As a particular advocacy focus, the Council has collaborated with six of Virginia’s Native American tribes, and is working with them as they seek to gain federal recognition. While the Virginia tribes are the descendants of those who first greeted European Settlers, the Federal Government has never recognized them as tribes. They are not among the 562 Native American Tribes currently recognized by the Congress of United State. It is time the Virginia Tribes should take their rightful place among the Native American Nations As we approach the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown, it is long past time for our government to recognize these tribes.
The Six Tribes in Virginia have moved closer to Federal Recognition. In the fall of 2001, the tribes were able to get hearings in both the House and Senate. The Virginia Council of Churches’ General Minister, Rev. Jonathan Barton, provided testimony in support of recognition for Virginia’s Tribes. On the Senate side, Senators George Allen and John Warner have introduced a bill calling for the recognitions of six of Virginia’s Native Tribes. Congressman Jim Moran and Congresswoman Joann Davis have introduced the bill in the House. This bill has strong bi-partisan support.