Course Week #1
Class #1- Intro to the Project, the Course and the Virginia Indians
Headteacher Pre-Course Thoughtwork (before you get started with Class #1)
Before you start with the Class #1 Content Headteacher Rhonda Taylor suggests every Student spend some time considering the following:
• What are your goals and objectives for taking this Course? If the Pocahontas Project can help you achieve them, please let us know how. Your input will help us customize this informational and inspirational experience for you.
• What knowledge do you already hold regarding Pocahontas? Consider the context of your understanding – does what you know place Pocahontas in the context of her culture, or in yours?
• What do you need intellectually and spiritually to better understand the worldview of Pocahontas’ people more completely? Whatever that is, students are asked to look for it in this Course and please ask for it if you don’t find it.
Introductory Video from Course Curator Rick Tatnall and Chief Anne Richardson discussing the Pocahontas Project and the purpose & goals of this course
Student of the course video, discussing why Pocahontas is important to them- Rev. Chris Stone from Gravesend, England
Shout out video from a place named for or connected to Pocahontas- Carol Steele from Gloucester, Virginia.
Formal Class Content
In March of 2017 the community of Gravesend, England honored the 400th anniversary of the funeral of Pocahontas at St. George’s Church on March 21, 1617 with a multi-event commemoration called Pocahontas 400. Planning for and participating in Pocahontas 400 provided the energy and inspiration for the creation of the Pocahontas Project. This video captures the magic quite well.
Pocahontas 400 commemoration video (March 2017 in Gravesend, England – 13.5 minutes)
An influential site since the 1200’s, Werowocomoco is located along the York River’s Puritan Bay in Gloucester County. Many believe it was the political and spiritual center of the Tidewater Indian world for more than 400 years before English colonists from Jamestown recorded visits there. Abandoned in 1609, the site remained in private hands until becoming part of the National Park System in 2016.
NPS Video – Werowocomoco: A Powhatan Place of Power (2018 / 7 minutes)
Virginia Humanities has collaborated with the Library of Virginia for an online catalog called Encyclopedia Virginia. This link offers Students a complete history on Indians in Virginia and pathways to more information.
Reading Assignment > Virginia Humanities Encyclopedia Virginia – Indians in Virginia
Class #1 Thoughtwork (to be done after reviewing all class content)
• Students are asked to consider the power of the place called Werowocomoco in 1606 – a year before the English arrive. After thousands of years of social development, Werowocomoco in 1606 was the home / capital / headquarters of the supreme leadership of the complex society we call the Powhatan Tribes; a place Pocahontas certainly knew well. Then in 1607, the English showed up in numbers and life immediately changed forever for the Powhatan tribes. WOW – consider what that must have been like for Pocahontas and her people.
• Students are asked to consider the similarities between the “new normal” Pocahontas and her people faced with the arrival of the English, and the new normal humanity is currently facing in the summer of 2020. Like today, the Powhatan Tribes were simultaneously confronted with new diseases and escalating racial tensions after the English started to arrive in 1607. Barely a teenager in the face of this adversity and uncertainty, Pocahontas exemplified leadership qualities that are compelling and quite relevant today. Students are asked to consider what other similarities or consistencies there are between the Pocahontas story and global events today.
• Students are asked to start to consider the form and substance of their Pocahontas Legacy Offering which is a Course requirement to receive a Course Completion Certificate.