I read an article in the Roanoke Times I tought was interesting. It says that the bureau of Indian affairs is backlogged in its efforts to give federal recognition to American Indian tribes leaving six Virginia tribes frustrated. It just goes on and on said Lee Lockamy, a Nansemond Tribal council member who lives in Virginia Beach. The Nansemond tribe, which dates to the 1600’s as part of the empire ruled by Powhatan, has been waiting nearly four hundred years for it’s recognition. There are five other tribes waiting for federal recognition and they are the Chickahominy, eastern chickahominy,Upper mattaponi, Rappahannock and the monocan Indian nation. Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 Virginians trace their ancestry to Virginia’s eight indigenous tribes. A few years ago, bureau officials estimated it could take as long as 15 years to process the applications they had in hand.
To recieve the recognition tribes must prove to the Bureau that they are historic and have ” continuously existed as a political enttiy since a time when the Federal government broadly acknowledged a political relationship with all Indian tribes.”
Tribes can also receive recognition through an act of congress or by an executive order of the president. The six Virginia tribes have decided to start pursuing those methods.