First Americans Tour



Time Travel Tour to Your Ancestors Time Travel Tour to the Mattaponi - First Americans


Make your DC visit memorable, by traveling back in time to visit the Mattaponi Indian Tribe. Time Travel Tour living historians will transport you back to the people who built North America, the place where they did it and provide you the honor to greet their Nation's citizens today - as these First Americans continue to build North America today.



The Mattaponi Indian Tribe is one of 11 Indigenous Nations recognized by its first successor state the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Indigenous Nation was part of the Tsenacommacah Confederacy, made up of Algonquian-speaking Nations. The Tsenacommacah Confederacy integrated over 30 Indigenous Nations, estimated to total about 21,000 citizens at the time the English invaded in 1607. The Mattaponi Indian Tribe itself numbered about 500 persons at that time.



When the English invaded, the Mattaponi were one of the most powerful groups of the Tsenacommacah confederacy. They inhabited for 10,000 years the coastal tidewater areas along the 103 mile long Mattaponi River near the Chesapeake Bay. Today, the city of West Point occupies the Pamunkey city of Cinquoteck just downstream from the Nation's original territory, between the Pamunkey and Mattaponi rivers.



After forty years of fighting for their continued independence, the Mattaponi supported the confederacy's leader Opechancanough, then 90, to drive off the invaders in 1644. Unsuccessful, by October 1646, they settled with the Crown to new boundaries ("Treaty Between the English and the Powhatan Indians"). The Mattaponi Indian Tribe resettled by headwaters of Piscataway Creek near modern day Tappahannock, VA, and established a governemnt to governement relationship with the successor state paying a tax which they continue to pay up to the present day, never missing a payment in over 300 years. This treaty was signed by Mattaponi's leader. To further secure the position with the local successor state of Rappahannock County, the Mattaponi Indian Tribe signed a further treaty in 1656 recognizing their rights to their new home on the Mattaponi river.



The invaders broke the treaties of 1644 and 1656, just four years later in 1660 they began encroaching upon the Mattaponi lands, and this fresh assult culimnated in their burning of the Mattaponi Chief's home in 1662. The Mattaponi relocated 22 miles to the south to their present location in 1668. The assaults on their Nation continued and in 1676 the invaders followed a famiiar pattern, whenever the successor state ran up against the agreed upon border they attacked for more land, never respecting the Indigenous Nations or their thousands of years of life upon their lands. The attacks sought to drive all Indigenous Nations from Virginia. Mattaponi chief Yaunahah gave his life so that this Nation may live on, himself suffering the final physical attack by the Successor State on the Mattaponi when he was killed by being nailed to ground with a wooden stake by the British.



The Indigenous Nations struck back and won the treaty of "Middle Plantation" in 1677 in which they re-secured the Mattaponi's 1668 National boundry, within which the Mattaponi Indian Tribe governs to this day. After the treaty, the Mattaponi leader's Yaunahah's eldest son Mahayough led the Nation back to their 1668 boundaries. Mahayough's descendent Chief Little Eagle Webster Custalow, born November 14, 1912, was elected Chief in 1977, affirming an uninterrupted leadership through 400 years as First Americans living with the Successor states of England and the United States. Their remaining 150 acres today exist within the oldest recognized boundaries of a Indigenous Nation in the successor state of America, dating from 1646. The Mattaponi Indian Tribe population has for a considerable time approximated 450 nationals.

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Mattaponi Tax Payment For 370 years the Mattaponi Indian Tribe has paid its Treaty Obligation to Virginia in exchange for its defense.

The Mattaponi Indian Tribe is pictured presenting a gift to Virginia governor Mills E. Godwin Jr. on the steps of the State Capitol in Richmond on November 24, 1976. Chief Cutalow holds a banner of deerskin canvas with an attached pipe which reads "MattaPoni Indian Reservation 1658–1976 Mills E. Godwin Governor of Virginia 1776–1976 Presented by Chief Curtis Custalow."

Mattaponi continues its Nation to Nation relationship with Successor States

March 25, 1983 - Virginia Joint Resolution 54 extends official state recognition to the Chickahominy tribe, the Eastern Chickahominy tribe, the United Rappahannock tribe, and the Upper Mattaponi tribe. Although Virginia had recognized the Pamunkey and Mattaponi tribes since colonial times, that past recognition was acknowledged by this resolution. Now the Mattaponi, seek Federal Recognition, which is more likely given the Pamunkey's hard fought success.

Minnie Ha-Ha Educational Trading Post

The Minnie Ha-Ha Educational Trading Post will not only provide you with a wonderful sense of the traditional life of the Mattaponi people, it will also provide unique look at some artifacts which date back over 1,000 years with one of the most famous exhibits being a necklace that once belonged to Pocahontas. The Educational Trading Post is named for it's founder, Minnie Ha-Ha Custalow. Minnie Ha-Ha worked to help preserve, protect and share the oral history of her people, the Mattaponi. You will discover the true First Americans. Learn first hand the history, culture and traditions of the Mattaponi.

Time Travel Reservations

The following departures are available for you and your friends or family:
Inaugural $20 First Americans Tour on April 1 2017 from 8am to 4pm EST in Washington DC
Additional Tour Dates
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