Social Studies - 2018-19

VS.3g - Interactions between the English Settlers and the Native People

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the first permanent English settlement in America by

g) describing the interactions between the English settlers and the native peoples, including the role of the Powhatan in the survival of the settlers.

Adopted: 2015


  • When different people or groups interact there may be times of competition and times of cooperation.


The native peoples and English settlers in Virginia established trading relationships and, for a while, had positive interactions.


Captain John Smith initiated trading relationships with the native peoples.

The native peoples traded food, fur, and leather with the English in exchange for tools, pots, and copper for jewelry.

The native peoples contributed to the survival of the Jamestown settlers in several ways:

  • Powhatan, the chief of many tribes, provided leadership to his people and taught the settlers survival skills.
  • Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, served as a contact between the native peoples and the English.
  • The native peoples showed the settlers how to plant corn and harvest tobacco.

Over time, the native peoples realized the English settlement would continue to grow. They came to see the settlers as invaders who would take over their land.


Updated: May 18, 2018