The Commonwealth of Virginia accepted an annual treaty tribute from the Pamunkey Tribe and the Mattaponi Tribe during a ceremony in Richmond, the state capital, on November 21, 2018. Photo: Governor of Virginia

Editorial: Don't let prejudice stand in the way of tribe

The Pamunkey Tribe has already faced opposition as it pursues a brighter future in Virginia by entering the Indian gaming industry. In an editorial, The Lynchburg News & Advance questions why some are opposing the tribe's plans:
The tribe plans to apply to the federal Department of the Interior for the tract and any other land purchases to be placed into a federal trust, becoming part of the Pamunkey reservation and their sovereign nation. Once in the reserve, it wouldn’t be subject to zoning laws or local and state taxes.

Chief Gray has pledged the tribe will enter into revenue-sharing agreements with the state and any locality where it locates any casino to cover the costs of infrastructure improvements or emergency services.

But still, it’s not been enough for New Kent residents, some of whom at the public meeting railed against gambling as a “sin” and citing Bible verses as the basis of their opposition to the Pamunkeys’ plans.

All of which is ironic, considering that New Kent County is home to the state’s only horse track, Colonial Downs, which is in the process of reopening under new ownership along with various off-site gambling parlors across the state. There’s also the fact that the commonwealth itself has sponsored a state lottery for 30 years, something no one seems to have any problem with.

The Pamunkey are only hoping to achieve a degree of the independence they lost that fateful day in May 1607 when English settlers landed at what was to become Jamestown. Prejudices and irrational fears from the past shouldn’t stand in the way of the Pamunkeys’ fight for a better future.

Read More on the Story
Editorial: The Pamunkey Tribe and Its Casino Dreams (The Lynchburg News & Advance November 29, 2018)

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Lawmakers to unveil casino bill today (The Bristol Herald Courier November 28, 2018)

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