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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 16

    Document Title
    Annual Executive Summary - Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission - December 1, 2010 – November 30, 2011

    Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission

    Enabling Authority
    HJR 680 (Regular Session, 2009)

    Executive Summary
    Creation and Charge of the Commission

    The Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission, established in October 2009 by Governor Tim Kaine’s Executive Order #100, was continued by Governor Bob McDonnell’s Executive Order 37, issued on August 23, 2011. The charge of the Commission, as stated in the Executive Order is as follows: "The Commission shall determine and recommend to the General Assembly an appropriate monument in Capitol Square to commemorate the life, achievements, and legacy of American Indians in the Commonwealth. The Commission shall seek private funding for the operation and support of the Commission and the erection of an appropriate monument. However, the costs of implementation of the Commission, its work, and the compensation and reimbursement of members shall be borne by the Commission from such private funds as it may acquire to cover the costs of its operation and work. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Commission, upon request."

    Members of the Commission

    As designated in the Executive Order, the members of the Commission include: the Governor of Virginia, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, or their respective designees, three members of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates, the Clerk of the House of Delegates, the Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules, two citizen members of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, the Clerk of the Senate, the Executive Director of the Capitol Square Preservation Council, three members who shall be representatives of Virginia Indians to be appointed by the Governor, and the Executive Director of the Virginia Capitol Foundation. Additional members may be appointed at the Governor’s discretion. The Chairman and the Vice Chairman are appointed by the Governor. Staff support is provided by the Virginia Council on Indians.

    Membership changes to the Commission during the past year included the inclusion of Paul Nardo as a result of his election as the Clerk of the House, and the appointment of Senator John Edwards.

    As of November 30, 2011, the members of the Commission were: Governor Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Speaker of the House Bill Howell, Delegate Chris Peace, Delegate Delores McQuinn, Delegate Bill Janis, Clerk of the House Paul Nardo, Chair of Senate Rules Mary Margaret Whipple, Senator Don McEachin, Senator John Edwards, Clerk of the Senate Susan Clarke Schaar, Executive Director of the Capitol Square Preservation Council Jim Wootton, Executive Director of the Virginia Capitol Foundation Alice Lynch, and gubernatorial appointees Chief Kenneth Adams, A. Sidney Turner, and Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield.

    Meetings and Significant Actions

    The first meeting of the calendar year was held January 5, 2011 in House Room C in the General Assembly Building, with Vice Chair Delegate Chris Peace presiding. A Technique Subcommittee was established to be responsible for tribal community outreach, compiling public comment, obtaining lists of public artists and American Indian artists with assistance from the National Museum of the American Indian and the Commission’s advisors, and delivering the desired commemorative messages from the Message Subcommittee to artists with a request for proposals. Members of the committee included Chair Susan Schaar, Senator Don McEachin, Alice Lynch, Jim Wootton, Delegate Chris Peace, Deanna Beacham, Chief Kevin Brown, Chief Lynette Allston, Bert Jones, George Bishop, and tribal representatives Karenne Wood and Dave Adams.

    Chief Ken Adams and Powhatan Owen volunteered to organize charette meetings with Commission members at tribal locations during the spring of the year, to gain input from tribal members. Charette meetings were held at the Chickahominy Tribal Center on March 25, 2011 and the Upper Mattaponi Tribal Center on April 23, 2011, with attendees from the Commission and several Virginia tribes providing additional input on the memorial.

    The next meeting of the Commission was held May 10, 2011 in House Room C of the General Assembly Building and chaired by Vice Chair Delegate Chris Peace. Ken Adams and Susan Schaar provided a report on the tribal charette meetings, and summarized the input received from the tribal members and VICC members. A small group led by Karenne Wood was designated to draw up a list of artists to receive copies of the request for proposals. Commission members were asked to review a chart of available sites on Capitol Square so the group’s site preferences for the memorial could be determined.

    On August 23, the continuing Executive Order for the Commission was issued by Governor McDonnell.

    During the summer of 2011 work on several Commission assignments was continued independently by Commission members, volunteers, and staff. A poll of Commission members’ preferences for the site of the memorial was taken, and the preferences were mathematically summarized to determine the group’s overall top choice. Because water features and native plantings were both included among the potential elements for the design of the tribute, the Department of General Services was asked to vet the site for inclusion of these elements. In addition a list of artists to receive the request for proposal was prepared as requested during the May meeting.

    On November 2, 2011 a request for proposals which included a letter from Delegate Chris Peace, an area map of Capitol Square with the selected site, and a summary of the message themes and preferred design elements, was sent to over a dozen artists who specialize in American Indian and public art. Over the next several days, Commission advisors forwarded the proposal request to additional artists across the country. The request for proposals included consideration of an outdoor, site-specific sculpture, or other installation in tribute to the Commonwealth’s American Indians to be completed and installed by September 1, 2013. While the total budget for the original work will depend upon its final design and material, the Commission plans for the costs to include all expenses and fees of the artist(s), as well as on-site delivery, site preparation and installation, not to exceed $500,000. All types of proposals are encouraged: figurative, non-figurative, and those that may incorporate water and landscape elements.

    The appendix on the message themes and elements read as follows:

    "The following themes and elements have been consistently suggested by Commission members and stakeholders and should be strongly considered by artists developing proposals:

    Appropriate themes universally recommended include: Spirituality; Family, especially children and elders; Attachment to place; and a respectful Relationship with the rest of the natural world. These are positive values that set apart the Indians from other cultures.

    That the artist consider incorporating historical events with an emphasis on the ongoing triumph of Virginia Indians over the warfare, repression, and discrimination in Virginia Indian history;

    That the memorial incorporate water themes reflecting the Indians’ river-based cultures, or include some water feature;

    That the memorial include earth elements or green features;

    That the memorial have a quiet meditation area;

    That the memorial include native plants, materials, circles, or cycles as a living tribute;

    That the memorial have a directional orientation toward the east, where the sun rises, consistent with American Indian traditions of this area;

    And that the memorial be a permanent installation to ensure that Indians are not thought of as a past people or people who have “vanished”.

    The design should tell a story or present themes that speak to people, and it must be uplifting, positive, and both past and future oriented. The message should be something unique to the Indians and NOT be defined by their interactions with the dominant culture (settlers who arrived at Jamestown in 1607)."

    A committee appointed by the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission will review proposals and will invite approximately three finalists to submit more detailed plans in the form of a scale model for which artists will be paid $5,000 each upon receipt of their models. Finalists will be requested to visit the site and be prepared to give a public presentation of their proposal. From these finalists an artist will be chosen pending approval of the Commission.

    A press release featuring the request for proposals from artists and landscape architects and a summary of the progress of the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission was issued on November 4, 2011. Returned proposals are expected to be received by February 1, 2012 to the Office of Delegate Chris Peace.