Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has urged his colleagues to bring to a floor vote his legislation, “Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2011” (S. 379). The bill, which received committee approval one year ago, would grant federal recognition to six Indian tribes of Virginia. The senator’s office said this status “would qualify the tribes for certain benefits provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and other federal agencies.”
The six tribes have received state recognition as early as 1983, and have received strong bipartisan support from the Virginia General Assembly for federal recognition, Webb said. The tribes subject to the Federal Recognition Act are the Chickahominy, Chickahominy–Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan Indian Nation, and the Nansemond.
Webb is right. These tribes met the nation’s earliest settlers and survived generations of extermination follo...
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