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Tribal Truths

Indigenous communities in Virginia have listened to others tell our stories. Now it's our turn. We're debunking myths and legends with fact, teaching about tribal cultures and current issues. This is Tribal Truths.

The pilot episode and first season was produced with financial support from Virginia Humanities.

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Latest Episodes
  • Eel pots are a traditional eel trap made out of white oak splits that we’ve used for generations in our Tribe, in the Potomac Creek and along the Potomac River.
  • I create story quilts and the story quilts are about our Tribe, our history, my personal life.
  • Bertie Branham cooks cornbread, deer meat and squash on a stone over an open fire.
  • The dreamcatcher as become a kind of universal symbol of Native American crafting and art.
  • Tanya Stewart explains how she learned to make a bark bag and the steps involved.
  • Deborah Wilkinson explains the legend behind the corn husk doll and how to make one.
  • This is a complicated story of a history of white supremacy that tried to erase Indigenuity in Amherst County and how that carries forward today as Tribes in Virginia are left out of the permitting and decision process for development and other land disturbing uses throughout the state that affect ancestral lands and remains.This episode was made possible by a grant from Virginia Humanities.And a content warning: There are stories of trauma and racial slurs in this episode.
  • The Nansemond Indian Nation has a deep connection to the Great Dismal Swamp. Oral histories date back to the late 1800s but then disappear from colonial pressures to assimilate. Still, tribal members who grew up by the Swamp maintain ancestral hunting and trapping traditions. But there is someone who has discovered ancient Indigenous artifacts in the Great Dismal Swamp, some dating back 8,000 years.
  • Calvin and Mac Custalow take their niece, Dawn Custalow, fishing on the Mattaponi River at their reservation. The traditional Easter Sunday service breakfast of shad and shad roe now relies on other fish as the American shad continues to puzzle scientists as to what is causing its decline.
  • The new season of Tribal Truths starts May 18th.