Archaeological evidence shows that people have been living in what is now Virginia as far back as 16-22,000 years ago. Virginia’s modern day tribes were firmly established in ancestral lands long before the English arrived to settle at Jamestown. These tribes contributed significantly to the newcomers’ ability to survive those first few years upon their arrival to present-day Virginia. Over the four hundred years since the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia’s native people have contributed greatly to the vitality of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation, and continue to do so.
Two tribes, the Pamunkey and the Mattaponi, have small reservations in King William County. Their state reservations date from the 1600s. Nine other incorporated groups are officially recognized as Indian tribes by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
|Mattaponi||17th Century||Banks of Mattaponi River, King William Co.|
|Pamunkey||17th Century||Banks of Pamunkey River, King William Co.|
|Chickahominy||1983||Charles City Co.|
|Eastern Chickahominy||1983||New Kent Co.|
|Rappahannock||1983||Indian Neck, King & Queen Co.|
|Upper Mattaponi||1983||King William Co.|
|Nansemond||1985||Cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake|
|Monacan Indian Nation||1989||Bear Mountain, Amherst Co.|
|Cheroenhaka (Nottoway)||2010||Courtland, Southampton Co.|
|Nottoway||2010||Capron, Southampton Co.|
Source: Secretary of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond. 8 February 2016. http://commonwealth.virginia.gov/virginia-indians/.
In addition, CLICK HERE for a copy of the Virginia Indian Heritage Trail. It is a landmark publication, created by members of the Virginia tribes and reflecting Virginia Indian perspectives on their own history and how that history is interpreted.
The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail guides visitors to sites that have accurate, culturally sensitive interpretative content on Virginia Indians. The 85-page guide contains information on more than two dozen tribal and interpretive sites; the history of Virginia Indians and tribes; historic and contemporary photographs; lists of Virginia Indian resources and suggested readings; and a foreword by Chief Kenneth Adams of the Upper Mattaponi Tribe.