Tribal Relations

Tribal Relations

At UVA we are working as a community to engage in meaningful and reciprocal relations with sovereign Indigenous Nations and Tribal communities. The Tribal Liaison position was created to serve two interconnected needs: one, to act as a resource for Tribal communities, especially the sovereign Nations, in their relationships with UVA, and second, to coordinate initiatives relating to Native American and Indigenous peoples across departments, schools, and administrative units at UVA. This includes building relationships and raising awareness in support of student, faculty, staff, and tribal community success.

Connect with the Tribal Liaison by emailing at [email protected].

The Monacan Cultural Foundation partnered with the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection and Virginia Humanities to produce a video to acknowledge the Monacan Nation. Below is the 90 second Welcome to Monacan Country video. If you are interested in screening this video please email the Monacan Nation Cultural Foundation at [email protected]. You can learn more about acknowledging indigenous custodians by visiting the Kluge-Ruhe website.

Kody Grant, UVA Tribal Liaison

Welcome to Monacan Country

Understanding Tribal Relations

Federal and State Recognized Tribes in Virginia 

To learn more about each of the federally or state recognized tribes in Virginia you can visit their websites for more information.

Indian Country 101

Our team is working on assembling resources to help our community connect to our specific context. While that work is in progress we wanted to share information on a free online course related to tribal engagement from Conservation Training. If you are interested in learning more access their courses:

You can also learn more about some of the history specific to Virginia and UVA through the following:

Indigenous Studies and Education at UVA

The University of Virginia has undergraduate and graduate programs centering indigenous studies as well as several programs and centers that relate to supporting the advancement of Native American and Indigenous life at UVA.


SCHEV Virginia Indigenous Nations in Higher Education Collective

UVA is participating in a new effort through the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). VINHE is a new collective convened by SCHEV that will serve as a conduit of communication and collaboration between higher education and the Commonwealth’s Tribal Nations. The collective is dedicated to supporting Indigenous access and equity in higher education through collaborative instruction, research, engagement, and capacity building activities. Members of the collective include representatives from tribal nations, higher education institutions, and other stakeholders and organizations.

There are currently six focus areas for the collective:

  1. Land and Watershed Management and Conservation
  2. Cultural Resources: History, Archives, Justice
  3. Preparation for, Access to, and Success in Higher Education
  4. Legal Issues, Infrastructure, and Business Development
  5. Embracing Tribal History in K-12 Education Standards
  6. Tribal Community Health

Learn more about the work of the collective.

National Native American/Indigenous Resources


NIH Ethical Research Involving American Indian/Alaska Native Populations



Community Spotlight

siera hyte
Siera Hyte (Cherokee Nation)

VA MFA Curator of Indigenous American Art

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) announced that Siera Hyte (Cherokee Nation) has been appointed as the museum’s inaugural Schiller Family Curator of Indigenous American Art. Hyte will begin working at VMFA on August 26, 2024. Hyte will be charged with the development, interpretation, and stewardship of VMFA’s Indigenous American art collection, which comprises nearly 1,000 works of art in a variety of media, including beadwork, ceramics, paintings, photographs, sculpture and textiles. Other duties include working with VMFA staff members and stakeholders on the museum’s annual Pocahontas Reframed film festival, as well as ensuring the museum’s continued compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA.

Learn More