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Published October 9, 2023

By Savannah Baber

Indigenous Peoples’ Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the persistence, resistance, and existence of Indigenous People, cultures, and nations throughout the Americas. In doing so, we can expand the historical narrative about Indigenous People that has for too long started and ended with encountering explorers like Christopher Columbus. When the stories we tell about history are only shared through one lens, we miss out on the incredible diversity and knowledge that Indigenous People have to offer.

There are eleven recognized tribal nations in Virginia that we can learn about and from in order to better understand our Commonwealth, and there are nearly 600 tribal nations throughout the United States that were here long before and long after any settler or explorer came across them. This Indigenous Peoples’ Day, take the time to connect with Native people and nations. Indigenous stories are not simply legends of the past, but paths towards the future—and we should listen to them.

In the spirit of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our Virginia Indian Program is offering a selection of free workshops available upon request between November 2023 and January 2024. If you are interested in scheduling a learning opportunity for your organization or classroom, please fill out the request form and select a topic of interest. Each topical session is sixty minutes (30-40 minutes interactive presentation, 20 minutes debrief and Q&A), but time can be adjusted for scheduling needs.

Learning Workshops

Land acknowledgment has become an institutional practice of recognizing the presence and contributions of Native people- but is it enough? In this workshop, participants will learn strategies to move beyond recognition of tribal nations and move towards relationships with tribal nations.

Recommended for: Organizations and institutions interested in working more closely with Native people and Nations

Learn about Virginia through the lens of the tribal nations in the Commonwealth. Participants will explore Virginia’s geography, cultures, and history with Native people at the center. We will discuss how tribal nations have interacted with the Commonwealth and national governments over time, and how that has impacted tribal territories and cultures.

Recommended for: Classrooms and organizations interested in learning about Virginia’s tribes

From curricula that exclude or underrepresent Native perspectives, to explicit racism and colonial violence, the classroom has not always been a safe place for Native students. In this workshop, participants will learn the context of Native relationships to educational institutions and strategies for navigating and eliminating the challenges many Native students face in the classroom.

Recommended for: Educators and Student Affairs Professionals of all levels


Request a Workshop

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Please provide any additional information that you think your presenter should know in order to best serve your organizational needs:
Vanessa Adkins, right, is apprenticing under her cousin Jessica Canaday Stewart learning the finer points of traditional Chickahominy dancing. Photos taken at the Fall Festival and Pow Wow in Charles City on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

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