Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s June 23 Cultural Interpretation Paddle with the Local Tribe

Published June 14, 2018

Experience the Potomac Watershed of Native Americans: Showcases Piscataway Kanoi Confederacy

WASHINGTON – Potomac Riverkeeper Network offers a unique opportunity to experience life before George Washington with its American Indian Cultural Interpretation Paddle with the Piscataway Kanoi Tribe on Mattawoman Creek on June 23.  This amazing RiverPalooza 2018 trip is a partnership among Potomac Riverkeeper Network, the Piscataway Kanoi Tribe, and Atlantic Kayak Company.

It features leaders of the Piscataway Kanoi Tribe who provide a pre-paddle cultural history presentation, then guide and provide interpretation of cultural resources along the 3-mile paddle, suitable for beginners, starting at the Mattawoman Creek Education Center.  

Atlantic Kayak owner and naturalist Judy Lathrop, who has a passion for culture and history, will also provide interpretive and ecological education throughout the entire program.

The Mattawoman Creek was home to the Mattawoman people, who maintained their community, village, and home site on the Creek and at the mouth on both banks of the Potomac. This section of the Potomac is connected to national trail routes, including the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. State and federal agencies have consistently characterized the Mattawoman watershed as exceptional in terms of its biodiversity and biological productivity.  Its extensive wetlands and forest help support one of the healthiest food webs in the Chesapeake Bay.

When asked about the paddle trip, Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks said, “This opportunity is unique in the area and among our various RiverPalooza paddles because it offers experiences to appreciate a world and a way of life from long before Washington, DC, and its suburbs made their impact on the Potomac watershed.  It’s a great chance for young people to see how our Native American forebears lived and shouldn’t be missed.”

Following the river excursion, participants can spend time at the Mattawoman Creek Education Center to observe fish and other wildlife from Mattawoman Creek and view exhibits on fossils, birds, skulls, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Come help Dean and partners celebrate Mattawoman Creek and emphasize the importance of protecting its clean waters!

Potomac Riverkeeper Network runs RiverPalooza in collaboration with sponsors and partners with a single goal in mind: the more people experience and enjoy our rivers, the more they will value them. This year, RiverPalooza has expanded to include events spread across two months in locations from the greater metropolitan Washington area, to the rural areas of the Shenandoah and the Upper Potomac.

The paddle starts at 10 am on June 23 from Atlantic Kayak Company, Indian Head, Maryland.   For those who can’t make this trip, other RiverPalooza events include:

  • Friday, June 29 — Shenandoah River Fishing Trip
  • Saturday, June 30 — Trough Paddle/Overnight
  • Saturday to Sunday, July 14-15 — Paw Paw Bends Over Night Float
  • Saturday, July 21— Shenandoah River Snorkeling—South Fork
  • Saturday, July 21 – Women on the Water Paddle
  • Sunday, July 22 — RioPalooza
  • Friday, July 27 — Monuments Paddle
  • Saturday, August 25 – RiverPalooza Wrap-Up Paddle

These events raise awareness for the many roles the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers play: as recreational destinations that inspire and delight, a habitat for an amazing assortment of wildlife, an economic driver for tourism and development, a window into our nation’s history, and the source of drinking water for 6 million residents.

RiverPalooza is the area’s premier clean water event aimed at building awareness and appreciation for the entire Potomac watershed. We hope you will support our continued efforts to transform our Nation’s River into a resource that can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come.



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