Earlier this week Gov. Kaine participated in a ceremony that dates back to the 17th Century in which he accepted a tribute of wild game from Indian tribes on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was during this ceremony that Kaine predicted there would be six American Indian tribes from Virginia that would be able to receive federal recognition in the very near future. Those tribes include the Eastern Chickahominy, Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan and Nansemond tribes.
This has been a fairly complicated process for the tribes to gain federal recognition. They were already officially recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia back in 1980's, but there have been some hindrance in the federal process due to treaties that the tribes apparently signed with colonists before the United States was even formed. It is long past the time for the federal government to provide some assistance in regards to funding for housing and education considering the troubles that our government gave tribes for generations. That is part of the reason that Gov. Kaine testified before Congress on behalf of these tribes and a bill has already cleared the House of Representatives and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
Now there is the very real possibility that Gov. Kaine's prediction won't turnout to be correct, but I think it's still noteworthy that this process has been taking place and appears to be heading in the right direction. These tribes deserve federal recognition and I'm very pleased that Gov. Kaine and Sen. Webb (who introduced the bill in the Senate) have been working on this issue.