- Report Published -
|Report Document No. 1|
PUBLICATION YEAR 2012
|2011 Annual Executive Summary on the Interim Activity and Work of the Virginia Council on Indians|
|Virginia Council on Indians|
|§ 2.2-2628 (E.)|
During 2011, the Virginia Council on Indians held no business meetings. The Council has not had a Chair since June 2010. The Code of Virginia (2.2-2628) states that the VCI meets on the call of the Chair or at the request of a quorum of the members. As neither of those conditions has been met, no meeting of the Council has been called.
II. Membership and Membership Changes
The Code of Virginia section 2.2-2628 specifies the voting Council members as the chiefs of all the state-recognized tribes or their designated delegates, plus two gubernatorial-appointed Indian-at-large members, each of whom is required to be enrolled in a recognized Indian tribe, and an ex-officio non-voting member appointed by the Governor from his senior staff. Accordingly, the members of the Council according to the Code of Virginia are the following: Chickahominy Chief Stephen Adkins (Chickahominy designated alternates are Reggie Stewart and Assistant Chief Wayne Adkins); Rappahannock Chief Anne Richardson (designated Rappahannock alternate is Reeva Tilley); Upper Mattaponi Chief Ken Adams; Pamunkey Acting Chief Robert Gray; Mattaponi Chief Carl Custalow; Monacan Chief Sharon Bryant; Nansemond delegate Assistant Chief Earl Bass; Chickahominy Eastern Division delegate Joanne Howard; Nottoway of Virginia Chief Lynette Allston; Patawomeck delegate MaryAnn Berry; Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Chief Walt Brown. The chiefs of the Upper Mattaponi (Kenneth Adams), Nansemond (Barry Bass), Eastern Chickahominy (Gene Adkins), and Patawomeck (Robert Green) tribes are officially considered members but have designated permanent delegates to the Council. One Indian-at-large membership has been open since July 1, 2010; the other Indian-at-large membership expired as of July 1, 2011. No replacements have been named for these vacancies as the Council has not been meeting. The Governor’s senior staff ex-officio member is Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech.
IV. Legislative Action and Potential Legislative Action
During the 2010 General Assembly, the Virginia Council on Indians did not request any legislation for consideration by the General Assembly, nor was the Council directly affected by any legislative action in 2010. However, in November 2010, the Governor’s Reform Commission recommended that the Virginia Council on Indians be eliminated and that the Secretary of Natural Resources should develop an alternative mechanism for facilitating relations between the Commonwealth and its Indian Tribes. This recommendation was included in the Governor’s Reorganization Plan released on November 25, 2011. Recommendations in this plan are expected to be voted upon during the 2012 General Assembly.
V. Historic Highway Marker Program
For several years, the Virginia Council on Indians has supported and contributed to the creation of historic highway markers under a program sponsored by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, through which VDHR sponsors markers on diversity topics which include Virginia Indians, African Americans and women. Because of budget reductions in the Virginia Department of Transportation, there has been a backlog in the erection of highway markers approved in past years, and highway marker dedications are no longer supported by the Department. Several highway markers approved in earlier years were erected during 2011, including Opiscopank, John Smith’s Mystery Town (Middlesex County); Pamunkey Indian Attacked by Nathaniel Bacon (King and Queen County); First Williamsburg Gaol Inmates (Williamsburg); Mary Kittamaquund (Stafford County); and Indian Prisoners Abandoned on Tangier Island (Northumberland County). A marker about the Fulton Indian School was approved at the September 2011 Board of Historic Resources meeting, and is due to be erected in the City of Richmond. The Council staff has been a member of the Department of Historic Resources Highway Marker Editorial Board for several years and continues in that role.
VI. Other activities
The Council staff has continued to advocate for education of the general public regarding the Virginia Indians through activities such as promoting tribal and other events that increased public knowledge and awareness of Virginia’s tribal communities. These included activities and events of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program; public speaking opportunities; presentations for schools and organizations; and tribally sponsored events such as powwows, festivals and other celebrations of heritage. As requested by the Governor’s Executive Orders of 2009 and 2011, the Council staff provided administrative support for the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission. Virginia tribal leaders and tribal members have participated as members of the Commemorative Commission and its subcommittees, and provided public comment to the Commission.
The Council staff continued to serve regularly on advisory boards and committees for federal and state agencies as well as non-government organizations and educational institutions. Consultation on Virginia Indian history and cultures has been provided to federal agencies, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Department of Defense; state agencies, including the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. When requested, the Council staff has advised other organizations and the general public concerning information on Virginia Indian history and culture. The Council office also provided input to the federal review process on projects funded or permitted by federal agencies regarding the protection of American Indian cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth.