July 15, 2011

Digitized Virginia Indian history

Native American history gets a boost in Virginia

By William SmithThanks to a large contribution by Virginia power company Dominion Resources, a two year project to digitize and preserve Virginian Native American history will able to thrive. In a press release made yesterday, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities was awarded $150,000 by the utility company, matching a similar contribution made by Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. This online archive will fill a much needed gap in online resources for Native American history not only in the State of Virginia but also the United States at large. A spokesperson from the Virginia Indian Heritage Program, Karenne Wood, stated that 'we are trying to help redress centuries of historical omission, exclusion, and misrepresentation.' Among the collection of items to be included will be historic imagery of various tribes in the region, documents contained in various archives in the United States and oral histories from surviving members of the tribes.Comment:  Most people probably aren't even aware that Virginia had Indians. That these Indians have a long history stretching from Pocahontas to the present.

It would be interesting to quiz Americans on their knowledge of Indians east of the Mississippi. Question: "Name three things you know about these Indians." Answer: "Um, Pocahontas, Thanksgiving, and, uh, selling Manhattan for $24."

For more on the subject, see Virginia Classified Indians as Blacks.

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