US House Finally Recognizes Virginia’s Indian Tribes!

After years of repeated attempts for recognition … plenty of determination and grassroots support … and VITAL the Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life … the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1385:  to extend Federal recognition to the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc., the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division,  the Monacan Indian Nation, and the Nansemond Indian Tribe …

My friend Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D-8th) was the bill’s chief sponsor .. he had this to say … “Virginia’s tribes have waited 400 years to receive their federal recognition. We are one step closer to closing a sad chapter in our nation’s history, one that saw the exploitation and denigration of Virginia’s Indians” … “These tribes, descendants of those that greeted the first English settlers at Jamestown, deserve the same rights afforded the 562 tribes that are currently federally recognized.” … “Virginia’s Indians have overcome great obstacles to get to this point,” … “This legislation is a long overdue part of the healing process.”

VirginiaDem and a great Virginia Democratic Congressman, Bobby Scott (D-3rd) have long been supporters of recognition … click here to see Nov, 2007’s post … and be sure to check out the video … the legislation now moves to the Senate where I expect we’ll see quick action from Senator’s Jim Webb and Mark Warner …

Governor Kaine issued the following statement:

~ On U.S. House of Representatives’ vote on federal recognition of Virginia ’s Indian Tribes ~

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine released the following statement today in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote to pass the “Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009” (H.R. 1385):

“Today’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize six of the Native American Tribes of Virginia is a major step towards reconciling an historic wrong for Virginia and the Nation. While the Virginia Tribes have received official recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia , acknowledgement and officially recognized status from the federal government has been considerably more difficult due to their systematic mistreatment over the past century.

“We are proud of Virginia ’s recognized Indian Tribes and their contributions to our Commonwealth. The Virginia Tribes are a part of us. We go to school together, work together, and serve our Commonwealth and nation together every day. These contributions should be acknowledged, and this federal recognition for Virginia ’s native peoples is long overdue.

“Virginia’s congressional delegation, including co-sponsors Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Tom Perriello, Rep. Bobby Scott, Rep. Rob Wittman—and especially bill sponsor Rep. Jim Moran—deserve credit for their work on behalf of the native peoples of Virginia .

“I will strongly support efforts to pass federal recognition legislation for the Native American Virginia Tribes in the U.S. Senate and look forward to assisting in any way I can to help ensure this legislation is enacted into law.”

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One Response to US House Finally Recognizes Virginia’s Indian Tribes!

  1. mhasegawa says:

    This is wonderful news and, as you and the Governor say, “about time.”

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