Legislation Recognizing Virginia Indian Tribes Goes Through

May 8, 2007

House Democrats have pushed through legislation for federal recognition of six Virginia Indian tribes.

The measure has been fought for by tribe leaders for nearly a decade. The bill would grant sovereignty to those tribes, and it also serves as a nod to the Virginia tribes that welcomed settlers to Jamestown 400 years ago.

The bill would grant recognition to the Eastern Chickahominy, Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan and Nansemond tribes.

Critics of the bill say that giving the tribes sovereignty would allow them to build Indian run casinos in Virginia. Indian leaders say the recognition would allow them to tap in to federal funds.

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