Editorial: No question Pamunkey Tribe deserves federal status
"Most of Virginia's several Indian tribes have sought recognition through congressional statute. The Pamunkey tribe is an exception; it is trying to gain acknowledgment through the Bureau of Indian Affairs' internal processes. In so doing, it avoids the Scylla of political obstructionism by steering toward the Charybdis of bureaucratic limbo.

There is no question that the Pamunkey tribe deserves recognition. Like the other tribes, it has a long and storied history in the commonwealth. Opponents of recognition -- few but powerful -- have raised a variety of concerns in recent years, none with much merit and all now resolved.

The Pamunkeys, who can document their presence for the past four centuries, may chafe at having to present bona fides to a government of relative come-heres. Let us hope the BIA keeps that indignity in mind and proceeds with dispatch to grant the recognition the Indians so richly deserve."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Indian Tribes: High Time (The Richmond Times-Dispatch 10/28)

Related Stories:
Pamunkey Tribe submits petition with BIA for federal recognition (10/21)