Social Studies - 2018-19

VS.2d - Algonquian, Siouan, Iroquoian

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between physical geography and the lives of the native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by

d) locating three American Indian language groups (the Algonquian, the Siouan, and the Iroquoian) on a map of Virginia.

Adopted: 2015


  • Language is one element of culture. 
  • In the past, physical barriers (rivers, mountains, deserts, etc.) led to the development of different cultures.


American Indians were the first people who lived in Virginia.

American Indians lived in all areas of the state.

There were three major American Indian language groups in Virginia.


Christopher Columbus called the people he found in the lands he explored “Indians” because he thought he was in the Indies (near China).

Artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery, and other tools tell a lot about the people who lived in Virginia.

American Indians have always been closely connected to the land. They did not believe in land ownership.

Three major language groups of Virginia

  • Algonquian languages were spoken primarily in the Tidewater region; the Powhatan were part of this group.
  • Siouan languages were spoken primarily in the Piedmont region; the Monacan were part of this group.
  • Iroquoian languages were spoken in Southwestern Virginia and in Southern Virginia near what is today North Carolina; the Cherokee were a part of this group.


Updated: Oct 15, 2018