Taking a break from irreverent themelesses to post a special collab puzzle with my friend, and streaming solver of Crossweird fame, Dob Olino.
The title of this crossword is Turtle Island, so it should be no spoiler to say it is a puzzle that seeks to highlight Native cultures of this continent. A couple of things should be said about this. Foremost among them: we are not Native. Our knowledge, what there is of it, comes from searching things out and reading, not from stories or family lore or being part of the shared history of a people. We in no way suggest that the contents of the puzzle are complete or perfectly representative, or that anything qualifies us in particular to be the authors of it, other than our interest in doing it.
We do, however, hold ourselves responsible for ensuring that puzzle content relating to Native people(s) is not trivial or trivializing. We tried to write clues that were honoring or celebratory. We sought out information only from sources maintained by Native people and projects, whenever possible ensuring that at least two Native sources were in agreement on facts. We saw that it is fraught to rely on names that are derived from colonizer languages or translations, even though those are often used by nations in a formal sense, and endeavored specifically to highlight indigenous words and self-names in clues. Incidentally, we attempted to place nation names with rough geographical fidelity, but acknowledge that this succeeds at best partially.
We're very grateful for resources such as Partnership with Native Americans (PWNA), Native-Land.ca, the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, and dozens of websites dedicated to specific indigenous languages or maintained by individual nations themselves.
We recognize that as a land acknowledgement, this is a small gesture, as many land acknowledgements are. But we hope that as a puzzle, this succeeds in honoring its subject. And, of course, we hope that you enjoy the solve!
Click here to solve, or download .jpz file below.
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