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TCC to host her talk on new book about Pocahontas; panel to discuss Indian myths and reality
~This talk, part of TCC’s American History Lecture Series, concludes with a book signing~


NORFOLK, Va. – (Feb. 21, 2005) – Pocahontas – a larger-than-life Indian princess, a cultural misfit in the New World era, or some of both?

Tidewater Community College invites the public to an informative, free talk by Native American expert Helen Clark Rountree at 7 p.m. on March 21 in the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk. She will talk about her new book, Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanoug: 3 Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown.

A panel of Native Americans and cultural experts will set the stage for Rountree’s talk. Kicking off the evening, they will discuss “Living With the Pocahontas Legend: The Anthropologist and the Indians.”

Rountree, a nationally acclaimed specialist in the study of North American Indian culture, has conducted in-depth research and fieldwork for three decades. Her work resulted in considerable insight on the Powhatan Indians and other tribes that inhabited eastern Virginia and the East Coast from the early 1600s to present day.

Prior to Disney’s animated film Pocahontas in 1995, Rountree was known primarily among fellow scholars. After the movie, she became a media expert due to her fieldwork with Virginia’s Powhatan and the Western Shoshone Native American tribes.

Pocahontas may be the most famous Native American who ever lived, but during the settlement of Jamestown and for two centuries afterward, the great chiefs Powhatan and Opechancanough were the subjects of considerably more interest and historical documentation than the young woman. Rountree discusses this in addition to many other facets of early Native American life in her newest book.

Rountree received a 1995 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education. With the award money, Rountree published a children’s book later that year, Young Pocahontas in the Indian World, to set the record straight as a response to the Disney movie. She retired from Old Dominion University in 2000 after teaching for 31 years.

Rountree’s extensive list of publications includes four academic books about Virginia Indians. She also was a consultant on Algonquians of the East Coast, part of a Time-Life Books series on American Indian tribes and was a regional consultant for the first episode of PBS’s Land of the Eagles series on the Mid-Atlantic region.

TCC’s American History Lecture Series is part of the American History Teacher-Scholars program, a three-year Department of Education grant project. The grant partners TCC with Portsmouth and Norfolk public schools to train teachers and improve SOL scores by teaching history through a local lens. For more information on the grant project, visit


Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 35,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit