")[23][22], Scheyischbi ("The Place Bordering the Ocean") [Lenape]

(Mahiganek ("At the Mahicans") [23] [Abenaki])

Manahatta ("Hilly Island" or "The Small Island")[24] [Munsee Lenape]

  • Manates Country

Mánu: Yį Įsuwą ("Land of the River (Esaw) People")[25] [Catawba]

Mawooshen, Moasham, Mavooshen [24] and [25] [Abenaki]

  • Wawenoc Country

Mēxihco[26] [Nahuatl]

Mi'kma'ki [26], Migmagi [27] ("Allies' Land")[27] [Micmac]

  • Mi'kmaq Country, Micmac Country
  • Mihkomahkik ("In Mi'kmaq Territory")[18] [Maliseet-Passamaquoddy]

Môhikaniks, Monheganick, Mohegan ("Country of Wolves")[28] [Mohegan]

(Msajosek ("The Great Hill") [28] [Abenaki])

  • Massachusett Country

Myaamionki ("Place of the Myaamia (Miami)")[13] [Miami-Illinois]

  • Miami Country

Nanticoke Ahkee, Nantaquak Ahkee, Nentego Ahkee ("Nanticoke Land")[29] [Nanticoke]

Na:tinixw ("Where the Trails Return" = Hupa Valley)[30] [Hupa]

Nayantik, Nayantaquit, Nehantic,[28] Nehântick ("At a point of land on a tidal river, or estuary", "Of long-necked waters") [Niantic]

Ndakinna, N'dakina [29] ("Our [exclusive] Land") [Abenaki]

  • Abenaki Country
  • Aponahkik ("In Abenaki Territory")[18] [Maliseet-Passamaquoddy]

Nēhiýānāhk ("Cree Country"),[31] Nēhiýaw-askiy (" Cree Land ")[31] [Plains Cree]

Newe Segobia ("The People's Earth Mother") [30] [Western Shoshone]

Niitsitpiis-stahkoii [31] [Blackfoot]

Nishnawbe Aki ("Nishnawbe Land")[32] The territory of the Ojibway-, Cree-, and Ojicree-speaking peoples of northern Ontario.

Nitassinan ("Our [exclusive] Land") Refers to Montagnais territory as a whole. Innu Assi (" People Land ") [33] Refers to those lands within Nitassinan that are owned by the Montagnais. [Montagnais]

  • Innu Country, Montagnais Country
  • Muhtaniyewihkuk ("In Montagnais Territory") [18] [Maliseet-Passamaquoddy]

No-wa-mu ("Mother Earth")[32] [Jemez]

  • Jemez Country

Nʉmʉnʉʉ Sookobitʉ ("Comanche Earth")[33] [Comanche]

Nunatsiavut ("Our Beautiful Land") [34] [Inuttut]

Nunavik ("Place to Live") [Inuttitut]

Nunavut ("Our Land") [35] [Inuktitut]

  • Nunavummuit Country, Eastern Canadian Arctic Inuit Country


Nuniwar, Nuniwaar ("Nunivak Island")[34] [Nunivak Cup'ig]

  • Cup'it Country, Nuniwarmiut Country

Ñút^achi Máyan ("Missouria Land")[14] [Ioway, Otoe-Missouria Language]

Nutshimiu-aschiiy, Nuchimiiyu-chhiiy [35] [Naskapi]

Omaeqnomenew-ahkew ("Menominee-land")[36] [Menominee]


Onyota’a:ka’, Onʌyoteʼa·ka·' ("People of the Standing Stone"),[37] Ǫkwehǫwê·ne[38] [Oneida]

  • Oneida Country
  • O-naˊ-yote-kä-o-noˊ-ga [11] [an Iroquois language]

O'odham Jeweḍ ("Land(s) of the People (O'odham)"),[39] O'odham ha-jeweḍga is a more political designation, as in the "O'odham Reservation/Nation".[39] [Tohono O'odham]

(Osogonek ("Algonquin Place") [36] [Abenaki])

Panaôbskaiiak ("Land of the Penobscots")[40] [Penobscot (Eastern Abenaki)]

