March 31, 2016
4 p.m.
Pryzbyla Center Great Room A
Speaker: Gabrielle Tayac
With the support from the Regina F. Herzfeld Memorial Fund
Reception to Follow


Native peoples of the Chesapeake region were among the first devastated by European pandemics, colonial warfare, land loss, impoverishment, and cultural assimilation beginning more than a hundred years prior to the foundation of the United States.  A key distinction for Chesapeake communities has been the profound interactions with African Americans and the effects of race laws.  This lecture will explore how the main surviving Native peoples in the local region - the Piscataway, Powhatan, and Nanticoke - have transformed their identities over time through relationships with African Americans and as a consequence of racism.

Gabrielle Tayac is herself Piscataway, has worked as an historian at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian since receiving her PhD at Harvard in 1999, and before that was a Ralph Bunche Human Rights Fellow with Amnesty International, where she created several American Indian outreach groups, including the Indigenous Peoples’ Urgent Action Network, and provided as human rights assistance for cases in Central and South America.  At the NMAI, she has curated exhibits on The Native Landscape, on Algonquian peoples of the Chesapeake, on relations of African-American and Native Americans in the Americas, and published IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas(Smithsonian Books, 2009) and Meet Naiche: A Native Boy from the Chesapeake Bay Area (2007) in the Museum's Young Native Americans Series.

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