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353A.I.I. Alert # 41 -Tribes' Recognition Bid Needs Your support

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  • Thomas Greywolf
    Apr 22, 2007
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      Please Contact Your Congress Person and
      Urge them to Pass H.R.1294 !
      Your Help is Needed Now!
      Pass This To All In Your Address Book!

      Title: To extend Federal recognition to the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc., the Monacan Indian Nation, and the Nansemond Indian Tribe.
      Sponsor: Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] (introduced 3/1/2007)

      Please Contact Your Representative at: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home
      Ask them to Support H.R.1294
      Please Help!

      Va. tribes' recognition bid runs into support, resistance
      Thursday, April 19, 2007

      WASHINGTON -- Six Virginia tribes seeking federal recognition since
      2000 got their warmest welcome yet in Congress yesterday, this time
      from an influential House chairman.

      The Indian tribes also ran into renewed resistance over foes' fears
      they would introduce casino gaming. It was not clear whether the new,
      Democratically controlled Congress will provide them recognition.

      "As we approach the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, it
      is passing strange . . . that the very native Americans who greeted
      the English settlers are still not federally recognized Indian tribes
      today," Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., told his panel's hearing on
      the tribes' bid.

      Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources committee, recounted
      decades of discriminatory policies aimed at erasing the Indians'

      "Yet they have endured," Rahall said. Alluding to a new leadership in
      Congress, he concluded, "Let us now seriously go about the business of
      rectifying wrongs" for the Virginia tribes. Rahall is a co-sponsor of
      the bill.

      Rep. James P. Moran, D-8th and the bill's main sponsor, contended it
      would be "almost criminal" to celebrate the Jamestown anniversary next
      month without giving the tribes sovereign status.

      And a tribal chief testified emotionally of a "nation . . .
      annihilated" during colonial times, more recent Indian persecution and
      state-sanctioned bias -- as well as a 1677 treaty between Virginia
      tribes and England.

      The main opposition came from Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-10th, who wants
      the tribes to agree to accept a prohibition on gaming.

      "I know that the current tribal leadership has indicated that they do
      not want to pursue gambling -- and I believe them," Wolf said. "But I
      worry that future leadership . . . may not share their views."

      He also reminded lawmakers about Jack Abramoff, the former lobbyist
      who advised some Indian tribes on gaming. Abramoff's actions led to
      scandal and cast a cloud of corruption over Congress.

      In rebuttal, the Rev. Jonathan M. Barton of the Virginia Council of
      Churches asserted, "It is our strong conviction that if gaming comes
      to Virginia, it will not be introduced by the Virginia tribes."

      A U.S. Department of Interior official voiced concerns about the bill,
      saying tribes ought to follow a federal administrative process and
      meet its scrutiny to get recognition. The Virginia tribes are skirting
      that because, they say, it is overly burdensome and they are
      handicapped by past officials' destruction or distortion of their records.

      Gov. Timothy M. Kaine strongly supports the tribes and said in a
      statement yesterday, "Now is the time to reconcile history."

      The Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Grocery Association gave
      reporters a statement contending that if the tribes gained
      recognition, they could sell gasoline and cigarettes tax-free and harm
      other businesses and state revenue collections.

      Seeking federal recognition from Congress are the Chickahominy,
      Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Nansemond and
      Monacan Indian Nation.

      Please Contact Your Representative at: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home
      Ask them to Support H.R.1294
      Please Help!
      Pass This To All In Your Address Book!

      Thank You So Very Much,

      Thomas Greywolf Atkins
      Founder of The American Indian Injustice Group


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