The Powhatan Museum is located in the historic Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C., just two blocks north of the
Columbia Heights Metro station. Washington, D.C., the northernmost segment of the Historic Powhatan Confederacy territory, is
also home to descendants of the Tauxenent (Dogue), Pamunkey, Rappannock, and Potowomeck nations ('tribes') from the
confederation of 34 Algonquian-speaking Eastern Woodlands people who came under the governance of the Pamunkey
weowanance (leader) Wahunsenacawh or "Powhatan" (the father of Pocahontas). Historic boundary markers of the Federal City, as
Washington, D.C. was originally known, still stand in the traditional territory of the Tauxenent Indians of Arlington, Virginia, linking
Virginia with our Nation's Capital. Maps of the city also continue to include the Virginia side of the Potomac River.
The museum was founded by historians, cultural conservators, traditional arts practitioners, educators, researchers, legal experts
and contemporary indigenous artists native to Washington, D.C. or the Caribbean (home of the Taíno and Island Carib Indians).
Our collection is composed of documents, books, photographs, sculptures, paintings, prints, pottery, and audiovisual media.
The Museum's main connections to the public are via: (a) A web site. (b) Outreach educational programs to schools and groups.
(c) Travelling installations. (d) Storytelling. (e) Lectures on Powhatan and Taíno cultures. (f) Native American powwows.
We are currently undergoing renovations and FUTURE ON SITE VISITS WILL BE SCHEDULED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
The mission of the Powhatan Museum is to interpret, preserve, exhibit, and promote the historic and cultural
heritage of the past and present tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy, as well as other select indigenous nations of
the Americas. The Powhatan Confederacy tribes were (and still are today) the predominant Algonquian tribes
mainly based in Virginia, whose members also resided in historic villages north to Washington, D.C., and east to
parts of Maryland. Paramount Chief Powhatan (the father of Pocahontas) attended historic pan-Indian
conferences on today's Capitol Hill, underscoring the importance of the City of Washington, D.C. as a regional
indigenous culture center. The descendants of the Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia Indians who were
participants in those historic "caucus" gatherings in "Powhatan Territory" continue to live and work in their
ancestral areas today. The Powhatan Museum serves as a "living history" resource for information about the
indigenous people of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. (as well as select indigenous nations of the
Americas). The Powhatan Museum provides an enriching, authentic experience for students, teachers, scholars,
and the general public through its website, outreach services and traveling exhibits.
The purpose of the Powhatan Museum is as follows:
1. To provide passive and formal Eastern Algonquian educational opportunities for its audience,
facilitating an appreciation for and awareness of the region's indigenous Indian heritage.
2. To preserve, research, interpret, and exhibit evidence of indigenous culture specific to
Eastern Algonquian, Southeastern and Caribbean Indians.
3. To serve as a repository for information pertaining to the District of Columbia, Maryland and
Virginia indigenous Algonquian tribes.
4. To exhibit, interpret, preserve and demonstrate cultural traditions and artifacts that will serve to
complement the primary goals and offer a more thorough understanding of the history of indigenous
District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Eastern Algonquian Indians.
The Powhatan Museum's exhibits and living history activities help to meet the demonstrated need for information
pertaining to Eastern Algonquian, Southeastern and Caribbean Indians, which has been generated in recent years
by an emphasis on indigenous culture. The broader national and international audience can access a standards-
driven indigenous Native American resource made available to them on the Internet as well as through lectures,
workshops, on-site demonstrations, and exhibitions. Resources available on this website and through outreach
programs are tailored to meet the requests of scholars and students of all ages, in addition to classroom teachers.
Traveling exhibits are installed (upon request) with text and other accompanying explanatory information written by
Powhatan Confederacy Indians, which adds a first-person, authentic voice/perception to the educational unit or
artifacts under study. Storytelling sessions/performances help to bring history alive. Interactive classroom or group
workshops provide hands-on activity opportunities for participants. Living history experiences are interpreted from
the point of view of indigenous Powhatan Confederacy Indians, in keeping with the indigenous cultural traditions of
an Algonquian culture region's First Americans. Caribbean Indian presentations offer the same features.
of Indigenous Arts and Culture
Copyrighted 2007 by Auld/Powhatan