Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe; General Assembly to extend state recognition thereto, etc. (HJ171)

Introduced By

Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Jarratt)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Recognition of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe. Extends state recognition of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of Southampton County, Virginia. Read the Bill »


03/11/2010: Passed the House


01/21/2010Introduced by request
01/21/2010Presented and ordered printed 10104050D
01/21/2010Referred to Committee on Rules
02/02/2010Reported from Rules (11-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2010Passed by for the day
02/09/2010Motion to rerefer to committee agreed to
02/09/2010Rereferred to Rules
02/11/2010Reported from Rules (12-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2010Taken up
02/15/2010Amendments by Delegate Tyler agreed to
02/15/2010Engrossed by House as amended HJ171E
02/15/2010Agreed to by House (84-Y 9-N)
02/15/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (84-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2010Printed as engrossed 10104050D-E
02/16/2010Reading waived
02/16/2010Referred to Committee on Rules
03/05/2010Reported from Rules with substitute
03/05/2010Committee substitute printed 10105811D-S1
03/08/2010Reading waived (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/09/2010Read third time
03/09/2010Reading of substitute waived
03/09/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10105811D-S1
03/09/2010Passed by for the day
03/10/2010Read third time
03/10/2010Passed by for the day
03/11/2010Read third time
03/11/2010Reading of amendment waived
03/11/2010Amendment by Senator Edwards agreed to
03/11/2010Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment HJ171S1
03/11/2010Agreed to by Senate with substitute with amendment by voice vote
03/11/2010Placed on Calendar
03/11/2010Senate substitute with amendment agreed to by House 10105811D-S1 (93-Y 5-N)
03/11/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (93-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
03/11/2010Bill text as passed House and Senate (HJ171ER)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 4 minutes.


Deborah "Tiger Lily" writes:

This is the original Tribe "Cheroenhaka(Nottoway)Indian Tribe of Southampton County Virginia. It was reorganized in February 2002 with an elected Tribal Chief (Chief Walt "Red Hawk" Brown)and an elected Council.

Deborah Livsie writes:

This bill, to recognize the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, is long overdue. After years of unending effort to be properly recognized in the face of adversity, ill-will, and unethical obstacles, this tribe deserves the proper and lawful recognition of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Norbert Johnson writes:

There is only ONE Nottoway Tribe. I will accept that the Nottoway [Tribe] of Virginia, Inc. is not a splinter group, however it is not a tribe, but more specifically a band or oganized tribal community with autonomy of governance. It is already recognized in the State of Virginia as an Entity of the State created through a State granted Charter of Incorporation January 2006. As an incorporation, it is limited by its Corporate Charter as well as its bylaws. It is limited in its activities by the State. On the other hand, there is the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Tribe that was created by the will of the Nottoway PEOPLE, not the State of Virginia, or the Federal US Government, or the King of England; that was reorganized, in part through the efforts of the Nottoway Confederation. The reorganization did not create the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) or the Virginia Nottoway Tribe as the [Tribe] itself has continually existed as a composit of autonomous organized bands and communities of Nottoway descendents who have, throughout the history of the [Tribe] since first contact, communicated and interacted with other Nottoway Communities within the states of Wisconsin, Michigan Ohio, New York, Rhode Island/Mass., Virginia, North/South Carolina, Tennessee, and yes, even Canada's Grand River Reserve (Tuscora-Nottoway-Meherrin). This [is] the Nottoway Tribe. The Tribe is a composit of [all] the desendants of the Nottoway Indian Tribe, and not just a few that the State VCI will acknowledge simply because the current living generations were born and now living in the State of Virginia's presently existing borders.

"What is the legal status of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes?
Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution vests Congress, and by extension the Executive and Judicial branches of our government, with the authority to engage in relations with the tribes, thereby firmly placing tribes within the constitutional fabric of our nation. When the governmental authority of tribes was first challenged in the 1830's, U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall articulated the fundamental principle that has guided the evolution of federal Indian law to the present: That tribes possess a nationhood status and retain inherent powers of self-government." - Source, United States, Bureau of Indian Affairs Website. The Nottoway possessed a Nationhood Status and retain inherent powers of self-government separate from the state or the federal, as only the US CONGRESS (exceptions noted) was empowered to engage in relations with the tribe that materially affected the tribal status. The Key Term, [ONLY] the US CONGRESS has the power to affect the Tribe's status...NOT the state. Therefore, the stat does not have the powers to terminate or extinguish Tribal Sovereignty, as defined by the US Supreme Court as NATIONHOOD status AND retain inherent powers of SELF-GOVERNMENT. Self government, and its particular style is determined NOT by the State, or the Federal, or Anthropologists, or Other Cultures, but rather, BY THE PEOPLE of the Nottoway Tribe and its composit autonomous communities.

Stephanie Dancing Wolf Brown-Valderrama writes:

Chief Walt "Red Hawk" Brown and the Cheroenhaka Nottoway Indian Tribe has worked long and hard properly preparing themselves for state recognition. I concur that this plea to the Commonwealth of Virginia is long overdue and that state recognition should be granted to the Tribe.

Charleen Suter writes:

The Cheroenhaka Nottoway Indian Tribe has been and is still here. It is proven by documented history. I feel that the Commonwealth of Virginia is long over due in giving the Cheroenhaka Nottoway Indian Tribe formal State recognition.

Bernard Rhodes writes:

The Commonwealth of Virginia is long overdue in giving the Cheroenhaka Nottoway Indian Tribe formal State recognition. Please pass the bill.

Brenda Taylor writes:

The Cheroenhaka Nottoway Indian Tribe is long over due for recognition, globally. We, the Indian Community" have given a great deal to help preserve the land and continue in the spirit in which our ancestors lived. This is the "right thing to do." RECOGNIZE US NOW by PASSING THIS BILL!

Ellen Turner-Walker writes:

Hello Commonwealth of Virginia!! We are here, we have never left! We are the CHEROENHAKA (NOTTOWAY) INDIAN TRIBE and at the same time we are the NOTTOWAY TRIBE OF VIRGINIA, INC. The NOTTOWAY INDIAN TRIBE, INC. are composed of the same TRIBAL members and Council members who VOTED my sister, NANCY J. TURNER (HEART FLOWER) and myself, ELLEN L. TURNER-WALKER (FOUR WINDS) into the CHEROENHAKA (NOTTOWAY) INDIAN TRIBE many years ago. The many misunderstandings in the CHEROENHAKA (NOTTOWAY) INDIAN TRIBE OF VIRGINIA led to these CHEROENHAKA NOTTOWAY INDIANS to request to be let out of the tribe. Among these were the now CHIEF LYNETTE ALLSTON of the NOTTOWAY INDIAN TRIBE OF VIRGINIA
Yes, we are one people! Yes, we can still be one tribe. We are the entire state of Virginia Indian Tribe! Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown, as well as Chief Lynette Allston have both worked long and hard to have "US" NOTTOWAY OF VIRGINIA" be a recognized tribe which we have always been. Let's let by gones be by gones. Form one tribe.....Take a tribal name you can both agree upon. How about taking the ( ) off Nottoway. Just an idea.....Share being Chief of our great NOTTOWAY INDIAN TRIBE. After all we are VIRGINIANS, even if some of us live out of the state we were born in like me. We are Virginians first and always. How about it!! Yes, Commonwealt of Virginia have these two tribes become one as they are meant to be. Why split our people? We as Native People and as the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County, Virginia, here in the Commonwealth, for “WE ARE STILL HERE!” and “WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE!” and "WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY!" Ellen L. Turner-Walker ...Four Winds of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe