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Pocahontas & The Virginia Indians Online Course

Class #10 - Meet the Virginia Indian Tribes

In this final class of the Pocahontas and the Virginia Indians Course we continue to meet and learn about the Virginia Indian Tribes. In three different videos spanning a number of years, students will get more insight and understanding from many leaders of the Virginia Indian Tribes, including several Chiefs and Tribal Leaders presented in previous classes. Students are asked to consider the context of time and how it does and doesn't change thoughts and perceptions. For instance, in recent classes students got to hear the thoughts of Tribal Leaders at the 2018 VMHC Pocahontas Symposium after they had received Federal Recognition. In Class #10 students will hear some of the thoughts of those same people when they were still working towards recognition.

In the first Class #10 video students will get to hear from Virginia Tribal leaders in their own words. This video was done in 2002, so a lot has changed. This video also is the result of a two year collaborative effort involving a Who's Who of Virginia culture and history institutions including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Humanities, William & Mary, Virginia Council on Indians and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

The second class video will present some of the same Tribal Leaders in England in 2006, including a trip to the British Museum to view the extraordinary drawings of Native Americans by 17th century artist John White. For more on John White, we have provided a link to information presented by the State Library of North Carolina.

The final Class #10 video is from the Virginia Department of Education and shows how VDOE is presenting the Virginia Indian Tribes to its students - we have also included a link to a VDOE study guide in pdf format. This video is from 2016, so a lot has changed in just a couple of years and we expect VDOE will have to update its video about the Virginia Indians.


Rick Tatnall

Formal Class Content

In 2002, Virginia’s Indian tribal leaders were interviewed for this video, a result of a two-year oral history project. The information they impart speaks for the ages by tracing their own history including the persistence of Virginia Indian identity and culture 400 years after the European settlement of their lands.  A visual historic overview sets the stage for the interviews.


The continuing legacy of John White’s seventeenth century watercolors is discussed by the descendants of the peoples he encountered. Shot during the visit of a delegation of Virginian Indian chiefs to Britain in 2006, it shows their impressions about these ancient images in the British Museum’s department of Prints and Drawings. The film follows the chiefs during their tribute to their ancestor Pocahontas buried in Gravesend, England and shows them dancing in celebration of the founding of the first British colony in North America.

This video is used by the Virginia Department of Education to introduce Virginia students to the Virginia Indian Tribes and is accompanied by the VDOE Study Guide and Activity Book.

Class #10 Thoughtwork

(to be done after reviewing all class content)

  • “We’re still here.” This statement rings true for all Virginia’s tribes, and for indigenous communities around the world. How has the information gained from this Course changed your understanding of Virginia’s Indian Tribes and their contributions to the development of the Commonwealth of Virginia and America? What can you personally do to honor the special role of native, indigenous and First Nations peoples in our collective past and enable their continued positive contributions to our global society in the future? How might the Pocahontas Project support and facilitate your intentions?

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