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Virginia Indians Yesterday and Today

May 21 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Learn about the history of the Powhatan confederacy and other Virginia tribes that were not a part of the confederacy. Nellie and Kevin will discuss the trials of Virginia Indians in the early part of the 20th century including Walter Plecker’s attempts to completely erase native culture from our society and will contrast his work to the advocacy of Frank Speck who tried to reunite the tribes of the confederacy. We will hear how attempts to “kill the Indian and save the man” extended into the 50s as Indian boarding schools and the education system were the next phase in racist practices.

Our speakers will also address the state of Virginia Indians in modern times and react to the question, “do you live in teepees?” (They don’t). Some Native Americans live on reservations, but many others do not. We will hear about the process to get federal recognition, working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Nellie and Kevin will discuss which tribes are currently federally and state recognized as well as the difference between these two things and mention the tribute still paid to the Virginia governor each year. The conversation will continue as we hear about efforts to bring the diaspora back into native communities.

Questions will be taken after the presentation.

If you can’t attend in person please use this link to JOIN VIA ZOOM
Meeting ID: 823 4409 1516
Passcode: 376359
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+16465588656,,82344091516#,,,,*376359# US (New York)
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Our Speakers

Kevin Brown is a retired Chief of the Pamunkey tribe of King William County, Virginia. He was elected in November 2008 and let the tribe for seven years, during its lengthy quest for federal recognition. Brown, born in Pennsylvania, has spent nearly every summer at the Pamunkey reservation as a child, and has lived and worked there since he was 18 years old. Brown is also an artist whose pottery and sculptures are part of the permanent collections at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. and the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, S.D. He has worked for “Akwesasne Notes” and traveled with the renowned activist group the White Roots of Peace in the 1970s.

Nellie Adkins, co-chair of the Diocese of Virginia’s Native American Ministry will be giving an educational talk on the topic of Virginia Indians and specifically the Indigenous people on whose ancestral lands Chanco on the James now sits. 


Nellie is a Virginia Indian (Chickahominy), who holds a B.A. in History/Communications from Old Dominion University and Masters’ degrees in Native American Studies/Education/Journalism from the University of Montana at Missoula. Adkins has been actively consulting on a National basis since 1984 as a Native facilitator, workshop and conference planner/organizer, Traditional “lifeways” educator, public relations representative, museum exhibit planner, and more. Nellie was one of fourteen Anglican/Episcopal delegates who participated in the 11th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as part of the Anglican Communion’s delegation. She has served as a Senior Research Consultant for Title IX/Johnson O’Malley Indian Education, Region VI and is the former National Chairman of The American Indian Scouting Association in 2003. Adkins worked for over twelve years as a National Facilitator with Girl Scouts of the USA, New York and the American Indian Scouting Association doing training with American Indian based programs on and off the reservation for adult and youth scouts. Her gifts and talents are many and her abilities to enable clients to reach their expected goals and outcomes are major.


May 21
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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Chanco on the James
394 Floods Drive
Spring Grove, VA 23881 United States
+ Google Map
(888) 724-2626


Chanco on the James
888 - 7CHANCO (888 724-2626)