Indigenous Pennsylvania: Past, Present, and Future

Class Year


Document Type

Digital Project

Date of Creation


Department 1

Environmental Studies


Gettysburg College recently adopted an official Land Acknowledgment Statement. However, there is little publicly accessible media that helps students, or the greater Gettysburg community, understand Indigenous presence in our region. This project, Indigenous Pennsylvania: Past, Present, and Future seeks to address the primary question, “How can we represent Indigenous presence within our region to be informative and inclusive of Indigenous worldviews and perspectives?” The study tackles two sub-questions: a) what are the best digital tools to generate a virtual and informative interactive map that can represent Indigenous senses of space, time, and land relations? and b) what aspects of Indigenous presence should and can be mapped? I engaged with Indigenous scholarship to answer these questions. Specifically, Indigenous cartography emphasizes the idea of “depth of place” that involves mapping land as a storied space of ongoing relations. Following other Indigenous cartographers who have highlighted ArcGIS StoryMap's ability to generate rich multimedia narratives, I used the platform to create a StoryMap Collection.

The collection includes an interactive map and four sites: Painted Turtle Farm, the 42nd New York Infantry “Tammany Regiment” Monument, the Fulton Theatre, and Big Indian Rock. Criteria used to develop each multimedia site included proximity to campus, the ability to organize site content thematically rather than linearly, and importantly, the availability of primary research to supplement secondary research-- field site visits and interviews were crucial in providing visual and audio evidence of ongoing Indigenous presence in our region. The second two criteria are attentive to decolonial methodologies that prioritize Indigenous knowledges in opposition to how they are often ignored in mapping. The project will be publicly accessible on the Gettysburg College’s LAS page and can continue to incorporate more local sites.


Created for ES 460: Individualized Study - Research (Honors)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.