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Federal Recognition
Virginia tribes press for recognition measure

A bill to extend federal recognition to six Virginia tribes went before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

H.R.3349 would recognize the Chickahominy Tribe, the Chickahominy Tribe Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, the Monacan Tribe and the Nansemond Tribe. The bill contains no language on gaming rights.

Members of Congress from Virginia and Chief Stephen R. Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe said legislative recognition is warranted due to special circumstances. A state law forbade tribal members from identifying themselves as Indian.

"The state systematically worked to destroy us," Adkins said, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. "I call it paper genocide."

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the chairman of the committee, said he opposed legislative recognition as a general policy. But he said there were cases in which it is necessary.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs opposes the bill. R. Lee Fleming, the director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, said the tribes would just have to work harder to get the documentation they need.

Get the Story:
Indian chief cites 'paper genocide' (The Richmond Times-Dispatch 6/22)

Virginia Recognition Bill:
Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act (H.R.3349)

Rappahannock Recognition Bill:
To extend Federal recognition to the Rappahannock Tribe (H.R.5130

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