February 14, 2008 — Karenne Wood was recently named director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program, the newest program to be added to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Karenne is a member of the Monacan Indian Nation and serves on the Monacan Tribal Council. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Virginia, working to reclaim indigenous languages and revitalize cultural practices.
She was previously the Repatriation Director for the Association on American Indian Affairs, coordinating the return of sacred objects to native communities. She has also worked at the National Museum of the American Indian as a researcher, and she directed a tribal history project with the Monacan Nation for six years. Wood held a gubernatorial appointment as Chair of the Virginia Council on Indians for four years, and she has served on the National Congress of American Indians’ Repatriation Commission.
Wood recently edited the Virginia Indian Heritage trail, published by the VFH, led the “Beyond Jamestown” Teachers’ Institute and curated the “Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Past and Present” exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
Her vision for the Virginia Indian Heritage Program is to “help redress centuries of historical omission, exclusion and misrepresentation," she said. "Virginia Indians have always believed that the story told about our ancestors in history books is wrong. It’s a story that portrays us incorrectly and, worse, as invisible from a modern-day perspective. The Virginia Indian Heritage Program will help correct these inaccurate representations."