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American Indian Culture is Honored

When you spend time in the Historic Triangle, you’ll see how American Indian culture is honored in Colonial Williamsburg through incredible programming and storytelling.

Colonial Williamsburg is shining a light on the real history of marginalized groups, including their contributions to the world. To recognize and honor Indigenous peoples, Colonial Williamsburg helps its visitors get to know the tribes who once owned the land we live on today. 

American Indians influenced early American culture, democracy, and the struggle for independence against Britain. Eighteenth-century tribes in Williamsburg—the Pamunkey, Mattoponi, and Chickahominy tribes—were even considered subjects of Great Britain by the 18th century.

Conversation: Meet a Nation Builder

Throughout the year, you can see firsthand how American Indian culture is honored in Colonial Williamsburg. Learn about the American Indian experience through “Meet a Nation-Builder,” where you can speak to one of Williamsburg’s actor-interpreters and hear real stories of the past. Actor-interpreters are a huge part of the CW experience, helping you imagine that you have, in fact, stepped 200 years into the past. 


American Indian Heritage Month

November is American Indian Heritage Month, and Colonial Williamsburg is sharing a lineup of special programming that details the cultures and roles American Indian tribes played in shaping America’s history and future. 


Performance: Community Connections

This series of museum theater programs relates to the need to belong, identify, and struggle with and against our community.

Presentation: Students of Brafferton Indian School
Throughout American Indian Heritage month in November, you can learn about the students of Brafferton Indian School, which was open from about 1700-1778. While many students are unnamed today, we know some of their biographies as soldiers, interpreters, diplomats, and spies, revealing how the story of U.S. history is really one of American Indian history. This year marks the 300th remembrance of this school building. 


American Indian Interpretation

Native nations came to Colonial Williamsburg regularly in the 18th century to discuss matters of trade, warfare, and diplomacy. Explore the diverse cultures of Native peoples striving to preserve their traditional way of life and learn about the roles they played in creating a new country.


This is how American Indian culture is honored in Colonial Williamsburg, but you can also find incredible resources and exhibits at Jamestown Settlement that dive even deeper into the story of America’s beginnings.

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