We write this from the land of the Piscataway and Nacotchtank people. We hail from the land of the Powatan and Manahoac. The Nacotchtank and the Manahoac are extinct in part, as a result of diseases contracted from European colonists, for which they had no immunity. Today the Powatan population is 71% less than during pre-colonization times. The Piscataway population has also been decimated by their interactions with Europeans. They were displaced and migrated from Maryland to Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania. Today they are now known as the Piscataway Conoy. We acknowledge that the government created by colonization did not recognize the Piscataway Conoy until 2012.
We come to you as descendants of enslaved peoples whose ancestry has been scattered and erased. Their forced labor contributed to the development and wealth of this nation. We know some of their names to be Daniel, Vinny, James, Ann, Allen, Alvina, William and Emma. Their roots lie in Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Benin & Togo. We recognize the great privilege we have in knowing this information.
We honor those who have lived and who live now at these intersections of identity and experience. Without the lives, sacrifices and love of our ancestors and mentors we would not be able to create the art and information provided by Social Art Box. May their lives both past and present be a beacon that leads us toward a world where all identities are recognized and valued.
Our history. (n.d.). Monacan Indian Nation. https://www.monacannation.com/our-history.html#:~:text=Today%20the%20tribe%20numbers%20over,to%20celebrate%20their%20Indian%20culture
Piscataway Conoy Tribe. (n.d.). Piscataway Conoy Tribe – History. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.piscatawayconoytribe.com/history.html
U.S. National Park Service. (2018, January 10). Native peoples of Washington, DC. NPS.gov. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.nps.gov/articles/native-peoples-of-washington-dc.htm
U.S. National Park Service. (2020, August 24). Chronology of Powhatan Indian activity. NPS.gov. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.nps.gov/jame/learn/historyculture/chronology-of-powhatan-indian-activity.htm#:~:text=About%203%2C400%20people%20are%20tribal,Virginia%20have%20272%20tribal%20members