FROM THE CAPITOL
A Tribute and a Treaty
BY PATRICK GETLEIN, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Earlier today representatives of the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Tribes presented Governor Tim Kaine with a deer and other game in tribute and in support of a 1677 treaty preserving to those tribes certain rights having to do with land and tribal self-governance. While the descendants of European settlers, African slaves, and new immigrants watched, the descendants of these American Indian nations engaged in an act of remarkable fidelity. It is no small irony that the federal government still has not granted recognition to these Americans.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the harvest. In this post-agricultural age, the literal harvest of crops from seeds sown in dirt might be better understood as a harvest of seeds of another sort: the seeds of relationships, respect, and just dealings; the seeds of intolerance, mistrust, fear and unfairness.
In my tradition, we have a saying: by your fruits you shall know them. The harvest I saw today was one of abundance from seeds sown faithfully year after year producing honor, respect, dignity and tolerance. What seeds have you sown? What seeds do we sow together? And what is our harvest?