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October 11, 2007 

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Virginia Indian cultures and their important legacy in America will be honored during “Virginia Indian Heritage Day” at Jamestown Settlement on Saturday, November 3, with intertribal dancing and drumming, themed museum tours and hands-on children’s activities. In two panel discussions, Virginia Indian tribal leaders will share memories associated with the 1957 and 2007 Jamestown commemorations and will explore contemporary issues facing the Virginia Indian community.

Jamestown Settlement is a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia.

During sessions at 9:30-11 a.m. and 2-4:30 p.m., children can participate in craft projects that reflect cultural practices of Virginia Indian peoples. Children will be able to make cornhusk dolls and clay pinch-pots, string decorative beads, and color pictures that reflect historic Virginia Indian ways of life.

The Virginia Intertribal Drum and Dancers, representing members of Virginia’s eight state-recognized tribes, will present traditional and contemporary tribal dances in full regalia at 10:15-11 a.m. and 3:45-4:30 p.m. Chickahominy Tribe Second Assistant Chief Wayne Adkins will offer descriptions of each dance.

At 11:30 a.m., “Myth and Memory: Fifty Years of Change” – the first of two Virginia Indian panel discussions – will feature tribal members’ recollections of  Jamestown’s 350th-anniversary commemoration in 1957 and Jamestown’s 400th anniversary in 2007.  Rappahannock Tribe Chief Anne Richardson, Chickahominy Tribal Council member Powhatan Red Cloud-Owen, and Virginia Indian Heritage Program Director and Monacan Tribal member Karenne Wood will reflect on the ways society has both changed and remained the same during the past 50 years and how these issues affect native peoples in Virginia and throughout the nation.

During “Virginia’s Native Peoples Today,” at 2 p.m., Eastern Chickahominy Chief Gene Adkins, Chickahominy Tribe Second Assistant Chief Wayne Adkins and Monacan Tribal Council member Sharon Bryant will examine issues facing tribal communities today, such as federal recognition, cultural preservation, education, economic development, and stereotypes and misperceptions about Virginia Indians. 

Throughout the day, tours of Jamestown Settlement’s exhibition galleries will focus on the Powhatan Indian culture before English contact and through the 17th century. Interpretive programs in the re-created Powhatan Indian village show the Powhatan way of life, including methods of cooking, processing animal hides, making tools and pottery, and weaving natural fibers into cordage. In the riverfront discovery area, visitors can learn about Powhatan methods in fire starting, canoe making, fishing and trade.

Following the daytime event on November 3, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation concludes its “2007 Heritage Lecture Series” with a 7 p.m. lecture by W. Richard West, Jr., founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, titled “Native America in the 21st Century: Out of the Mists and Beyond Myth.” Seating is limited and advance reservations can be made at (757) 253-4415 or rsvp.lecture@jyf.virginia.gov

Jamestown Settlement is located at the intersection of State Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway.  Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $13.50 for adults, and $6.25 for ages 6 through 12.  Parking is free. “Virginia Indian Heritage Day” is presented in partnership with the Virginia Indian community.

Jamestown Settlement is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia that is accredited by the American Association of Museums. For more information about Jamestown Settlement, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit hif.ciniva.net.