As of 2014, the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes eleven Native American tribes, who combined have more than 5,000 enrolled members. Collectively, they own fewer than 2,000 acres. Only two of the tribes, the Pamunkey and Mattaponi, retain reservation lands which were assigned by colonial treaties with the English colonists made in the 17th century. The Virginia American Indian population has been estimated to have been about 50,000 at the time of European colonization and in Virginia belonged to three major language families: Algonquian along the coast, Irogquoian in the southern Tidewater region, and Siouan above the fall line. Thirty Algonquoian tribes were allied in the powerful Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom, estimate to include 15,000 people at the time of English colonization. As you learned in grade school, Pocahontas was the daughter of Chief Powhatan. In spite of the Disney movie about her which cringe-worthingly pronounces the Chief's name to rhyme with Manhattan, it is pronounced Pow-wah-tan.
Mattaponi - Four Rivers: the Mat, the Ta, the Po and the Ni.
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