Archaeologists, anthropologists and historians can trace back the history of the Pamunkey tribe some 10,000-12,000 years. They were an integral part of the Powhatan Confederacy, numbering about some 1,000 persons when the English arrived at Jamestown in 1607.
Earlier this month, some 400+ years after English settlers first encountered those Indians, the Pamunkey tribe was finally granted federal recognition.
It’s almost incomprehensible to consider that it has taken this long for the Pamunkey to receive this designation. After all, the Pamunkey tribe has been recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia since colonial times. What took the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs so long?
What’s even more incomprehensible is that there are six other state-recognized tribes—the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan and the Nansemond—still waiting their turn.
Being federally recognized is of ...
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