Kihkǫspé:hla Living Lab Site-based Experiential Learning
Interested in using the Living Lab?
Please complete the application and agreement here.
Where You Are Going on Your Visit
Kihkǫspé:hla ([kee-kohn-shpay-la]) Living Lab, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southeastern Virginia on land owned and stewarded by NDPonics, is specifically intended to facilitate cross-cultural exchange. The mission of Kihkǫspé:hla is to be a transformative space where ecological protection, traditional practices, public history, and academic study converge. At Kihkǫspé:hla, we aim to nurture a holistic understanding of Eastern Siouan (Yesą́) peoples, foster cross-disciplinary exploration, support and celebrate BIPOC youth, and inspire future generations. These lands are part of the Monascane, the ancestral homeland of the Eastern Siouan (Yesą́) people, the full historic extent of which stretches from the Piedmont Plateau of North Carolina, across the Blue Ridge Mountains, and northwest to the Kanawha River Valley. Yesą́ peoples and our kin tribes have lived on these lands since time immemorial, and we live here now as the Monacan Indian Nation, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, the Saponi Nation of Ohio; the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, the Sappony Tribe, and as individuals and families within numerous other tribes and descendant communities*.
Who Is Hosting You During Your Visit
NDPonics is an Indigenous-founded-and-led private non-profit foundation in Virginia. We are indigenous, we are for indigenous, and for the world. NDPonics shares the same values as other indigenous people around the world - to protect and enhance the natural habitat we live in, which in turn ensured our survival for tens of thousands of years. NDPonics is dedicated to purchasing, preserving, and restoring lands in this mountainous region of the Blue Ridge in Virginia, containing areas of spiritual and historic significance to the indigenous people of the hills**.
What We're Asking Of You
Respect is an essential part of a successful visit to Kihkǫspé:hla, or to any other Indigenous or natural spaces. Please respect our guidance, our boundaries, and the commitments we ask of you. Our guidance and our boundaries are intended to protect our plant and animal relatives; our children; our elders; our women; our community members; our culture, history, and language; our ability to host many more groups in future; and ultimately, also you.
Our site is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains; while visiting, you should expect to encounter at least some of the ordinary hazards present in this region, including but not limited to: venomous snakes; steep hills, cliffs, and uneven terrain; flowing creeks and rivers that can be subject to flash floods; stinging and biting insects, including yellowjackets and mosquitoes; trees which may have falling limbs or splintered branches; and large animals such as bears, deer, and coyotes. Please prepare accordingly. For more information, see: https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/trail-safety.htm