Federal Recognition

African-American lawmakers accuse Pamunkey Tribe of racism

Kevin Brown, the chief of the Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia. Photo from American Nativity

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus are accusing the Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia of maintaining a racist marriage policy.

The lawmakers say the tribe does not allow its members to marry African-American people. As a result, they say the Bureau of Indian Affairs should not finalize the tribe's federal recognition petition.

“We find the Pamunkey’s practices and the BIA’s rationalizations of them offensive and believe they are unacceptable as a basis for federal action recognizing national/tribal sovereignty," the lawmakers said in a letter, The Daily Caller reported.

The BIA issued a proposed finding in favor of the tribe in January. The comment period closed July 22 and the tribe had until September 22 to respond to any comments.

The BIA could issue a final determination within the next few months.

Get the Story:
Obama Admin To Recognize Indian Tribe That Bans Interracial Marriage With African Americans (The Daily Caller 10/1)

Federal Register Notice:
Proposed Finding for Federal Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (January 23, 2014)

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Pamunkey Tribe awaits final answer on federal recognition (1/27)

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