Beginning with the forced removal of Indigenous Peoples and continuing through the implementation of anti-Black public policies and redevelopment practices, Atlanta is no stranger to the displacement of indigenous people and the destruction of African American communities. It is woven into the very origin story of our city.
Our acknowledgement comes with responsibility. As we steward the land with the largest infrastructure project this city has ever seen, we recognize the historical trauma and continued displacement along with the great responsibility we have for ensuring equitable access to all the benefits the Atlanta BeltLine has, can, and will bring to our communities.
We are on the traditional homelands of the Muscogee Creek and Cherokee Peoples. These Indigenous people were displaced through violence and governmental policies in the 1830s to make room for European settlers. Atlanta was built on top of thriving trade routes that connected Appalachia to the sea and was home to ceremonial grounds and vibrant communities.
For centuries, indigenous peoples and their traditional territories have been purposefully left off maps by colonizers as part of a sustained campaign to delegitimize their existence and land claims. Interactive mapping website Native Land Digital does the opposite, by stripping out country and state borders in order to highlight the complex patchwork of historic and present-day Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages that stretch across the United States, Canada, and beyond.