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This bill has already passed the House. It's been received in the Senate and read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. This petition will target President Obama, The Committee on Indian Affairs and a few other Senators.
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There is a provision in current law that allows unrecognized tribes to gain recognition through appeal to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Source
Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 has hurt the Virginia tribes in their prior appeals to the BIA, according to the Washington Times. Tribe officials say the Act forced Indians to identify themselves as "colored" and led to the destruction and alteration of genealogical records. Source
Tribal proponents say the Virginia law amounted to a "paper genocide" and makes the bureau process difficult for the six groups, although there are some genealogical records that do exist and have been submitted to the bureau. Va. Gov. Tim Kaine called the vote "a major step towards reconciling an historic wrong for Virginia and the nation." Source
President Barack Obama has reversed from past presidents and pledged to support recognition of the Lumbee Tribe, which has sought federal oversight for more than a century. According to the AP, Obama has not said whether he will support recognition of the Virginia tribes. Source
Please see details below:
Title: To extend Federal recognition to the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc., the Monacan Indian Nation, and the Nansemond Indian Tribe. This Act may be cited as the `Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009'.
Sponsor: Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8]
Related Bill: H.RES.490 S.1178
Committees: House Natural Resources, House Report 111-104
Latest Major Action: 6/4/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
Summary: Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009 - Extends federal recognition to the following Indian tribes of Virginia and states their relationship with the federal government as described below: (1) the Chickahominy Tribe; (2) the Chickahominy Indian Tribe--Eastern Division; (3) the Upper Mattaponi Tribe; (4) the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc.; (5) the Monacan Indian Nation; and (6) the Nansemond Indian Tribe. Makes each Tribe and tribal members eligible for all services and benefits provided by the federal government to federally recognized Indian tribes. Sets forth the service area of the Tribe and requirements for the Tribe with respect to submission of a membership roll and governing documents and the governing body of the Tribe.
Related News and Information: House passes bills to recognize seven tribes. (Boston Globe) 6/3/09. House Natural Resources Committee approves Virginia Tribes' federal recognition (Indian Country Today) 5/1/09. Va. tribes nearing recognition, queen comes to Peninsula for healing services (examiner.com) 6/7/09. House OKs bill to recognize 6 Virginia tribes (Washington Times)
tags: Native American, Human Rights