GMAT Test Prep: RC-38172349 GMAT Reading Comprehension

Maps made by non-Native Americans to depict Native American land tenure, resources andpopulation distributions appeared almost as early as Europeans' first encounters with NativeAmericans and took many form: missionaries' field sketches, explorers' drawings, and surveyors'maps, as well as maps rendered in connection with treaties involving land transfers. Most existingmaps of Native American lands are reconstructions that are based largely on archaeology, oralreports, and evidence gathered from observers' accounts in letter, diaries, and official reports;accordingly, the accuracy of these maps is especially dependent on the mapmakers' owninterpretive abilities.

Many existing maps also reflect the 150-year role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in administering tribal lands. Though these maps incorporate some information gleaned directly from Native Americans, rarely has Native American cartography contributed to this official record, which has been compiled, surveyed, and authenticated by non-Native American tribes and their migrations and cultural features, as well as territoriality and contemporary trust lands, reflects the origins of the data, the mixed purposes for which the maps have been prepared, and changes both I United States government policy and in non-Native Americans’ attitudes toward an understanding of Native Americans.
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