About the Program

The Virginia Indian Program at VFH is helping redress centuries of historical omission, exclusion, and misrepresentation.  It creates opportunities for Virginians of all ages, as well as visitors to the state, to learn about the history and cultures of Virginian Indian people and communities, past and present.

These programs interpret Virginia Indian history and cultures in ways that are accurate, culturally sensitive, and broadly accessible.  Their benefits touch every citizen of Virginia, especially teachers, students, and the tribes themselves.

Components

  • Research leading to a permanent and continuously expanding on-line database of information accessible to students, teachers, and the public
  • Summer Institutes, curriculum resources, and other learning opportunities for teachers
  • Grants to organizations—tribes, museums and other sites—to enhance their interpretation of Virginia Indian history and culture
  • Conferences and other events focusing on Virginia Indian history and the teaching of Virginia Indian history in K-12 and higher education
  • Publications on Virginia Indian history and culture for general audiences
  • Virginia Indian Heritage Trail and related projects
  • Collaborative projects and partnerships

Funding

Funding to begin theses programs has come from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the National Endowment for the Humanities. We need your help to keep these programs going.

Director: Karenne Wood

Karenne Wood is an enrolled member of the Monacan Indian Nation and serves on the Monacan Tribal Council.  She is currently a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Virginia, working to reclaim indigenous languages and revitalize cultural practices.  She recently edited  The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail, published by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, led the “Beyond Jamestown” Teachers’ Institute, and curated the “Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Past and Present” exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

She was previously the Repatriation Director for the Association on American Indian Affairs, coordinating the return of sacred objects to Native communities.  She has also worked at the National Museum of the American Indian as a researcher, and she directed a tribal history project with the Monacan Nation for six years.  Wood held a gubernatorial appointment as Chair of the Virginia Council on Indians for four years, and she has served on the National Congress of American Indians’ Repatriation Commission.