Editorial: Other tribes in Virginia deserve federal recognition too

Historic photo of Mattaponi students at the original Sharon Indian School in Virginia. Photo from Upper Mattaponi Tribe

Virginia newspaper congratulates the Pamunkey Tribe for securing federal recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and urges Congress to pass legislation to recognize six more tribes:
A tribe from Virginia, the site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World at Jamestown in 1607 — a settlement saved early on by the humanitarian intervention of nearby tribes, is only now, in 2015 gaining recognition by the federal government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

And ironically, it is the very tribe that saved the Jamestown settlers — and thereby sealed their own doom — that was recognized by the BIA on Thursday: the Pamunkey Tribe of Southeastern Virginia.

Now it’s time for the Monacan of Amherst County and the five other tribes seeking federal recognition through congressional action. Legislation, introduced by Sens. Warner and Kaine, has passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. It’s currently waiting to be called to the Senate floor action.

It is past time for that Senate vote. Time and again, the House of Representatives has OK’d past bills, only to have efforts fail in the Senate for one reason or another. This time around, the onus is on the Senate. We add our voice to those of the tribes’ many other supporters and call on Senate leaders to give these tribes what they richly deserve: recognition of their very existence. Now is the time.

Get the Story:
Editorial: A Milestone for Virginia's Native Tribes (The Lynchburg News & Advance 7/3)

Also Today:
A renowned Virginia Indian tribe finally wins federal recognition (The Washington Post 7/3)
Pamunkey Indian tribe wins federal recognition 408 years after greeting the first English settlers (The Newport News Daily Press 7/3)
Virginia's Pamunkey Tribe Granted Federal Recognition (NPR 7/2)
First VA Native American Tribe Federally Recognized, Others Next? (WSET 7/2)
Virginia's Pamunkey Indian Tribe Granted Federal Recognition (AP 7/2)

Relevant Documents:
BIA Press Release | Letter to Pamunkey Chief Kevin Brown | Notice of Final Determination | Gov. Terry McAuliffe Press Release | Sen. Warner / Sen. Kaine Press Release

Forthcoming Federal Register Notice:
Final Determination for Federal Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (To Be Published July 8, 2015)

Federal Register Notice:
Proposed Finding for Federal Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (January 23, 2014)

Related Stories
Pamunkey Tribe wins final federal recognition decision from BIA (7/2)
Virginia tribes hindered by racist policies created by one man (7/1)
Leader of Monacan Nation passes on after fight with liver cancer (6/24)
Leader of Monacan Nation diagnosed with terminal liver cancer (06/03)
Sen. Kaine optimistic on success for tribal recognition measure (04/14)
Editorial: Pamunkey Tribe deserves federal status despite past (04/08)
Editorial: Right a historical wrong and recognize Pamunkey Tribe (4/2)
Pamunkey Tribe refutes criticism of federal recognition petition (4/1)
BIA delays ruling on Pamunkey Tribe federal recognition petition (3/30)
Editorial: Opposition to Pamunkey Tribe recognition 'revolting' (3/27)
Pamunkey Tribe awaits final ruling on federal recognition bid (3/23)
Senate committee approves two federal recognition measures (03/19)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules business meeting (3/12)
Lawmakers introduce bill to extend recognition to Virginia tribes (02/11)

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