NAFSA: Association of International Educators has offices in Washington, D.C., USA on the ancestral lands of the Anacostan, Nacotchtank, Piscataway and Pamunkey people. NAFSA seeks to model inclusivity and maintain an environment that respects principles of equity, fairness, and justice, and thereby has a responsibility to consider what it means to acknowledge the legacy of colonialism. This land acknowledgement is our way of recognizing Indigenous presence in our everyday lives.

Indigenous Tribes of Washington, D.C.

The United States Capital is surrounded by just over a dozen tribal nations that thrive along the Anacostia and Potomac River watersheds, Chesapeake Bay area, and the states of Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Washington D.C. sits on the ancestral lands of the Anacostans (also documented as Nacotchtank), and the neigboring Piscataway and Pamunkey peoples.

The District of Columbia shares borders with Maryland and Virginia and connects with lands along the Anacostia and Potomac River. These river systems and current national parks are where the Piscataway, Pamunkey, the Nentego (Nanichoke), Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Monacan, and the Powhatan cultures thrived. 

For further learning, please visit the websites below to learn more about the tribes that thrive in Washington, D.C. as well as neighboring states that have recognized tribal nations:

National Park Service and historical articles:

When in Washington, D.C., visit the following centers or websites to plan your visit. Learn more about the area’s historical and current indigenous populations:

Thank you to the American Library Association for providing much of this text and the resources links. Content used by permission of the American Library Association, Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services.