VA Tribal Recognition

Rob Wittman
2017-05-19 10:42:29
Hi Friend- This week the House passed a very important bill, H.R. 984, to finally grant federal recognition to six Virginia tribes - the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond. For these six tribes, federal recognition will enable them to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, comment on federal agency actions that could affect their future, and gain access to a number of federal programs that serve the other 566 federally recognized tribes. As the sponsor of this legislation, I am pleased the House took the first steps towards granting these tribes recognition and I hope that the Senate will quickly follow suit. Check out my Facebook Live Video of the press conference we had with Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe, Rep. Scott, Rep. Connolly, and Rep. Beyer; and the press release below. I will keep you updated as this bill moves through the Senate, and please don't hesitate to contact me any time an issue that concerns you is before Congress. It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House. Sincerely, Rob

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Hi Friend- 

This week the House passed a very important bill, H.R. 984, to finally grant federal recognition to six Virginia tribes - the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond. For these six tribes, federal recognition will enable them to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, comment on federal agency actions that could affect their future, and gain access to a number of federal programs that serve the other 566 federally recognized tribes. As the sponsor of this legislation, I am pleased the House took the first steps towards granting these tribes recognition and I hope that the Senate will quickly follow suit.

Check out my of the press conference we had with Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe, Rep. Scott, Rep. Connolly, and Rep. Beyer; and the below.

I will keep you updated as this bill moves through the Senate, and please don't hesitate to contact me any time an issue that concerns you is before Congress. It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House.

Sincerely,

Rob

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2017
 
Wittman Applauds House Passage of Virginia Tribes Recognition Bill
 

Federal recognition would grant Virginia’s tribes legal standing and status in relationships with the U.S. government

WASHINGTON - Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today applauded House passage of H.R. 984, the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017, legislation that grants federal recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes. The bill passed by voice vote.

The legislation would grant federal recognition to the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond tribes. These tribes have received official recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia but have faced barriers preventing them from receiving federal recognition because of gaps in official records.

"These 'first contact' tribes deserve equity and parity under the law – it is absolutely long overdue," Rep. Wittman said. "Federal recognition will acknowledge and protect historical and cultural identities of these tribes for the benefit of all Americans. It will also affirm the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Virginia tribes, and help create opportunities to enhance and protect the well-being of tribal members. I'm encouraged by today's strong vote in the House and hope the Senate acts on this bill soon."

The Virginia tribes lack formal treaties with the U.S. Government because they made peace with England well before the establishment of the United States. The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 also led to a “paper genocide,” which destroyed birth records, marriage certificates, and land titles of Virginia’s tribes, denying them necessary evidence to gain recognition.
Federal recognition would grant Virginia’s tribes legal standing and status in relationships with the U.S. government. This status would enable the tribes to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, comment on federal agency actions that could affect their future, and gain access to a number of federal programs that serve the other 566 federally recognized tribes.

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