WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement on the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ decision to grant federal recognition to the Pamunkey tribe:
“We are thrilled that federal recognition of the Pamunkey tribe is finally official. With this long-overdue designation, the Pamunkey is the first Virginia tribe to be recognized and receive access to critical federal benefits – a development we hope will pave the way for Congress to grant federal recognition of six more tribes through passage of our Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act,” the Senators said.
Warner and Kaine have introduced the bipartisan Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act, legislation that would grant federal recognition of six Virginia tribes: the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan and the Nansemond. While these tribes have received official recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia, they have yet to receive federal recognition. The bill cleared its first procedural hurdle in March 2015 with passage out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.