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Indigenous Land Relationships in the Carolinas: An Interactive Audio Tour

This tour features short audio recordings of Indigenous people telling their own stories connected to their relationship with the land. It was created by Quinn Smith (Chickasaw Nation, Chocktaw, Duke University's Trinity College Class of 2023) through Duke Gardens' Equity Through Stories Program.

You are on the introductory tour page. Links to the rest of the tour pages are below; click to go to the next tour page, or click on any of the individual tour page titles. Tour pages can be visited in any order.


We Are Here

Over the past 500 years, the U.S. and other colonial powers committed genocide in an attempt to steal Indigenous lands and resources.

However, Indigenous peoples triumphed over this unimaginable violence. Today, 18 Tribal Nations reside in North and South Carolina. North Carolina has the largest percentage of Indigenous people east of the Mississippi River.  We honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples who have intimate and deep relationships with the lands on which we gather.


A Living Land Acknowledgement

Indigenous people hold the knowledge that their ancestors have known for millennia. This includes an intimate and respectful understanding of the natural world.  

This project exists to make a living land acknowledgement. By following the signs and scanning the QR codes, you can listen to Indigenous people tell their own stories.

You can listen to an introduction by Vickie Jeffries (Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation), Stands Among Elk (Meherrin Nation) and John Blackfeather (Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation) by scanning the QR code.

Listen here:


Why is it important to recognize the Indigenous peoples nearest to you?





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About Quinn Smith, Jr.

photo of Quinn Smith, Jr. in Duke Gardens

Quinn is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, majoring in public policy with a documentary studies certificate. As a documentarian, Quinn strives to challenge our misconceptions of Indigenous people by documenting a long-silenced, shared humanity.

What drew Quinn to the Equity through Stories Program was the ability to uplift Indigenous truths and to forge reciprocal relationships with Indigenous people throughout the Carolinas. Quinn does this by interviewing Indigenous people about their relationships with the land and weaving their stories into audio documentaries to be exhibited at the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. He also initiates seed-sharing and other reciprocal ventures between Indigenous peoples and Blomquist Gardens. Quinn hopes that his work will help to re-educate Duke Garden’s 500,000+ annual visitors and to create a healing space for Indigenous people.

Visit Quinn's website here.