Just in time to celebrate Virginia Indian Heritage Month, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recently unveiled a new classroom, instructional video entitled The Virginia Indians: Meet the Tribes. The 25-minute video – primarily designed for students and teachers — is an introduction to the rich history and culture of Virginia’s native peoples and provides information on the 11 state-recognized tribes. In the video, members of the Virginia Indian tribes tell their own stories.
The video features 5th-grader Keenan Stewart, a student at Charles City Elementary School and a member of the Chickahominy tribe. He answers his classmates’ questions about the history and culture of the Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Rappahannock, Upper Mattaponi, Nansemond, Monacan Indian Nation, Cheroenhaka Nottoway, Nottoway of Virginia and the Patawomeck tribes of Virginia.
“I’m excited to make this video available to our teachers and students,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “Students will not only learn about various tribes who lived here before Virginia became a colony, but will see that Virginia Indians continue to make history today.”
The video is the newest addition to the Virginia’s First People Past and Present website located at http://virginiaindians.pwnet.org. The website, with a link to the video, is designed for elementary, middle and high school teachers as an instructional guide for teaching the history, geography and economics of the Virginia Indians. It includes information, pictures, maps, lesson plans, links and other resources to support the Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning.
The Virginia Indians: Meet the Tribes video was produced for VDOE by Prince William Network (PWN), the distance education division of Prince William County Public Schools with assistance from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, PNC Foundation, Rotary District 7610 of Rotary International, Bachman Aviation and Elena Ellis.