House passes bills to recognize seven indian tribes in Virginia and North Carolina

June 4, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Seven Indian tribes in Virginia and North Carolina got closer today to getting federal recognition.  The U.S. House of Representatives approved two bills yesterday to grant federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and six Virginia tribes (Chickahominy, Chickahominy Indians Eastern Division, Nansemond, Rappahannock, Upper Mattaponi tribes, Monacan Indian Nation). Both bills passed the House in the last Congress but stalled in the Senate.
Federal recognition would provide millions of dollars in aid for housing, education, medical care and other programs.  The bill however does prohibit the tribes from setting up gambling casinos and denies them sovereignty rights over legal, public safety and property matters.  President Barack Obama’s administration in a a reversal from past presidents, has pledged to support recognition of the Lumbee tribe which has sought federal oversight for more than a century.
The administration has not pledged support for recognition of the Virginia tribes. The Virginia tribes have a history of first encounter with the original English Jamestown settlers.



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