Press Releases

House Passes Legislation to Federally Recognize Six Virginia Indian Tribes

Legislation would extend federal recognition to the Monacan Indian Nation in Amherst County

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Washington, May 17, 2017 | Beth Breeding (202-225-5431) | comments
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 984, the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the following statement in support of H.R. 984:

“The heritage and culture of Virginia’s Indian Tribes is an important piece of America’s history. One of these tribes, the Monacan Indian Nation, is headquartered in Amherst County, and the Tribe’s members have contributed greatly to the community. I am pleased that the House has taken action to extend federal recognition to these Tribes.

“In considering this legislation, it was important to me to ensure that provisions within the bill cannot open the door to gambling on tribal lands in Virginia, and I am confident that H.R. 984 will prohibit these activities. I thank Congressman Rob Wittman for bringing this bipartisan bill before the House. I urge the Senate to take up this bill and extend long overdue federal recognition to these Tribes, including the Monacan Indian Nation.”

Background: H.R. 984 will extend federal recognition to the Chickahominy Tribe, the Eastern Chickahominy Tribe, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, the Monacan Indian Nation, and the Nansemond Indian Tribe. Bear Mountain in Amherst County is the tribal headquarters of the Monacan Indian Nation. While the Commonwealth of Virginia has officially recognized these Tribes since 1983, the federal government has not yet extended this recognition.
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