Petition Closed
Petitioning Senator Lisa Murkowski and 22 others

Pass H.R.1385 To Recognize 6 Virginia Indian Tribes






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 ResourcesHouse 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 ( 6/7/09. House OKs bill to recognize 6 Virginia tribes (Washington Times)

Read more


tags: Native American, Human Rights

Letter to
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Senator John Barrasso
Senator Tim Johnson
and 20 others
Senator Tom Coburn
Senator Mark Warner
Senator Tom Udall
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Mike Johanns
Senator Al Franken
U.S. Senate
Senator Maria Cantwell
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Tim Kaine
Senator John McCain
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Mazie Hirono
Senator Brian Schatz
Senator Mike Crapo
Senator Jon Tester
Senator Heidi Heitkamp
Senator Byron Dorgan
Senator Harry Reid
President of the United States
Please recognize the six stated Virginia Indian tribes by passing H.R.1385. It is my hope that this bill can be passed before the end of 2010.

(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
(6) The Nansemond Indian Tribe

I understand that this federal recognition will:

(1) Make the tribes and their members eligible for all services and benefits provided by the federal government to federally recognized Indian tribes.
(2) Establish the service area of each tribe and requirements for each tribe regarding its membership roll, governing documents, and governing body.
(3) Require the Secretary of the Interior, on request of any of the tribes, to take specified lands into trust for the benefit of that tribe, to be considered part of that tribe's reservation.
(4) Prohibit the tribes from conducting gaming activities.
(5) Prohibit this Act from affecting the hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, and water rights of the tribes and their members.
(6) Require Virginia to exercise jurisdiction over all criminal offenses committed, and all civil actions arising, on lands in Virginia owned by, or held in trust by the United States for, the tribes.
(7) Authorize the Secretary to accept all or any portion of Virginia's jurisdiction over such offenses and actions on verification by the Secretary of a tribe's certification that the tribe possesses the capacity to reassume such jurisdiction.
(8) Prohibit the use of eminent domain to acquire lands in fee or in trust for an Indian tribe recognized under this Act.

Thank you for your timely action on this matter,