Monday, August 16, 2021

Garfield Park Native History Day 2021

Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, we will host our second Garfield Park Native History Day! This year will include the documented archaeology of the Carroll Estate that adjoins the park, and the finds made when the park was built - we will also describe the new finds that have been made nearby since our last event in Garfield Park in 2019. Here are the flyer (excellently designed by Ben Aronson) and a press release for the day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

How Did The Anacostia River Get Its Name?

 During a zoom presentation to the St Peter School in November, a student asked me about how the Anacostia got its name and made me realize I was unclear about that.

Much of what we see now is a neglect of our Native history, so how did the river get its name?

It turns out that when Thomas Jefferson was serving as the first Secretary of State in the early 1790s, he was interested in learning the Native name for the river, and Andrew Ellicott, who was mapping the land that would become the District of Columbia sent him word that that the name was "Anna Kostia." 

Jefferson directed Ellicott to include the name on future maps, and Ellicott's 1793 map was the 1st to include a version of the name, Anacostia.


1. Hutchinson, Louise D. The Anacostia Story, 1608-1930. Washington: Published for the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum of the Smithsonian Institution by the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1977. Print.
page xix (#27): (see para 2)

Pdf online:

2. call number for Ellicott 1793 map - G3850 1793 .E42 1898)

Friday, December 4, 2020

Martin Luther King/DC Public Library - Native Land Acknowledgement, Nov. 15, 2020

 The DC Public Library linked to the Once As It Was Map of DC on it's page for Native American Heritage Month!

Then they invited a small group of us (you'll see folks in the video below), for a tour of the new remodeled MLK building and an Anacostan Land Acknowledgement.

Many thanks to Richard Reyes-Gavilan, the Executive Director, and Ryan Williams and the rest of the great staff!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

St Peter School Presentation and Native Land Acknowledgement

 Principal, Karen Clay, of the St. Peter School, reacted enthusiastically to the information on the Garfield Park poster. She asked an excellent question, which will be the base of a new project - can the park be renamed "Garfield-Anacostan Park?" We shall see!

Working with Erica Lopez, we did a zoom presentation for Native History Family Day and closed with everyone reading a Native Land Acknowledgement for the school.

Afterward, Prin. Clay emailed that she would include the Acknowledgement in the school's morning prayer!

It was terrific to work with Erica Lopez & Prin. Clay!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Garfield Park History Poster - Nov. 1, 2020

     To mark the beginning of Native American Heritage Month, this poster was put on the Garfield Park bulletin board on Nov. 1, 2020!

It's only a start, but it is the 1st version of a Native Village Marker on Capitol Hill!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Native Land Acknowledgment for the NMAI in DC?

Dear Kevin Gover,

As you know, there is a growing interest in Native land acknowledgments in the US. 
Here in Washington, members of the DC City Council have begun using them during Council meetings

My experience in Melbourne, AU over the last 12 years has sensitized me to the public acknowledgment of Indigenous people, since in Melbourne (as I have heard is also being done in Canada), public parks and many public buildings have permanent land acknowledgments at their entrances.

My question here is whether the NMAI in DC has a land acknowledgment for the Anacostans who once walked the land under the museum? Perhaps this already exists and I wasn't thorough enough in my search of online information about the NMAI. 
If not, Indigenous Peoples' Day will be Oct 12, 2020, perhaps placing this acknowledgment could be part of the museum events for that day?

As you might recall, I have emailed you previously starting in 2016, when I learned there is a documented Anacostan Native site less than a mile from the NMAI, asking why visitors to the museum aren't being told about it. In 2018, I emailed again to ask about a possible real or online exhibit to tell the history of the Anacostans in Washington, DC. In other emails with your staff I have offered the contents of the Once As It Was Map of DC for use on the NMAI website at no charge.

As you know, there is great concern in the Native American and African American communities about the erasure of their history. A Native land acknowledgment in the NMAI would be a giant step in focusing attention on the Native Americans who once occupied the land that is now Washington, DC.

Sincerely yours,
Armand Lione, Ph.D.