Virginia Senators Push for Federal Recognition for 6 Tribes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia’s two senators have reintroduced a bill that would grant federal recognition to six of the state’s Native American tribes that were among the first to greet English settlers in 1607.

U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner reintroduced the bill on Tuesday, the 400th anniversary of the burial of Pocahontas.

The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 would make federal funding for housing, education and medical care available to the tribes. The tribes are the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan and the Nansemond.

A House version of the bill was introduced in February by a bipartisan slate of Virginia lawmakers.

The Pamunkey tribe became the state’s first indigenous tribe to receive federal recognition two years ago.

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