Ornamental Separator

The American Indian Experience

American Indians, Native Americans, and/or Indigenous peoples were a regular and frequent presence in 18th-century Williamsburg. There were local "tributary" tribes, who were considered subjects of Great Britain by the 18th century, such as the Pamunkey, Mattaponi, and Chickahominy. There were “foreign” Indian tribes who had a nation to nation relationship with Great Britain, such as the Shawnee and Cherokee, who would come to Williamsburg to discuss treaties with the Royal government of Virginia. These diverse Native nations had an influence on American culture, democracy, and its struggle for independence. The explorations of these American Indian nations and their role in our collective story then and now is essential in understanding modern American life.

Attend an Event

Explore Onsite

American Indian Encampment Site

Explore the lives of American Indians, who came to Williamsburg with regularity in the 18th century to discuss matters of trade, warfare, and diplomacy.

Special Events

Learn More

American Indian Heritage Month

Connect With Us

Follow Along on Facebook

Want to keep up with the American Indian Initiative at Colonial Williamsburg? Join our group on Facebook. From behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, to updates on current projects, follow along and be in the know.

Join Now

Careers at CW

Learn More

An Educational Experiment

The Brafferton Indian School’s goals of introducing English culture and religion met resistance

FAQs with our American Indian Interpreters

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the story of American-Indian tribes in Virginia. Read on to learn more about the American-Indian community.

Crossing Paths

Increasing American Indian visibility to tell a more complete American story

American Indian Visitors

In the 18th century, America Indian delegations were a regular sight in Virginia’s colonial capitol of Williamsburg.

Warriors Stood There

Native American people made a significant contribution to US Armed Forces. Read on to learn how they served and sacrificed their lives to service.

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 as a grassroots movement to raise awareness and show support, and it is now a federal holiday in Canada, observed on September 30th, also known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Watch Videos

In their own words: Hear from our American Indian interpreters on the topic in this clip from our CW Kids Ask program

Listen to Podcast Episodes

Plan Your Visit

Admission Tickets

To experience all that the Historic Area has to offer, including tours of original 18th-century buildings, personal interaction with townspeople, vibrant gardens, two museums, and so much more—you’ll need an admission ticket.

Stay With Us

Enjoy Colonial Williamsburg to the fullest with a stay at one of our five unique hotel properties. They are conveniently located within and surrounding the Historic Area, just minutes from all the action.

Support The American Indian Initiative

The American Indian Initiative helps the Foundation tell a fuller, more inclusive history of Williamsburg and Colonial America by exploring and sharing the lives and viewpoints of American Indian people.

Give Now

Explore Related Topics