  • Penobscot Country [37]
  • Panȣbskaik, Panaȣbskaiiak ("Land of the Penobscots") [38] [Western Abenaki]
  • Panuwapskewihkuk ("Among the Penobscots") [18] [Maliseet-Passamaquoddy]

Paskwāwiýinīnāhk ("In the Plains Cree Country")[31] [Plains Cree]

  • Plains Cree Country

Peskotomuhkatik ("In the Land of the Passamaquoddies (Pollock-spearers)")[18] [Maliseet-Passamaquoddy]

Pokanoket ("Land of the Bitter Water Bays and Coves")[41] [Wampanoag]

S’atsoyaha ("Land of the Sun-fire-people")[42] [Yuchi]

Shawandasse Tula ("Southwind Earth")[43] [Shawnee]

Shiwinnaqin [40] [Zuni]

  • Ashiwi Country, Zuni Country

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh ("referring to/related to Skwxwú7mesh, the People of the Sacred Water") [44] [Sḵwx̱wú7mesh]

Solh Temexw ("our land") [45]

  • Sto:lo (from Halqemeylem≤ the Upriver Dialect pf Halkomelem

Sq'ʷayáiɬaqtmš[46] [Upper Chehalis]

Tatl'ahwt'aenn Nenn' ("Headwaters People's Country") [41] [Ahtna]

Tohono ("Desert") [Tohono O'odham][39]

(Totonacapan [42] [Nahuatl])

Továngar,[48] "the world"

  • Tongva Country

Tsenacommacah, Tsenacomoco, Tenakomakah, Attanoughkomouck, Attan-Akamik ("Activity-grounds", "Land of Much Events")[49] [Powhatan]

Tséstho'e, Zesthoe [43] (" Cheyenne Land ") [Cheyenne]

Tupippuh Nummu ("Our Homeland")[50] [Timbisha (Panamint) Shoshone]

  • Timbisha Country, Panamint Country

Wa She Shu E Deh[51] ("Washo Land") [Washo]

Waayaahtanonki ("Place of the Waayaahtanwa (Wea)")[13] [Miami-Illinois]

Wabanaki [Abenaki], Waponahkik[18] [Maliseet-Passamaquoddy] ("Dawn Land")

Wolastokuk ("Land of the Beautiful River ( St. John River )")[18] [Maliseet-Passamaquody]

Wazija [44], Wazidja ("The Grand Pinery") [Winnebago]

Wendake [Wyandot]

  • Wendat Country, Wyandot Country, Huronia, Huron Country
  • Ksitegwiiak ("Land of the Hurons") [46] [Abenaki]

Winem Memen Bos ("Middle Water Place")[52] [Wintu]

Wintʰu· Po·m ("Land of the People (Wintu)")[52] [Wintu]

Yagaocanahagary ("“land between the two points")

  • Piscataway Country

(Yurúk Veezívzaaneen ("Yurok (Downriver) Country") [Karuk])

