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Federal Recognition
Editorial: Virginia tribes in need of recognition


"Virginia's American Indian tribes have never had an easy time of it. Once killing Indians with bullets became socially unacceptable, the extermination of Virginia's tribes on paper was begun. Any person who claimed Indian ancestry when heads were counted during the once-per-decade census was classified as being either "colored" or "mulatto," much as South Africa did with its non-whites during apartheid.

In recent years, however, Virginia's tribes have begun a slow climb out of the darkness of near-extinction into the light of acceptance.

It goes without saying that recognition, should it finally arrive, won't occur without strings attached. Republicans in Congress have invoked the new Indian stereotypes � casinos and cheap gas � to throw roadblocks in the way.

Ironically, the tribes, shunned and unrecognized for so long, are eagerly sought by the organizers of Jamestown's 400th anniversary commemoration for use as background color.

Unless recognition is gained, we'd have serious reservations about that powwow."

Get the Story:
Editorial: The shock of recognition (The Staunton News Leader 3/12)

Recognition Bill:
Senate Committee Report | The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2003 (S.1423)

Related Stories:
Virginia tribes fight for federal recognition (10/12)
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)