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Opinion: Federal recognition for Virginia tribes long overdue

Filed Under: Opinion | Recognition
More on: jamestown, pamunkey, virginia

Writer welcomes federal recognition for the Virginia tribes that welcomed the first European settlers at Jamestown:
If Congress agrees, descendants of Virginia’s original forebears will finally get their due. Power to them.

After all, they legitimately lay claim to a lot of history here. A young Pocahontas graced Stafford County’s shores centuries before anyone can recall. She was an original example of what eventually became racial intermarriage, as she soon high-tailed to merry old England with her Brit hubby, John Rolfe, who had lived in Jamestown village. That was some 50 years before Stafford County was born.

Believe it or not, that sort of intermarriage still sparks support and ridicule.

While I have no personal stake in the outcome of the pending federal law approving and benefiting half a dozen of Virginia’s tribes, I remember that an early relative on my dad’s side did get scalped, according to family lore, in an Oklahoma raid on settlers there.

In contrast, Virginia’s Colonists should have thanked their lucky stars that the tribes they encountered at Jamestown and vicinity were mostly friendly and supportive of the visitors.

Get the Story:
Ben Blankenship: Some really old-time pioneers (The Stafford County Sun 4/17)

Related Stories:
Virginia tribes question interpretation of treaty fishing rights (4/16)
Pamunkey Tribe observes anniversary of Pocahontas wedding (04/08)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves tribal recognition bills (4/3)
Pamunkey Tribe went to England to document recognition bid (02/04)

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