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Pocahontas and
the Virginia Indians

an on-line, self-study history and cultural education course 

Individual Participants in the Matoaka Covenant are offered ongoing access to an information and inspiration benefit called Pocahontas and the Virginia Indians.  This on-line history and cultural education course offers an in-depth look at the life, legend and legacy of the woman most famously known as Pocahontas.  Since the history and culture of the Virginia Indians are intertwined with any investigation wrapped around Pocahontas, an important course objective is to expand awareness of the Virginia Indian Tribes, with special attention to the tribes associated with Paramount Chief Powhatan.  The course content is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

The Pocahontas Project has curated a diverse collection of information sources representing a highly credible collection of state, federal and international history and cultural institutions.  The course also offers lots of fun intersections with people and places around the world connected to Pocahontas, gathered in 2020.  Organized in 10 classes, the total content presents a variety of perspectives and is designed to give Participants a fuller understanding and appreciation for the namesake of this Covenant – Matoaka.
 

Course Objectives

This self-study course is designed to inform and inspire and has the following educational and social development objectives:

  • Offer a well-rounded presentation of the life, legend and legacy of Pocahontas, a person who through her hope and purposeful action literally changed the future course of world history.  The course emphasizes the legacy of Pocahontas’ selfless life example in an effort to inspire Participants to follow in her footsteps.

 

  • Offer a well-rounded summary of the history of Indians in Virginia, from thousands of years before the time of Powhatan and Pocahontas, through to present day.

 

  • Promote the importance of the many leadership qualities exhibited by Pocahontas in the face of adversity, including:

    • Hope, Purpose, Critical Thinking, Civic Involvement, Shared Responsibility, and Perseverance

 

  • Promote the positive power of Cross-Cultural Understanding, a characteristic exemplified by Pocahontas.

 

  • Create a common intellectual and spiritual foundation for Participants and partners of the Matoaka Covenant.

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Pocahontas Descendants Initiative

The Pocahontas Descendants Initiative is a collaborative effort between the County of Gloucester, Virginia and The Pocahontas Project (TPP) created to inform and inspire people around the world who believe they are descendants of the woman born Matoaka, died Rebecca, and most famously known as Pocahontas. Globally it is expected that well over 100,000 people can claim Pocahontas as their ancestor, either through her son Thomas Rolfe (father John Rolfe), or her daughter Ka-Okee (father Kocoum).

Managed by TPP, the Pocahontas Descendants Initiative offers a network providing extensive information about Pocahontas and who might be her descendant (through both bloodlines), resources to facilitate an ancestry search, and ways and means to honor Pocahontas by doing good work in her name in support of the Matoaka Sustainability Action Plan. Access to the Pocahontas Descendants Initiative is available to anyone who becomes an individual Participant in the Matoaka Covenant in 2021.

For all those who know they are descended from Pocahontas, TPP offers new information and insight into their famous ancestor, and will facilitate meaningful ways for descendants of Pocahontas to help create a sustainable future in her honor. For those who believe they might be descended from Pocahontas, TPP offers information resources to assist that investigation. While the Initiative does not authenticate a blood tie to Pocahontas, or assist with any tribal membership, TPP has created a database to catalog people around the world who believe they are descended from Pocahontas. The ultimate objective of the Pocahontas Descendants Initiative is to unite these descendants in common purpose in support of the Matoaka Covenant and the Matoaka Sustainability Action Plan.

 

In March 1613, English Captain Samuel Argall conspired with Japazaws, the leader of the Potowomeck Tribe, to kidnap Pocahontas. As a reward, history has recorded that Japazaws received a good “copper kettle” in exchange. This event is the key historical link to both bloodlines of Pocahontas. At the time of her capture she would have already borne her daughter Ka-Okee with Kocoum, and her capture started the chain of events that led to the birth of her son Thomas Rolfe.

 

In honor of the importance of this transformational event in the life of Pocahontas, the Pocahontas Descendants Initiative has adopted the copper kettle as a symbol of Pocahontas and is developing a logo using the image shown below. This particular copper kettle was chosen because of its simplistic beauty, smart design and strength, just like that of Pocahontas. There may be rivets hidden from view just like the strength that Pocahontas had hidden inside her. This copper kettle design was common in the early 1600s and was often used aboard ships. Historically accurate to the period and circumstances, The Pocahontas Project believes this copper kettle image perfectly represents the woman most famously known as Pocahontas.

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