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

Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival
Image from Gift of Fear (2023)

October 6, 2023

Indigenous Film in Virginia, Past and Future: The Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival

12:00 p.m.

The speakers for this event are Brad Brown, Pamunkey Nation, and Director of Pocahontas Reframed, and Peter Kirkpatrick, PhD, Professor Emeritus, VCU.
David Wilkins
David Wilkins

November 9, 2023

New Beginnings: Relations between Native Nations and the Commonwealth of Virginia

4:00 p.m.

The speaker for this event is David Wilkins, PhD, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies, University of Richmond.
Phoebe Farris
Phoebe Farris

November 16, 2023

Indigenous Photo Power: Personal Reflections

4:00 p.m.

The speaker for this event is Dr. Phoebe Farris, Professor Emerita, Purdue University, and photojournalist.


karenne wood

Karenne Wood Native Writer/Artist Residency Program

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.

Current Artist-in-Residence


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