Federal Recognition

Rep. Young promises passage for Virginia tribal recognition bill





Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, promised to pass a bill to recognize six tribes in Virginia.

H.R.783 has yet to be heard by Young's subcommittee but a prior version passed the House during the 111th Congress. But the Senate never took action.

"We did pass and recognize you out of this Congress last year, and we're going to do it again," Young told Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe at a hearing on federal recognition yesterday.

"That dark hole over there ... you gotta go over there and jerk them around a little too," Young added, referring to the Senate.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-New Mexico), the new ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, also expressed support for the Virginia tribes, who are in a unique situation due to state laws that barred people from identifying themselves as Indian. He said they should be given a chance to show how they have maintained their distinct political status.

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on Authorization, standards, and procedures for whether, how, and when Indian tribes should be newly recognized by the federal government (June 27, 2012)

Related Stories:
Bills introduced to extend federal recognition to Virginia tribes (2/22)