2005 saw a great new online/offline publishing project, introducing new scholarship and historical insight:
“With the approach of the four-hundredth anniversary of the first permanent English-speaking settlement at Jamestown, Virginia the National Park Service funded this study of an in-depth examination of the primary documents, and significant events relating to Virginia’s Native peoples and their interactions with and responses to the colonial encounter. This project is unique in its attempt to incorporate the views of tribal leaders and tribal members along with the research of numerous authors from the disciplines of anthropology and history. The research produced from this study will be used by the National Park Service to better understand and interpret Virginia Indians as a cultural group within the historical and natural landscape as well as assist planners with the development of exhibits and interpretive presentations at Jamestown Island. The study includes recommendations for future research and additional considerations for building stronger relationships with Virginia’s indigenous community.” (Emphasis added.)
Chapter 6, “A Brief Survey of Anglo-Indian Interactions in Virginia during the Seventeenth Century,” by Edward Ragan, begins with an understatement only a historian could produce:
“The first century of Anglo-Indian interaction in Virginia can be understood as a prolonged period of adjustment for both the Native inhabitants and the European settlers.” Quite.
Most importantly, incorporating the Indian voices – finally! – brings them into the present, acknowledging their continuing existence and importance to today’s Virginia. One of the leaders quoted is our local friend, Chief Anne:
“…the main thing I want the general public to know about my people is that we weren’t a historic tribe that the English documented in 1608 and [then] we all died off.” Chief G. Anne Richardson, the Rappahannock Tribe.
Quoted in the study from Chief Anne’s interview with the Virginia Indian Oral History Project at the College of William & Mary.