Brad Hatch is a member of the Patawomeck tribal council, a traditional knowledge keeper, and trained archaeologist focused on material culture and historic preservation. He earned his BA in historic preservation from the University of Mary Washington, his MA in anthropology from the College of William and Mary, and his PhD in anthropology from the University of Tennessee. His research focuses on community, identity, and material culture in the Potomac River Valley and he is one of two remaining master makers of the Patawomeck eel pot. He is employed by the Navy as the cultural resource manager for Naval Support Facility Dahlgren in King George County, Virginia. In this position Brad is responsible for the preservation and management of dozens of archaeological sites spanning thousands of years of human history on the installation in addition to over 100 historic buildings and cultural landscapes that tell the story of land use and occupation at Dahlgren over centuries.
Brad also manages the National Environmental Policy Act program on the installation, which ensures that natural and cultural resources are fully considered in relation to any federal undertakings.
Brad is a lifelong resident of White Oak, in Stafford County, Virginia, and, like the majority of his tribal community, lives fewer than 10 miles from the ancestral villages along Potomac Creek. Brad is fortunate to live on a property that has been in his family for multiple generations. He also owns Broad Oak farm with his three brothers, which has been passed down through his Curtis and Jett ancestors since 1760. Brad’s deep connection to his homeland and ancestors has served to instill a strong conservation ethic within him. Like many long-term residents of his area he has been troubled by the increasing loss of the rural landscape and displacement of the people who inhabited those landscapes, particularly in the last four decades. As a result, he is interested in exploring ways that those remaining landscapes can be preserved for future generations and how communities can retain their identity as it is tied to the land and water.