  • Yurok Country


  1. ^ Freelang Ojibwe Dictionary
  2. ^ "Apsáalooke Issawua": Email correspondence with Tim McCleary, Project Coordinator, Crow Place Name Project, December 31, 2006. The element "Issawua" should probably have an accent mark showing stress.
  3. ^ a b [1]
  4. ^ A Dictionary of the Choctaw Language by Cyrus Byington, 1909. Also
  5. ^ Bibliography of the Muskogean Languages by James Pilling (reference to Chikasha Yakni on p.51, in entry for Indian Missionary from 1889) and A Chickasaw Dictionary by Jesse Humes, 1973
  6. ^ Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volume 7, Robert Wauchope editor.
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ [5]
  11. ^ a b c d e f League of the Ho-deˊ-no-sau-nee or Iroquois by Lewis H. Morgan, 1904.
  12. ^ "Hopitutskwa": Hopi Dictionary compiled by the Hopi Dictionary Project, 1997.
  13. ^ a b c Email correspondence with Daryl Baldwin of the Myaamia Project of Miami University, October 30, 2007.
  14. ^ a b Email correspondence with Jimm GoodTracks of the Ioway, Otoe-Missouria Language Project, July 11, 2008.
  15. ^ "Kanién:ke": Email correspondence with Kiotenhariyo of Ganienkeh Territory, February 4, 2007. The Ganienkeh Community was apparently spelled that way intentionally to distinguish it as the community, within the greater territory of Kanienkeh.
  16. ^ "Originally referring to the Mohawk country on the Mohawk River and now used for any Mohawk reservation": p.478, Handbook of North American Indians by William Sturtevant, 1978.
  17. ^ "Annien̈ę (and related forms): p.479 of Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 15, 1978.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Freelang Maliseet Dictionary
  19. ^ is the inclusive "our", thus used when Atikamekw are speaking among themselves while Ni...nan is the exclusive "our", thus used when Atikamekw are speaking to non-Atikamekw
  20. ^ [kulhulmcilh Nuxalk Nation website history page]
  21. ^ From email correspondence with Nuxálk Nation, May 23, 2008: Nuxalk territory is divided in to four main groups: Nuxalk -Bella Coola Valley; Ats'aaxlh - South Bentick Arm; Kwalhna - Kwatna Inlet and Burke Channel and Suts'lhm -the Dean Channel. If we have to use one word it would be Kulhulmcilh which means "Our Land".
  22. ^ Message from Siouan List [6] by Clive Bloomfield, January 23, 2008.
  23. ^ Lenape Lenapehoking is apparently cognate with Ojibwe Ininaabewakiing "in the People's Land", according to Freelang Ojibwe Dictionary.
  24. ^ The Historical Atlas of New York City by Eric Homberger, 2005.
  25. ^ "Mánu: Yį Įsuwą": Suggested by Blair Rudes of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, via email correspondence, February 7, 2007.
  26. ^ An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl by Frances Karttunen, 1992
  27. ^ Mi'kmaq Mi'kma'ki is apparently cognate with Ojibwe Miigimaaki and Maliseet Mihkomahkik "Allies' Land", according to Freelang Ojibwe and Freelang Maliseet Dictionaries.
  28. ^ a b Mohegan Place Names in Connecticut, from the Mohegan Language Project [7]
  29. ^ Email correspondence with Sterling Street of the Nanticoke Indian Language Class, July 29, 2008: "The correct word for land is 'ahkee'. You can use 'Nanticoke Ahkee' , or 'Nantaquak Ahkee' , or 'Nentego Ahkee' . There were three main towns along the Nanticoke River, that our people lived at one time, so if you wanted to say 'Nanticoke River' , it would be 'Nanticoke Pamtuckquah'. At one time we were also called 'Kuskarawaok'."
  30. ^ Now You're Speaking Hupa by Victor Golla, p.92, 1994. Free PDF download: [8]
  31. ^ a b c nēhiýawēwin by Arok Wolvengrey, 2001.
  32. ^ Nee Hemish: A History of Jemez Pueblo by Joe S. Sando, 1982.
  33. ^ "Numunuu Sookobitu": Email correspondence with The Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee, February 5, 2007.
  34. ^ Cup'ig Eskimo Dictionary by Muriel and Howard Amos, 2003.
  35. ^ From email correspondence with Annie Nattawappio, Secretary-Receptionist of Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, April 24, 2008 and February 10, 2009.
  36. ^ Email correspondence with Karen Washinawatok, Director of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Language & Culture Commission
  37. ^ Onyota’a:ka’: Email correspondence with Kandice Watson, Education and Cultural Relations Director of the Oneida Indian Nation's Shako:wi Cultural Center. Ms. Watson stated: "This means “People of the Standing Stone”. Every Iroquois Nation has some way of describing their people, for example, the Onondaga are known as “The People of the Great Hills”. So when people say Onyota’a:ka’, they are referring to us or our homelands." (February 20, 2007). Onʌyoteʼa·ka·': Email correspondence with the Oneidan Language Revitalization Program, February 12, 2007.
  38. ^ "The general term for any Oneida settlement", p.489, Handbook of North American Indians: Northeast, William Sturtevant, 1978.
  39. ^ a b c Tohono O'odham names from Ofelia Zepeda, linguist from the University of Arizona and native Tohono O'odham speaker, from email correspondence via her colleague Mizuki Miyashita, February 12, 2007.
