New Digital Archive Will Preserve Historic Images, Documents of Virginia Indian Tribes, Thanks to Gift from Dominion

History  •  Virginia Indians

Charlottesville, VA: The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) will receive a grant of $150,000 from the energy company, Dominion Resources, to build the Commonwealth’s only online historical and cultural archive about Virginia’s Indian communities.

The grant matches an additional award from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation of $75,000. Virginia Indian Heritage Online will be a collaborative project between two programs at VFH—the Virginia Indian Heritage Program and Encyclopedia Virginia. It will create a comprehensive record of Virginia Indian history, interpreted and delivered, which anyone can access at any time.

Through this two-year project, VFH will visit tribal communities to scan historic photographs and documents and collect oral histories from tribal elders and others. Staff will collect historic images housed in archives and other facilities; gather relevant documents such as treaties, court records, and letters; and build audio and video programs such as the narrated slideshow, “A Place to Be Ourselves” ( As content is created, it will be incorporated into Encyclopedia Virginia.

Director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program at VFH, Karenne Wood (Monacan) says, “We are trying to help redress centuries of historical omission, exclusion, and misrepresentation by reaching students, researchers and members of the public. This project will enable Virginia’s tribes to preserve and access the treasured record of their past and present, and will provide a wealth of new information throughout Virginia and beyond.”

“Dominion is honored to have a role in the preservation and celebration of Virginia Indian history,” says Virginia M. Board, president of The Dominion Foundation, the charitable arm of Dominion. “The development of the online archive is important because it will educate about a valuable past and inspire the present and future.”

The Virginia Indian Heritage Program is a unique partnership between the state-recognized tribes and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Encyclopedia Virginia is a publicly accessible online publication of VFH that seeks to aggregate in a single resource, information on Virginia history, business, politics, and geography, plus the state’s proud heritage in the arts, religion, culture, and folk traditions. A non-profit educational organization created in 1974, VFH is a catalyst for the cultural, civic, artistic, and educational vitality of the Commonwealth.

For more information on the Virginia Indian Heritage Program or Encyclopedia Virginia, visit or

Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. The company is headquartered in Richmond, Va., and serves retail customers in 15 states. The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well being of the communities served by Dominion companies, including Dominion Virginia Power and Dominion North Carolina Power. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s website at