Virginia tribes make case for recognition bill
Six Virginia tribes deserve federal recognition due to their treatment by outsiders, the House Natural Resources Committee was told on Wednesday.

The Chickahominy Tribe, the Chickahominy Tribe-Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, the Monacan Nation, and the Nansemond Tribe were among the first to greet European settlers 400 years ago. They signed a treaty with the English and were set aside reservations.

But the tribes were never recognized by the United States. And in Virginia, they were subject to employment, social and educational discrimination, and their identities were virtually erased by a state law that prohibited anyone from identifying as Indian. <>

Supporters said this history justifies legislative recognition. They said the tribes won't be able to go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs process due to lack of records.

Some want the tribes to agree never to engage in gaming. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) cited the Jack Abramoff scandal and said he never wanted corruption associated with tribal casinos to enter his state. Former deputy secretary J. Steven Griles, who pleaded guilty for his role in the scandal, is from Virginia.

Get the Story:
Descendants of Virginia Indian tribes seek federal recognition (AP 4/19)

Committee Notice:
Full Committee Legislative Hearing: H.R. 1294 and H.R. 65 (April 18, 2007)

Recognition Bill:
Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act (H.R.1294)

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