  40. ^ Freelang Abenaki-Penobscot Dictionary
  41. ^ The Wampanoag Indian Federation by Milton A. Travers, 1961.
  42. ^ Email correspondence with Woktela, October 31, 2007: "The Yuchi did not really use a specific name for their country, as they dwelled throughout the Southeast, and considered the whole to be their homeland. They also shared this region with a number of other peoples (as the Indigenous Americans did not own/possess land in the sense that Western Culture views it). Therefore strictly speaking, there was no name for Yuchiland or Yuchi country. It simply would not be a concept that they would have used. The Yuchi saw the whole of this great island as one land which belonged to them and everyone else as well — it seemed at that time more than big enough to share in its bounty. The Yuchi, having arrived here by way of island hopping according to some oral traditions, were aware of the surrounding oceans and considered this land to be a giant island. It was generally referred to by the many peoples here as "Turtle Island." In Yuchi that would be S’atsetaha dap’a (Turtle Island) literally: land-water-on-turtle. More often the Yuchi would refer to the Squareground around which their village wrapped as S’a sa he (squareground) and that would have a specific name appended to it, such as Mouse (chixa) for Mouse Squareground. Very likely if they were referring to the region they would have used the generic S’a tso (land-sacred), pronounced s’a cho where there is a pause (glottal stop) between the s and ah sounds. You will note that all these terms begin with the "s’a" which means land or earth in Yuchi. According to other oral traditions, the Yuchi people were created from droplets of the Sun’s blood that fell to earth here in the Southeast, and still colors the clays of the area. The Yuchi word for Sun is tso, and also has the meaning of sacred — hence this would be the sacred-earth-land or the land of the Sun. Lastly the name by which the Yuchi know themselves is "Tsoyaha" which literally means Sun-fire-people. Therefore, a Yuchi today would coin the name "S’atsoyaha" for their land, if they still had any to so name. I know this is not the short and sweet answer you probably expected, but it is the only genuine answer for me to give. I hope this helps your project. Please feel free to post any or all of this. Please note: The Yuchi here is spelled in rough phonetics as there is no orthography for the Yuchi language to be written. ------Best wishes, Woktela"
  43. ^ Email correspondence with Eagle/Sub-Chief Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band, October 29, 2007: "Shawandasse means Southwind, we are the people of the Southwind as our migration story tells. Tula means earth or for translation purposes would mean land depending on how you use the word. Another way to look at it would be Mother Earth, Geah Tula."
  44. ^ From OldManRivers of the Skwxwú7mesh people: "As for names of bodies of land related to the people who lived on it from their languages, it kind of didn't happen around the West Coast. For Skwxwu7mesh territories, I've only heard and seen of Skwxwu7mesh-ulh, but that not specially talking about just the land. The -ulh ending just means "referring to" or "related to". So when a person is talking, they are talking about all of what it is to be Skwxwu7mesh, thus referring to the land, history, language, protocols, etc. It's neat how it refers to so much for something so little."
  45. ^ A Journey Into Time Immemorial, glossary page, Simon Fraser University Museum website
  46. ^ "Sq'ʷayáiɬaqtmš": Upper Chehalis Dictionary by M. Dale Kincaid, 1991.
  47. ^ Papagos and Politics by Blaine and Adams, 1981.
  48. ^ McCawley, William. The First Angelinos: The Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles. Malki Museum Press, 1996
  49. ^ Powhatan Tenakomakah is apparently cognate with Ojibwe Danakamigaa: "activity-grounds", i.e. "land of much events", according to Freelang Ojibwe Dictionary.
  50. ^ The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe and Their Living Valley by the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe.
  51. ^ "Wa She Shu E Deh": Wa She Shu: A Washo Tribal History by Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, 1976
  52. ^ a b Email correspondence with Marc Franko, Headman of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, November 11, 2007: "You are correct to say "Winthu· Po·m" as Wintu land (or more correctly land of the people), however, each Wintu band utilizes the place we are from as the location designator. In our case we are the Winnemem (middle water) Wintu (people). The other 8 bands went by the name of their location (nomte pom; dau pom, nom sus, nor el muk, etc.). When we introduce ourselves we say "ni wenem memen bos" [long "o" sound in bos like hose ] meaning "I am from the middle water place (country)"."

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