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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Report Document No. 57

    Document Title
    First Annual Executive Summary Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission December 1, 2009 – November 30, 2010

    Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission

    Enabling Authority
    HJR 680 (Regular Session, 2009)

    Executive Summary
    Creation and Charge of the Commission

    The Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission was established in October 2009 by Governor Tim Kaine’s Executive Order #100. The charge of the Commission, as stated in the Executive Order was 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 are to include: the Governor of Virginia, who shall serve as Chairman thereof, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, 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 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 the Virginia Indians to be appointed by the Governor, and the Executive Director of the Virginia Capitol Foundation who shall serve ex officio with nonvoting privileges. Additional members may be appointed at the Governor’s discretion.

    Following the gubernatorial and legislative appointments, the original members of the Commission were: Governor Tim Kaine, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Speaker of the House Bill Howell, Delegate Chris Peace, Delegate Bill Janis, Delegate Delores McQuinn, Clerk of the House Bruce Jamerson, Chair of Senate Rules Mary Whipple, Senator Don McEachin, Senator Robert Hurt, Clerk of the Senate Susan Clarke Schaar, Executive Director of Capitol Square Preservation Council Jim Wootton, Executive Director of Virginia Capitol Foundation Alice Lynch (ex officio), gubernatorial appointees Chief Kenneth Adams, A. Sidney Turner, and Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield.

    Governor Bob McDonnell assumed the chairmanship upon his election in January 2010. In November 2010, Senator Robert Hurt left the commission due to his election to Congressional office, and by the end of the reporting period a replacement had not yet been appointed. Delegate Chris Peace was elected Vice Chair during the first meeting the Commission and remains in that position. Per the Executive Order, staff support for the Commission is provided by the Virginia Council on Indians’ office.

    Meetings and Significant Actions

    The inaugural meeting of the Commission was held December 17, 2009 in the Governor’s conference room, and was well attended, with the Governor and many Commission members present. Representatives from the Virginia tribes and other American Indians of Virginia were in the audience and participated in the public comment. Following a recommendation offered by Governor Tim Kaine, Delegate Chris Peace was elected Vice Chair. Most of the rest of the meeting’s activity consisted of input on the part of the Commission members and the audience, providing their opinions on what the memorial might represent, and brainstorming on what tasks needed to be accomplished by the Commission. It was agreed that information could be gathered and distributed via email, such as maps of Capitol Square and a list of other state monuments or public art that was in honor of American Indians. It was also agreed that the next meeting should also be a public hearing to solicit more opinions from Virginia citizens about the memorial.

    A meeting and public hearing was held on June 23, 2010, in House Room C in the General Assembly Building, with Vice Chair Delegate Chris Peace presiding. Again there was considerable input from the Commission members and the public regarding the memorial. A list of state memorials had been procured by member Susan Schaar and circulated to the members, as well as maps of Capitol Square provided by member Jim Wootton. Delegate Peace indicated that action items would include a setting up a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=107566899293098&ref=mf), where minutes and announcements could be posted and the public could comment; setting up subcommittees for the tasks of Message, Technique, and Funding; and holding additional meetings with the Virginia tribes to solicit more input. Member Alice Lynch agreed to contact public art consultants at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

    The next meeting of the Commission was held July 28, 2010 in House Room C of the General Assembly Building, again with Vice Chair Delegate Chris Peace residing. The Nottoway Tribe of Virginia submitted their tribal opinions about the memorial. Consultants gave the members presentations on public art. The Vice Chair appointed members to the Message subcommittee, chaired by Delegate Delores McQuinn, and including Commission members Senator Don McEachin, Delegate Peace, Chief Ken Adams, Senate Clerk Susan Clarke Schaar, Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield and citizen members Chief Anne Richardson, Delegate Joe Morrisey, Powhatan Red Cloud-Owen, Karenne Wood, and Chief Lynette Allston, with advisors Amy Haupt and John Bryan.

    The Vice Chair commissioned a trip to the National Museum of the American Indian for August 30, which he paid for with personal funds, as the Commission has no funding. Karenne Wood of the Monacan tribe assisted by organizing arrangements at the Museum. Approximately 20 members of the Commission or Message Subcommittee participated in this trip, where they were given special tours of the landscaping and exhibits of the Museum. On September 14, 2010, the Message Subcommittee met to discuss lessons learned on this expedition. At this meeting, the subcommittee compiled a list of several themes and preferences as a result of ongoing discussions, which included:

    • That a sculpture with multiple relief depictions of historical events and panels about Virginia Indian history be considered;

    • That the memorial tell a story incorporating 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.”

    It was agreed to confer with the Capitol Square Review Commission regarding potential placement sites for the memorial.

    No further meetings of the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission were held during this first annual reporting period, although plans were made to hold a meeting before the convening of the 2011 General Assembl