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Federal Recognition
Virginia tribes fight for federal recognition


Virginia tribes were among the first to greet European settlers to what is now the United States but still lack federal recognition.

The tribes negotiated treaties with the British government and had reservations set aside in the 1600s. But they say they were forced to hide their identity due to race-based policies in Virginia that subjected them to "colored" status.

The tribes are now hoping to gain recognition by an act of Congress. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved a bill to recognize the Chickahominy, the Chickahominy Eastern Division, the Monacan, the Nansemond, the Rappahannock, and the Upper Mattaponi tribes.

The tribes hope recognition can come in time for the commemoration of the arrival of Europeans in Jamestown in 1607.

Get the Story:
Virginia Tribes Fight for Sovereignty (The Los Angeles Times 10/12)
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Get the Bill:
Senate Committee Report | The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2003 (S.1423)

Related Stories:
Rep. Moran: Virginia tribes deserve recognition (06/24)
Virginia tribes press case for federal recognition (06/17)
Senate panel backs recognition of Virginia tribes (05/10)
Virginia tribes press case for federal recognition (04/19)
Virginia tribes seeks support for recognition bill (03/15)
Va. tribes seek recognition for Jamestown 2007 (2/16)
Senate bill to recognize six Va. tribes advances (10/30)
GOP Editorial: Say no to Virginia's tribes (05/19)
BIA opposes Va. recognition bill (09/27)
Va. tribes rally for sovereignty (4/30)
Recognition of Va. tribes opposed (1/26)
Recognition bills crowd Congress (11/29)
Virginia tribes: Recognition Yes, Casinos No (09/19)