An Indian tribe wants Va. recognition. The state dropped the ball, and other tribes are opposed. | State and Regional News


Cherokees’ Virginia history

Cherokee in Virginia were located in the southwest part of the state, and spoke a different language than the tribes in the eastern part of the state that formed the Powhatan confederation, the request says. Price joins other Indian chiefs at powwows and events and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the tribe to assist with an educational video.

The request lays out the Cherokee Indian history in Virginia and the group’s lineage of ancestors, saying it has 68 enrolled members.

But the state didn’t respond to the petition. It turns out that the Virginia Indian Advisory Board hasn’t met since May 2018.

The secretary of the commonwealth posted the Wolf Creek Cherokee letter of intent online. “So why no one moved on it, that left me somewhat baffled,” said McQuinn, the lawmaker who sponsored the resolution.

Kelly Thomasson, the secretary of the commonwealth, took responsibility on Feb. 19 while speaking about the tribe’s request before the Senate Rules Committee.

“During the past tumultuous year, unfortunately, this petition did not receive the attention it should have,” she told senators. “I apologize for that.”

The Wolf Creek Cherokee had a new problem in the legislature, though. Their request for state recognition passed the House of Delegates without opposition, but ran into opposition from the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation, the largest federally recognized Cherokee tribe.



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