WASHINGTON — Snapshot after snapshot of D.C. tells the country's history, and stories of indigenous ancestors are hiding in plain sight among them.

The AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy developed an app to show users where they are.

It showcases 17 sites important to the Native American story.

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“It’s just a history that’s marked by erasure…so the app is literally a testament and a compilation and an archive of some of those physical built environment sites," said Elizabeth Rule, who serves as the center's Assistant Director.

Rule came up with the idea to make the center's research accessible to everyone in app form.

Indigenous app
A snapshot of the new app, "Guide to Indigenous D.C.".
AT&T CIPP

Those with the app can use it as a walking tour guide or a virtual tour of the capital to see landmarks ranging from murals to museums.

One mural featuring a local artist is housed in the base of George Washington University's Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.

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Rule said it features paintings of Piscataway culture and history.

Mural
This mural in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design showcases Piscataway history.
Jess Arnold

Rule said one of the more surprising sites is the Dumbarton Bridge in Georgetown. She said most passersby probably notice the bronze buffalo statues but miss the Indian head busts lining the edges.

She said the person represented was a tribal leader.

Rule is a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw nation, so this project has been personal for her.

Her main goal is to educate Americans on the hidden history of D.C.

“Going from the east side to the west side, all over the city, looking at these sites of importance and seeing how really all of D.C. was and continues to be Indian land," said Rule.

Next, Rule and her team hope to add multimedia elements to the app.

To download, go to the App Store, and type in "Guide to Indigenous D.C."

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