“At Church of the Holy City in Washington DC we acknowledge that our church is built on the traditional lands of the Nacotchtank People, and we pay our respect to elders both past and present.”

Washington DC’s Areas Ancestral Land History

The village of Nacotchtank (from which the name Anacostia is derived) was the largest of the three American Indian villages located in the Washington area and is believed to have been a major trading center. The people of Nacotchtank, or Anacostans, were an Algonquian-speaking people that lived along the southeast side of the Anacostia River in the area between today’s Bolling Air Force Base and Anacostia Park, in the floodplain below the eastern-most section of today’s Fort Circle Parks. A second town, Nameroughquena, most likely stood on the Potomac’s west bank, opposite of what today is Theodore Roosevelt Island. Another village existed on a narrow bluff between today’s Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and MacArthur Boulevard in the northwest section of the city.


Washington D.C. sits on the ancestral lands of the Anacostans (also documented as Nacotchtank), and the neigboring Piscataway and Pamunkey peoples. The District of Columbia shares borders with Maryland and Virginia and connects with lands along the Anacostia and Potomac River.