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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

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ORAL HISTORY

Ashley Atkins Spivey


Ashley Atkins Spivey was born in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia. She is a member of the Pamunkey Indian Nation. As a child, her gradfather taught her about indigenous cuisine through gardening, fishing, foraging, trapping, and hunting. Her grandfather also taught her about native plants and took her to watch spring shad spawn runs. Shad frys were cornerstones of her community. Those events celebrated the accomplishments of the Pamunkey shad hatchery and its fishermen. Spivey’s childhood, steeped in Pamunkey foodways, prepared her for a career serving the Pamunkey Nation. Spivey received her doctorate in anthropology from the College of William and Mary in 2017. She lives on the reservation and serves as the director of the Pamunkey Indian Tribal Resource Center in King William County, Virginia.

Date of interview:
2018-05-22

Interviewer:
Jessica Taylor

Photographer:
Beth Wood

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.

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