Editorial: Virginia tribes deserve recognition
"For years, the argument against recognition centered around one major bugaboo: gaming. In other parts of the United States, federal status has opened the door to casinos on reservations, which bring with them many unintended consequences, like attracting organized crime, encouraging gambling addiction, failure to alleviate poverty on the reservation, and other social woes. Many Indian leaders share these concerns, including officials of the Navajo Nation, which remains casino-free.

The Virginia tribes have made it clear they will not establish gaming facilities on their reservations. Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy tribe told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "I'm a deacon in my church, and I probably would be kicked out of my church if we brought gambling to the community We have said we would never game as long as the commonwealth says 'No.'"

The six tribes--the Upper Mattaponi, Monacan, Chickahominy, Chickahominy-Eastern Division, Nansemond, and Rappahannock--would benefit by gaining access to scholarships and educational grants. Then, too, there is the question of honor and equity: Most Indian tribes achieved federal recognition when they signed peace treaties with the U.S. government. Virginia's Indians signed their treaties with the British crown. They predated the emergence of the United States as a nation. In other words, they were a nation before we were."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribal recognition (The Fredericksburg Star 7/27)

Recognition Bill:
Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act (H.R.1294)

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Virginia tribes gain new backing on recognition bill (10/17)
Column: Virginia recognition bill stalled in Senate (07/30)
Voice of America: Virginia tribes wait on status (05/18)
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Opinion: The Jamestown invasion and genocide (5/14)
No rush for Virginia recognition bill in Senate (5/10)
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Virginia tribes clear hurdle in House (5/9)
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