Douglas Morton and Marilyn Brown recently donated $800,000 to support Colonial Williamsburg’s American Indian Initiative.
“We love Colonial Williamsburg. As we say, the future can learn from the past,” Brown told the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily.
The Colorado couple’s donation will establish the Douglas N. Morton and Marilyn L. Brown American Indian Fund, which will provide support for the programs for many years, according to a press release from Colonial Williamsburg.
“Their continued support ensures that we can include the important story of Native Americans in the founding of our country for generations to come,” said Colin Campbell, president and chief executive officer of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in the release.
The American Indian Initiative at Colonial Williamsburg presents public history programs that show the Native American presence in Williamsburg, Virginia on the eve of the American Revolution. One of the programs, performed by an all-Native cast, “So Far from Scioto” tells the story of Shawnee emissaries brought to Williamsburg in 1774 as security to ensure compliance with a peace agreement that ended Lord Dunmore’s War in the Ohio Country.
“The narratives of American Indians are an important part of Williamsburg’s history,” Buck Woodard, manager of American Indian program development for Colonial Williamsburg, said in the release. “The documentary record has provided a surprising amount of detail about Native peoples in Virginia during the 18th century. We strive to embrace the experiences of Indigenous Peoples and weave these stories into a series of insightful programs.”
The initiative incorporates work from Native artisans, historians, linguists, researchers and community representatives to ensure the cultural authenticity of the programming.
“We are pleased to support the American Indian initiative,” said Brown in the release. “We believe it enhances Colonial Williamsburg’s presentation of 18th-century life.”
Brown and her husband, a College of William and Mary alumnus have never lived in Virginia, but travel there frequently.