[Tagging] Tagging of Country Names

Aun Johnsen lists at gimnechiske.org
Sat Nov 5 22:40:51 UTC 2016

> On Nov 5, 2016, at 20:09, tagging-request at openstreetmap.org wrote:
> This is kind of straying, but 'dependent nations' are a case that is not
> well handled at all. There are a number of cases (e.g. most Native American
> reservations) where all parties agree on the boundaries - at least of the
> current state of control, if not the 'rightful' borders, but most
> emphatically do not agree on the political status of the territory.
> A typically complex case is Ahkwesáhsne. It is one of several recognized
> territories of the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation. It spans the border between the
> USA and Canada. The US portion is known as the St. Regis Mohawk
> Reservation. It has some of the attributes of a country - for instance, its
> citizens are free to travel within its territory without clearing US or
> Canadian customs and immigration. (Other USAians and Canadians do not have
> that privilege.) It has three governments: the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne
> (a representative democracy elected from the Canadian portion of the area),
> the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (a constitutional republic and the nominal
> government of the US portion), and the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs (the
> traditional and religious government of the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation), which
> many residents see as the legitimate government of the nation. The MNCC is
> not recognized by either the US or Canada, but in a 1948 election, the
> traditional chiefs chosen by the Akwesasnro:non 83-1 over an elected
> system. (The lack of a European-style constitutional framework impedes
> recognition.)
> The Kanien'kehá:ka Nation, even among the First Peoples, is a dependent
> state. It is one of six members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, which is
> the nation with which most Akwesasnro:non would identify. Each of the other
> nations retains territories with some sort of 'dependent nation' status in
> both the US and Canada. In some cases they are combined - the Six Nations
> of the Grand River reserve in Canada has residents belonging to each of the
> Haudenosaunee nations, plus a group of Delaware (Lenape). This reserve has
> nine official languages: the five Haudenosaunee languages, plus Tuscarora,
> Munsee, English and French.
> The Haudenosaunee Confederacy has even more of the attributes of a nation.
> It issues its own passports (and there have been times at which they have
> even been accepted by other states, such as when it sent a delegation to
> the League of Nations in 1923). It fields an Olympic lacrosse team, and is
> generally recognized as a state in international lacrosse competitions.
> In most cases, all agree on the current state of the borders of all of
> these reserves. But they largely go unmapped, because there's no agreement
> on what to call them. Whatever it is, it doesn't fit into a strict
> admin_level hierarchy, because they span multiple admin_level=2 nations,
> What is fundamentally wrong about our model is the assumption that "every
> piece of land (except possibly Antarctica) is in one and only one nation."
> or that "a dependent nation is associated with one and only one parent
> state," or "the citizens of a nation share a common language."
> We would do well to map agreed-on borders and tag things as best we can.
> Right now, we seem to be frozen on mapping First Nations boundaries.
A little TL;DR

I think tagging official and de facto languages will help raise the importance of these First Nation areas. The cases of First Nations is particularly complicated because they often are not recognised as independent nations and therefor not fit under the admin_level=2 tagging scheme. Some of these might fit into admin_level=3 or other sub-national divisions, while others not. At least a language tagging scheme will help highlight some of the issues around these areas.

Besides, all of Antarctica are claimed by different nations, though under the Antarctic Treat, such claims does not impose sovereignty, and the same plot of land might have claims from more than one country.

Aun Johnsen

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