Fiscal year 2019 doesn't start until October but the BIA won't be waiting that long to help the tribes. They are eligible for existing funds in the current year, according to a budget document. "In 2018, funds from within available sources will be provided to these tribes upon recognition, pro-rated from the day of recognition," the document states. The $160,000 for "New Tribes" is based on enrollment numbers. According to the BIA's formulation standards, the amount is provided for tribes with 1,700 citizens or less. The tribes are considered "New" for the first three years of recognition, according to the BIA. The "New Tribes" funding is separate from the existing federal programs for which the tribes and their citizens now qualify. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would cost the federal government $78 million over the next four years to provide health, education, law enforcement and other services to the tribes. The figure is based on programs at the Department of the Interior, which includes the BIA, and the Indian Health Service.
Wittman and other members of Virginia's Congressional delegation have asked the BIA to schedule a briefing with the tribes as soon as possible to help get them up to speed. Most of them are based around Richmond, the capital of Virginia, which is about a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C., A spokesperson for the BIA was looking into the request on Thursday. The tribes were the first to welcome new European settlers at Jamestown in present-day Virginia. Their ancestors signed some of the first treaties with European nations but they waited more than 400 years for formal acknowledgment by the United States. The recognition law is named in honor of the late Thomasina E. Jordan. Though she was a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, whose federal status wasn't acknowledged until 2007, she was known as a champion of the indigenous peoples in Virginia, where she resided for most of her adult life.
“Thomasina said the Virginia tribes deserved recognition, because they kept the colonizers more or less at bay for 200 years, giving the tribes in the interior of the country some breathing room,” Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, the director of William & Mary’s American Indian Resource Center, said in a College of William & Mary news release. The BIA published the annual list of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs on January 30. The document had been signed on January 11, which happened to be the same day H.R.984 cleared its final hurdle on Capitol Hill. It's possible the BIA will update the list to include the new tribes. The agency did so in May 2016, when the Pamunkey Tribe, whose homelands are also located in Virginia, gained federal status after the list had been published in January of that year. Related Stories:
Kevin Washburn: A 'victory' as tribes in Virginia secure recognition (January 31, 2018)
Tribes in Virginia in line for big changes after gaining federal status (January 30, 2018)
Energy company makes $6 million in payments to tribes for power line (January 22, 2018)
A historic moment as Congress approves first tribal recognition bill in decades (January 12, 2018)
Federal recognition bill for six tribes in Virginia inches another step forward (September 13, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs set to advance three bills at business meeting (September 11, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs cancels business meeting and hearing (July 26, 2017)
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)
Editorial: Federal recognition for tribes in Virginia is long overdue (March 24, 2017)
Lawmakers pushing for federal recognition of six tribes in Virginia (March 21, 2017)