Patawomeck Indian Tribe; General Assembly to extend state recognition & representation on VCI. (HJ150)

Introduced By

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Recognition of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe.  Extends official state recognition to the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia. Read the Bill »


02/19/2010: Passed the House


  • 01/13/2010 Presented and ordered printed 10102983D
  • 01/13/2010 Referred to Committee on Rules
  • 01/14/2010 Presented and ordered printed 10102983D
  • 01/14/2010 Committee
  • 02/02/2010 Reported from Rules (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/08/2010 Taken up
  • 02/08/2010 Amendment by Delegate Griffith agreed to
  • 02/08/2010 Engrossed by House as amended HJ150E
  • 02/08/2010 Printed as engrossed 10102983D-E
  • 02/08/2010 Agreed to by House BLOCK VOTE (95-Y 0-N)
  • 02/08/2010 VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/09/2010 Reading waived
  • 02/09/2010 Referred to Committee on Rules
  • 02/12/2010 Reported from Rules
  • 02/15/2010 Read second time
  • 02/16/2010 Read third time
  • 02/16/2010 Reading of amendments waived
  • 02/16/2010 Amendments by Senator Whipple agreed to
  • 02/16/2010 Engrossed by Senate as amended
  • 02/16/2010 Agreed to by Senate with amendments by voice vote
  • 02/16/2010 Placed on Calendar
  • 02/18/2010 Senate amendments agreed to by House (95-Y 0-N)
  • 02/18/2010 VOTE: --- ADOPTION (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/19/2010 Bill text as passed House and Senate (HJ150ER)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 5 minutes.


Carleton Moyer writes:

This recognition of the Patawomeck Tribe is long overdue. These original Americans deserve it. They are an asset to the area.

Michael Silver writes:

Have you seen the living history demonstrations and re-enactments that tribe members participate in? So much better than many other "official" tribes that I have seen. I fully support this bill.

Maria writes:

In a world where identity is a crisis and people lose themselves in the blur, we have a worthy people whom have maintained their identity and provided their community with a greater knowledge of a life beyond their own. This tribe IS a tribe that deserves, like others, to be recognized as such.

Buck Cox writes:

The Patawomecks have a long and distinguished history in the Fredericksburg area. They are very active participants within the American Indian community overall and absolutely deserve official designation. This year they will participate in the oldest dog related celebration in the nation (Fredericksburg Dog Mart - 312 years old), as they likely have since its inception. The living history they bring to this historic event is amazing. If there was ever a tribe that deserves official designation, the Patawomeck tribe is one of them.



MaryAnn Berry writes:

The culture of the Patawomeck Indians has never been lost. We can still weave our eel pots from reeds made from White Oak that we have cut down. We are still here in Stafford County and we are asking the Commonwealth of Virginia to say we are still here. Please support the passage of HJ150.

Becky Guy writes:

We are a proud community, whether we receive recognition or not! Witness our "survival" in the midst of attempts to extinguish the flame of our heritage. So why is this HJ150 necessary and important? The Patawomeck nation, never a separatist people, must be recognized for their contributions to the growth and development of this nation, for its support of the Europeans so they could plant their feet in this rich soil we had cultivated long before their arrival, and finally so we can enjoy the full benefit of American citizenship and the pursuit of happiness! Thus, our ancestors' bones must be given proper burial and respect, we as a people must be free to pursue our agrarian, riparian and peaceful ways, and our spirituality and oneness with our environment must be respected by the Commonwealth and the U.S. Government.

Debra Shelton writes:

I support HJ150, I believe that the remains of our Patawomeck ancestors removed by archeologists should be returned to us for proper burial, I agree that our blood line continues to live in Stafford County and that the 'theory' given of The Patawomeck Indians being an 'extinct' Tribe is grossly mistaken and often repeated due to the lack of research done by previous experts. The Patawomeck Indians are very much alive. This is my heritage that I have known all my life and this is the heritage that I will pass onto my grand children. Please support the passage of HJ150.

Buddy Scott writes:

This is long overdue, so much history and heritage, from such a proud tribe.

Lou Y. Silver--Whitefeather writes:

Our White Oak/ Pasapatanzy families which can trace our blood lines back to the days of Capt.
John Smith and Pocahontas being in Stafford Co.,
do indeed deserve to be recognised. There are 16
generations of my family which were born into this
Potomac River culture/heritage and there are four
generations still alive in this historic community
of Native Americans. Now is the time to match the
oral history of many people with the records and
diaries of official sources for legitimate status
of The Patawomecks in America. We enjoy living and
sharing our proud history for the many moons we've
survived in Virginia. As my generation grows old,
we would rather remember the "Ole days & Ole ways"
instead of having to fight or gamble for the future of our tribe & the bones of our ancestors!!

Angela Dodge writes:

As Virginians, we may all be enriched by honoring these neighbors' heritage. Recognize them so that they may obtain the remains of their ancestors.

Anita Dodd writes:

So much of our cultural history is being lost, those of the Patawomeck Tribe are working to save their cultural history. They are reviving and preserving their language and customs. Being recognized as a Virginia tribe would give them the recognition that they deserve. As populations grow and expand cultural histories are being diluted and lost. This is an opportunity to keep one healthy and viable. I support the recognition of the Patawomeck Tribe in thier efforts to become recognized as a Virginia tribe.

Tiffany Christopher writes:

I'm almost shocked that our tribe has not been recognized even though he are an important part to some of the founders and colonies of the New World. I for one, would love to be able to spread our arts, culture, and linguistics to the world before it is long forgotten, but we need help! I support the Patawomeck tribe FULLY on their journey to become recognized state wide, and maybe long in the future, nationally.

Terri - Hampton-Rosenthal writes:

I am a descendant of this tribe, and a direct descendant of Chief I-Opassas (Japasaw) through the marriage of his daughter Keziah Arroyah and Dr. Richard Bryant, I am one of the many great grandchildren who still call the Great Commonwealth of Virginia home. I am Chief I-Opassas’s 10th generation great granddaughter. And this is only one of the many bloodlines in my family to this tribe as well as other Virginia tribes.
Throughout the history of the state our “first families” have been pushed aside, had their lands taken, their culture taken, their language, and then, lastly their racial identity and name stolen from them. We have always been here; we never left. We just learned to blend in rather then be persecuted for who and what we were. And yes, I do consider myself part Native American, and proud of it as that is how I was raised. I am also very proud of my European- English heritage. Both of these groups of people made America and our commonwealth the great place it is today.

I hope they vote for the recognition of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia. I hope that they restore our identity, and right wrongs that were done long before most of us were born. These are wrongs that were done in the name of greed, greed for Native lands, and prejudice of non- “white” peoples. My ancestors have been marginalized in the history of Virginia and have been made to feel less then human over many hundreds of years after Europeans came to this country. Even to this day, members of my family are ashamed of how our family was treated from 1800 though the 1930’s, many of them leaving Virginia and only returning when a parent passed away. How sad for our state to lose its native children due to practices of the times that labeled native families as Black, Mixed- or Mulattos, knowing all of the time that the family was of Native and or a blend of Native and English blood. It is time to right these wrongs done to native Virginia families.

I am proud to be of the Patawomeck tribe and proud to be a Virginian.