Local tribe in prayer.

I would like to suggest that Republicans should work with Democrats on the recent bill that the House just passed: H.R.984 – Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Tim Kaine and Senator Mark Warner. The House bill was sponsored by a Republican, Rep. Robert Whittman (R-VA-1).
It just went to the Senate to get federal recognition for the six Virginia tribes who still lack the federal recognition that the other 566 Native American tribes in America already have!

This lack of recognition is a blotch on the history of Virginia and on the history of America that these six tribes have not been honored for their role in helping to birth America by sustaining and befriending many of the English settlers in Jamestown colony who would have probably starved during the winter of 1609-10 and at other times. The Virginia tribes kept them alive with food and became partners with them in founding the nation we call America.
I just called Senator Tim Kaine’s office to offer my support and the support of others I am working with to get a state holiday to honor all Virginia tribes in the near future.

I hope that Republicans and Democrats could get behind this effort to honor our Virginia tribes with federal recognition and a state holiday. I think a special blessing will be released from heaven upon Virginia and America for finally making right what has been a wrong for a long time. You may want to see the article on page 1 of the Virginia pilot today that addresses this issue.

Let’s do this in 2017!

Here is a summary of the bill:
Introduced in House (02/07/2017)

Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017

This bill extends federal recognition to the following Indian tribes of Virginia and establishes their relationship with the federal government:

  • the Chickahominy Tribe;
  • the Chickahominy Indian Tribe–Eastern Division;
  • the Upper Mattaponi Tribe;
  • the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc.;
  • the Monacan Indian Nation; and
  • the Nansemond Indian Tribe.

The tribes and their members are made eligible for all services and benefits provided by the federal government to federally recognized Indian tribes. The bill establishes the service area of each tribe and requirements for each tribe regarding its membership roll and governance.

Upon the request of a tribe, the Department of the Interior must take specified lands into trust for the benefit of the tribe, to be considered part of the tribe’s reservation.

The tribes may not conduct gaming activities.

Eminent domain may not be used to acquire lands for tribes recognized under this bill.