Monday, July 31, 2017

The Rappahannocks: American Indian Heritage Day

Connect to nature on American Indian Heritage Day

The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is treasured as a threshold to America’s history. The site had been home to three generations of George Washington’s family prior to his birth and is the site of the burial grounds of his father, grandparents and great-grandparents. This weekend, the folks at the national monument offer a glimpse into an even more distant history as they host American Indian Heritage Day, introducing guests to the customs and culture of those who lived on that land for thousands of years before the first Colonists arrived.
“We want to remind people that, prior to the European settlement of this area, all these tribes were already fixed on the land. They hunted and fished and lived and died here,” said chief of interpretation and visitors’ services Scott Hill. “We wanted to recognize the true first Virginians.”
To bring that vision to life in an engaging and exciting way, representatives of the Rappahannock Tribe will give a presentation of their history and demonstrations of drumming and dance that will include an invitation for visitors to join in the performance.
“This is the fourth year we have hosted the Rappahannock Tribe and in the past I have seen nearly 70 adults and kids participating in that big dance,” said Hill.
The group is one of 11 tribes recognized by the state of Virginia and were in the national spotlight earlier this year when Sen. John Warner officiated at a ceremony in which a portion of the land bordering the river at Fones Cliffs was given back to the tribe. As she received a piece of stone from the cliff symbolizing the property, Rappahannock Chief Anne Richardson talked about the important role the parcel would play in conveying the tribe’s legacy to new generations.
“We will take our children back to the river and convey those ancient traditions and knowledge to them, [including] canoeing, the medicinals that come off the river and the foods that come from the river that sustained our people here for thousands of years,” she said. “It’s not just for our people. We want to teach everyone about the river and wildlife.”

Chief Richardson’s goal of introducing young people to nature and culture through a living show-and-tell is, likewise, part of the mission of the National Park Service, which maintains and cares for the land at the birthplace monument. Guests will have an opportunity to see heritage breeds of sheep and pigs as well as flowers, herbs, and crops such as flax and tobacco that would have been at the site during George Washington’s childhood. In addition, they can explore the enduring gifts of nature through a hike along a 2-mile nature loop or down a trail to a beach on the shore of the Potomac river.
Wildlife at the site includes eagles, heron, red and gray foxes, cotton-tail rabbits, raccoons and river otters, and the park service provides a track guide so young visitors can identify any evidence they may come across regarding four-footed and feathered residents of the area.
In addition, the park hosts a Junior Ranger program for visitors of age cohorts 7-8 and 8-12. Those who complete the suggested activities while exploring the historic area will be awarded the George Washington Birthplace Junior Ranger badge.
“We want families to come out and experience nature and understand a connection with it that many kids may be unaware of. Even in their drive to the site on Route 204, children will see fields of crops growing and realize that our food does not begin in packages at the grocery store,” said Hill. “They will also understand that many different people make up the story of our country, and that story can’t be told without tribes such as the Rapphannock who were here long before any of our European ancestors arrived.”

Read the Entire Article Here

Collette Caprara is a local writer and author.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rappahannock Tribe Regains Land at Fones Cliffs

  JUN 19, 2017

The Warners hands Rappahannock Tribe Chief Anne 
Richardson a piece of Fones Cliffs as a symbol of the 
property they have been given. ~ CREDIT PAMELA D'ANGELOA 
You've likely have heard the story of Captain John Smith's famous encounter with the Rappahannock Tribe. While exploring the Rappahannock River, the tribe shot arrows at them from Fones Cliffs.

Over the weekend, tribal descendants were given back a piece of ancestral property just behind those cliffs.

When the Chesapeake Conservancy approached former Senator John Warner and his daughter Virginia about purchasing just under an acre of property for the tribe, they didn't hesitate.

"It's a magical place and nothing like it anywhere else in American in terms of its history and confluence of natural wildlife."

"It's perfectly fitting for the Rappahannock Tribe to have back their little piece of land, after so long."

Chief of the Rappahannock Tribe Anne Richardson has big plans for this tiny piece of pristine land.

"To be able to take our children back to the river and return those ancient traditions and knowledge to them, even canoeing. The medicinals that come off of the river, the foods that come off of the river that sustained our people here for thousands of years."

Members of the tribe's drum group called "Maskapow" 
which means "Worst of Enemies" in tribal language of 
Algonquin. (In the photo clockwise starting at the bottom 
left: Cochise Fortune, Matt Larson, Chad Fortune, 
Mark Fortune, Reese Fortune, and Jacob Fortune-Deuber.) 
Owning the property not only give access to the river, it gives voice to the tribe locally. Assistant Chief Mark Fortune says members have attended meetings about a controversial plan for a large development on Fones Cliffs.
"We've got a long road ahead because we don't know exactly what kind of development they're doing. We'll just have to wait and see how that turns out. But when those meetings come up we'll be there."
The land also symbolizes reconciliation for the tribe with relatives of colonists whose descendants live nearby. And it's a way to reach out to the community. 
" It's not just for our people. We want to teach other people about the river and wildlife also. It's not just about our people, it's about everyone."

The tribe is already making plans to build a lodge and a place to keep their canoes.
This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Read the Entire Article Here

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Rappahannock Tribe announces the event Return to the River (partnering with the Richmond Ballet)

Return to the River
Minds in Motion Culminating Performance 2017
by the Richmond Ballet in partnership with the Rappahannock Tribe of Virginia
April 26th, 27th and 28th at 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM
The Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center
June 1st at 7:00 PM and June 2nd at 10:15 AM
Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Rappahannock Tribal Announcement

Once again the Rappahannock Tribe announces that they are taking a “hiatus” from their normally scheduled annual Pow Wow this year.
We would like to thank those of you who have supported our Pow Wow for the past 14 years, and we look forward to being with you again next year at our regular scheduled time, on October 11th, 2014.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 Rappahannock Tribal Announcement

The Rappahannock Tribe announces that they are taking a “hiatus” from their normally scheduled annual Pow Wow this year.

We are concentrating this year on working with our youth, preparing them to transition into their future responsibilities. 

We would like to thank those of you who have supported our Pow Wow for the past 13 years, and we look forward to being with you again next year at our regular scheduled time, on October 12th, 2013.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The 2011 Rappahannock Tribal POW-WOW

The Rappahannock Tribe presents their 13th Annual American Indian POW-WOW to be held on tribal land at 5036 Indian Neck Road, Indian Neck, VA  23148 (Route 623) in King and Queen County, VA

WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2011
10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Grand Entry at Noon
FEATURING: Native dancing, crafts and food
History Orientation
Native village scene (Woodland)
Emcee:   TBA
Lead Male Dancer:  TBA
Lead Female Dancer:  TBA
Arena Director:  TBA
Host Drum:  TBA
Guest Drum:  TBA
ADMISSION: Adults...$5.00
12 and Under...$3.00
7 and Under...Free
If you have any questions or need additional information, call 804-769-0260 (day) or 804-769-4205 (evening)

All Natives interested in participating, please contact Judith Fortune at 804-769-4205 for dance and registration requirements.

Pre-registered & Invited Dancers ONLY

FAMILY EVENT: Bring the whole family for a day of dancing, history, and fun. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, and enjoy the day! Please refrain from use of alcohol, drugs, and profanity.

Sponsored by Verizon

Pow Wow Flyers with Directions
Flyer:    Printable PDF

DIRECTIONS to the Rappahannock Tribal Center

For Directions from your location click here:

See what has taken place in the past:  Pow Wows of the Past

Popular Posts