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6 Virginia tribes press for U.S. recognition

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  • chickendad
    Good luck. The Fed's don't seem to like anyone unless money is involved. Being a Virginian I've been to many Pow Wows at Indian Pines, old town Alexandria, National Guard Armory in Manassass. Does anyone know who Cleatis is and how is his health.

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  • Smokin' Ace
    started a topic 6 Virginia tribes press for U.S. recognition

    6 Virginia tribes press for U.S. recognition

    6 tribes press for U.S. recognition
    They say they won't play full role in 2007 event unless they get it
    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    Indians present tribute to Gov. Warner.B1.

    Unless six Virginia Indian tribes receive federal recognition, they will participate only unhappily in the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 2007, several tribal leaders said yesterday.

    Some tribal members may go as protesters, Kenneth Branham, chief of the Monacan Indian nation, said.

    "I'm so afraid that after 2007, if we are not recognized, they are going to say, 'Thank you for participating in 2007, we will see you in 50 years,'" he said.

    Representatives of the six tribes held a news conference at the Bell Tower in Capitol Square shortly after the Pamunkey and Mattaponi tribes presented their annual tribute to Gov. Mark R. Warner to commemorate a peace treaty that goes back to 1677.

    Warner used the occasion to repeat his call for federal recognition and to speak of the mistreatment American Indians have un- dergone since the English first settled here permanently in 1607.

    "As long as U.S. history books begin with the words 'In 1607 . . . ' then the history of this commonwealth and nation will be incomplete," he said.

    The Jamestown 2007 Executive Committee, which is planning the Jamestown commemoration, echoed Warner in calling for federal recognition for the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan, Nansemond, Rappahannock and Upper Mattaponi tribes, which do not have reservations.

    The Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes are not seeking federal recognition. They have reservations dating to the mid-1600s.

    The six tribes have been seeking federal recognition through congressional legislation since 2000. Federal recognition would allow them to receive increased housing, health care and educational benefits.

    Separate bills have stalled in the Senate and House of Representatives because of opposition from some lawmakers who fear they would open the door to casino gambling on Indian reservations.

    Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy tribe said the tribes have no intention of going into the gambling business and added this concern appears to be a "smokescreen" for opponents who just don't want to recognize Indian sovereignty.

    "We are the first-contact people, right here in Virginia, and we have been asked by the state and by the federal government to promote Jamestown 2007," he said.

    "We have been asked to represent all Indian people in this country, not just Virginia Indians. . . . We need to be on the same level that the federal tribes are on."

    There are 562 federally recognized tribes plus 150 state-recognized tribes in the nation, he said. The six seeking federal recognition are recognized by the state.

    Speaking of the Indians' tragic history, Branham said, "We have been removed from our lands, we've been denied our own existence. Here in Virginia, we weren't even state-recognized until 1980."

    "Wouldn't it be tragic [if] in 2007 we couldn't represent our ancestors the same way they greeted our ancestors, as sovereign nations?" Adkins asked. "Without federal recognition, we won't be full partners."

    Adkins said the tribes want to participate because of "the national exposure" at Jamestown 2007.

    The tribes will have a friend in the next governor. Gov-elect Timothy M. Kaine, naming a transition committee from virtually every ethnic, business and religious group, appointed Adkins to the committee.

    Contact Tyler Whitley at (804) 649-6780 or [email protected]

    This story can be found at:

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