On this Native American Heritage Day let’s be mindful that the human settlement of two continents that began at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch is a cultural story that continues today. Most relevant to HarborLAB is today’s New York City, ancestral domain of the Canarsee, Lekawe (Rockaway), Mespeatches (Maspeth), Matinecock, Munsee and Wappinger peoples. New York City is home to more people with Native American tribal affiliations than any other city in the US. With the recognition of multiracial identities in the 2020 census, that number has greatly increased. Other indigenous ethnicities, such as Aztec and Maya, are also now recognized by the census. The American Indian Community House map above is based on the 2010 census, before those reforms. It reveals a distressing overlap with poverty tracts and the Rikers Island prison.
The American Indian Community House serves all continental Native populations of the US, including New Yorkers from dozens of tribes from Florida to Alaska. We encourage you to donate to the American Indian Community House.