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:
- Chickahominy Indian Tribe
- The Confederation of Sovereign Nanticoke-Lenape Tribes
- D.C. Native History Project
- Federal and State Recognized Tribes
- Nentego (Nanichoke)
- Piscataway Conoy Tribe
- Piscataway Conoy Creations
- Pamunkey Indian Tribe
- Virginia State Recognized Tribes
National Park Service and historical articles:
- American Indians of Washington, D.C. and the Chesapeake
- American Indian Tribes Today
- Library of Congress – Native Histories of Washington, D.C.
- Native Peoples of Washington, D.C.
- Washington Post – Native American Tribe Once Called D.C. its Home Had No Living Members
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:
- Bureau of Indian Education
- Center for Native American Youth
- National Museum of the American Indian
- The National Park Service - Washington DC
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.