Artist's rendering of Mantle by Alan Michelson at the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. Image: Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission
National | Federal Recognition

Tribes break ground on monument to their history in Virginia's capitol

A new monument in Virginia will recognize the importance of the original tribal nations in the state.

The Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the Virginia Capitol Foundation hosted a groundbreaking for Mantle on Saturday. The monument will be located in Richmond, on the historic Capitol Square.

“This mantle will tell a story that will empower our young people, that will empower America and will give us opportunities, collectively to choreograph ... our future and build a country that we know we can become,” said Olympian Billy Mills, a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who was the special guest at the event, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Mohawk artist Alan Michelson was selected to design Mantle. He drew inspiration in part from a Powhatan's Mantle, a deerskin cloak that was said to have belonged to Powhatan.

The monument was authorized by the state in 2009. Funds are being raised to cover the $1 million cost of the project.

Read More on the Story:
Monument in Capitol Square will recognize legacy of Native Americans in Virginia (The Richmond Times-Dispatch 6/24)

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Virginia tribes still pushing for federal recognition after 400 years (June 1, 2017)
House passes bill to extend federal recognition to Virginia tribes (May 18, 2017)