The problem with the Powhatan is that while we have some Chesapeake Bay Algonquin words when it comes to place names (For example Rappahannock and Tappahannock) we really don't have grammar structure or many words. The descendants have long lost the language as reports back in the 1600s indicate that only English was spoken in their reservations.
Firaxis has shown themselves amenable to using reconstructed languages, and failing that then Massachusett is well attested and close enough--the Powhatan in The New World
, for instance, was reconstructed based on Massachusett.
Sure. I just think that if we were to get only two I'd at least want one in the west as well which means ideally either the Iroquois/Shawnee/Powhatan, in the east, and then Navajo/Tlinglit/Haida for the west in that order. I'd be fine with leaving the Great Plains alone. But if we must get one I think the Comanche deserve a turn. I also believe the west, in my mind is big enough and more culturally diverse, that we could get a SW tribe and then either a PNW tribe.
The Comanche are from the Southwest, not the Plains, despite their more Plains-like lifestyle. I'd prefer the Nez Perce myself (also not from the Plains but from the Plateau, but they, too, adopted a Plains-style lifestyle).
What tribe do you think we'd be more likely to get if we got one? I'd wager the Coast Salish with Chief Si'ahl is quite a significant contender as Civ V and VI specially have really focused on recognizable leaders with distinctive personalities, which as you said many northern PNW groups don't really have many of.
Despite that byline, we've had plenty of leaders who don't fit it. Precious little is known about Amanitore, for instance, and I'd hardly call Victoria a "big personality"--I can think of half a dozen English leaders with bigger personalities off the top of my head, including Civ regular Elizabeth I (as well as her father and sister, any of the Stuarts, Henry V, Edward the Confessor, Edward III Longshanks, King John, frankly any of the Richards...). On top of that, much of Si'ahl's "big personality" is just romantic folklore made up by white people, giving him the same objections I have to Tecumseh. I'd personally be disappointed if we got the Coast Salish over...pretty much any other PNW group. For a Tlingit leader I'd recommend Sheiyksh I (or Chief Shakes
) or Ḵʼalyaan as @Alexander's Hetaroi
suggested. Probably the best options for the Haida are either Gəniyá
, or Cumshewa
. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed A Story as Sharp as a Knife
, there's a part of me that would love to see Skaay
lead the Haida, but he wasn't in any kind of leadership position.
The only thing the Coast Salish have going for them is a highly romanticized leader. This wouldn't be the first time Civ chose a civilization because it was interesting, not for the strength of its leader. This becomes especially true if we get an Eastern tribe with a charismatic leader like Pushmataha, Powhatan, or Joseph Brant. Oh, and many Tlingit
and Haida men wore beards, unusually for Native Americans; this alone would make them visually interesting compared to other Native Americans--on top of things like tattoos, abalone and Dentalia
ornaments, Chilkat blankets, transformation masks, and spruce root or carved cedar hats.