On Native Ground

The On Native Ground initiative aims to make visible Indigenous histories across the Americas, as well as work with local tribes to establish a strong network for Native communities and scholarship at VCU. The initiative includes the newly-inaugurated Land Acknowledgement working group, a guest lecture series spotlighting Indigenous scholars, and the Karenne Wood Writer/Artist residency program.

The HRC also proudly supports the annual Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival.

The Pamunkey Indian Museum
The Pamunkey Indian Museum. Photo by Alexandra Zernik.

Upcoming Events

Ethan Brown and Federico Cuatlacuatl
Ethan Brown and Federico Cuatlacuatl

October 19. 2022

Fractures of Memory: Indigenous Futurisms and Experiential Symbolism

4:00 p.m. (hybrid event)
at the Commons Theater (University Student Commons)

The speakers for this event are Ethan Brown, Pamunkey artist and filmmaker and Karenne Wood Native Artist-in-Residence at the HRC, and Federico Cuatlacuatl, artist and filmmaker.

Kelsey Leonard
Kelsey Leonard

November 3. 2022

WAMPUM Framework: Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation Strategies

6:00 p.m. (virtual event)

The speaker for this virtual event is Kelsey Leonard, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Waters, Climate, and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo.

Bethany Hughes
Bethany Hughes

November 10. 2022

Water and Land: Indigenous Performance as Invitation to Action

6:00 p.m. (virtual event)

The speaker for this virtual event is Bethany Hughes, assistant professor in the Department of American Culture and a core faculty member in the Native American Studies Program at the University of Michigan.

Opportunities

Karenne Wood Native Writer/Artist Residency Program

karenne wood

In November of 2021, The Humanities Research Center launched the Karenne Wood Native Writer/Artist Residency program. The program will allow an Indigenous writer or artist to spend time at VCU, connect with local tribes, give public talks and readings, and enrich VCU students’ learning experience.

The program honors the legacy of Karenne Wood, Ph.D., who was a member of the Monacan Indian tribe and a poet, activist, tribal historian and educator who lectured at VCU on many occasions. Wood, who died in 2019, was director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program at Virginia Humanities, led a tribal history project for the Monacan Nation, conducted research at the National Museum of the American Indian, and served on the National Congress of American Indians’ Repatriation Commission. Her two books of poetry, “Markings on Earth” (2001) and “Weaving the Boundary” (2016) are taught widely throughout North America. In 2015, she was named one of the Library of Virginia’s Virginia Women in History.

 

Land Acknowledgement

This is a faculty-led group coordinating efforts between local Indigenous communities and VCU faculty, staff and students to produce a consultative land acknowledgment. The group understands land acknowledgment as a multidimensional process of respecting the past, present and future of Indigenous presence on this land. The goal of this group is to deepen our understanding of settler colonial history through learning about the region’s Indigenous past as well as its ongoing Indigenous presence. At present, universities across the United States—as key sites of cultural, social, and intellectual development—have started to accept the responsibility to acknowledge the ways in which a commitment to diversity and inclusion must include a reckoning with our historical and ongoing complicity in the violence and dispossessions of settler colonialism. The group will meet monthly to discuss proposed readings, meet Indigenous leaders in the community and draft recommendations for a land acknowledgment statement. Faculty, staff members and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact: Jesse Goldstein, jgoldstein2@vcu.edu

Past Events