Nottoway Indian Tribe; extending state recognition thereto and grants representation on VCI. (SJ12)

Introduced By

Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) with support from 16 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Robin Abbott (D-Newport News), Del. Mamye BaCote (D-Newport News), Del. William Barlow (D-Smithfield), Del. Algie Howell (D-Norfolk), Del. Johnny Joannou (D-Portsmouth), Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg), Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Jarratt), Del. Jeion Ward (D-Hampton), Sen. Kenneth Alexander (D-Norfolk), Sen. Roz Dance (D-Petersburg), Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), Sen. Henry Marsh (D-Richmond), Sen. John Miller (D-Newport News), Sen. Yvonne Miller (D-Norfolk), Sen. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake), Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Recognition of the Nottoway Indian Tribe. Recognizes the existence of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia within the Commonwealth and grants the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Incorporated, representation on the Virginia Council on Indians. Read the Bill »


03/14/2010: Passed the Senate


12/23/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10100698D
12/23/2009Referred to Committee on Rules
02/01/2010Assigned Rules sub: #1
02/12/2010Reported from Rules
02/15/2010Reading waived (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2010Read second time
02/16/2010Reading of amendments waived
02/16/2010Committee amendments agreed to
02/16/2010Engrossed by Senate as amended SJ12E
02/16/2010Printed as engrossed 10100698D-E
02/16/2010Reading waived (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2010Agreed to by Senate by voice vote
02/18/2010Placed on Calendar
02/18/2010Read first time
02/18/2010Referred to Committee on Rules
02/23/2010Reported from Rules (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2010Taken up
02/26/2010Amendment by Delegate Tyler agreed to
02/26/2010Engrossed by House as amended
02/26/2010Agreed to by House with amendment (91-Y 5-N)
02/26/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (91-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2010House amendment agreed to by Senate
03/14/2010Bill text as passed Senate and House (SJ12ER)


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.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HJ32.


bobby freeman writes:

nottoway indian tribe of va inc. is a splinter group of the main tribe the cheroenhaka nottoway indian tribe of south hampton county va.there for they should not be recognized.members of there group were members of the cheroenhaka nottoway indian tribe of south hampton county va.

Misti Furr writes:

The Nottoway Tribe of Virginia, Inc. (NITOV) is not a "splinter group" of the "main tribe". They are a fully functioning tribe. They elect their leaders, and their council, using the democratic process. The Nottoway Indian tribe of Virginia, Inc. has conducted extensive and exhaustive research on their genealogical lines, which prove the existence of this group, from the contact period to the present. They act as stewards of their culture (which, due to historic political and cultural trends, was tenuous in numerous instances) by developing and implementing educational programs to teach modern day people about this historic tribe. It is not uncommon for more than one tribe to have the same name: there are two Chickahominy and two Mattoponi state recognized tribes. To seek to discredit this tribe, by claiming that they are a "splinter group", puts the entire process by which a great many tribes must seek recognition at risk. Virginia Indian tribes face many historic hurdles already (being driven underground by Walter Plecker's "paper genocide", being the most prime and damning example), discrediting individual groups, for spurious reasons, harms the process for future applicants. The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Inc. has proved their existence by established genealogical lines, and ought to be recognized as a Virginia Indian Tribe, with all the rights and privileges that come with such recognition.

Jennica Waggoner writes:

I also attest that the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Inc. is NOT a 'splinter group'. The Nottoway Tribe of Virginia, Inc. are an independent tribe that has been compliant in completing the necessary documentation required for the process of Virginia Tribal Recognition. The Nottoway Indian Tribe, Inc. are the ONLY tribe, even amongst the tribes already recognized by Virginia, to have submitted such documentation. I ask that anyone with hesitation in saying 'yes' to recogizing the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Inc. to please, research this tribe further before you make that judgement. It is clear by simple examination, that they are a thriving tribe and should be recognized by Virginia.

Jonathan F. Judkins writes:

It is only fair that the Indian tribes of Virginia each receive the proper recognition. The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, located in Western Tidewater, should receive recognition as the necessary links and measures to do so have been completed. Please support the Nottoway!

Gary Roper writes:

I'm glad to see Senator Lucas introduce a bill that will help preserve an important part of Virginia history and culture!

a person writes:

Gary Roper said: "I'm glad to see Senator Lucas introduce a bill that will help preserve an important part of Virginia history and culture!"

How about we avoid referring to a cultural tradition and a group of people as historical objects and curiosities?

Lori writes:

The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia should be granted recognition. They completed the petition process and provided documentation.

Gary Roper writes:

"a person" must either have a very low self esteem to have interpreted my post in such a way or is far too worried about being politically correct. I am guilty of neither. In my opinion, it is the culture that needs to be preserved NOT being designated as "special" because of one particular person's or group's DNA markers. Otherwise, how many truly legitimate tribes would stand on DNA evidence alone? How much has been lost already because of prejudice? Heritage is about culture NOT who your father is or was! Insert words in YOUR posts NOT MINE.

Christine writes:

The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia has completed the petition process and provided all the necessary documentation necessary for recognition.The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia should be granted recognition,

Alan Flanders of Portsmouth, VA writes:

I think the Nottoway people have proven beyond all doubt that they deserve recognition. My thanks to all of you who have led the way, expecially Sen. Louise Lucas of my hometown. I am very proud of her action here. It still stuns me to silence that so many people feel they should sit in judgment over a people who were the original owners of so much tangible and spiritual that is Virginia. Best of luck to the Nottoways, may the spirit of what is right and good carry you to success. Let no one ever again attempt to steal your culture.

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.

Ben Little Bear writes:

I am of Nottoway descent. I live in Indian Country spending most of my time on the Reservation and local area. The Nottoway Indian Tribe and the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) are of one people and one tribe. I think that the acknowledgement of either would be an embarrassment to both unless together they were recognized. The only reason for the two towns (camps or communities) to emerge was due to politics of the VCI and its "Experts" on Indian Culture and not that they were separate in the first place. I too am Nottoway but by the very language in the recognition criteria required by VCI eliminates me, my family and cousins born outside the current boundaries of the state. In spite of this, my family and I together stand behind both communities of Nottoways to be restored and affirmed their acknowledgement as the Nottoway Tribe.

There are two positions taken by the VCI, one that the Nottoway were terminated (that position now recinded), and that they are extinct as a tribe (that one created by the same person that was erroneous with the termination statement). However, we can find not one reference by the state or the federal government that lists the Nottoway as either terminated or extinct as a tribe... until we come to the same person (not an official representative of the state) who erroneously stated the tribe to be terminated and/or extinct. Such reference did not occur until 2002. What about us, the Nottoway, who were under the protections of the Mohawk, or the Five Nations, or the Oneida? We are not extinct, nor terminated by an act of the US Congress? What about self governing Nottoway communities outside the state of Virginia who still recognize they exist as part of the greater whole, the Nottoway Tribe? What about us, the Nottoway who are included in the Treaty with the Iroquois Nations as other Indian nations residing and allied with the Iroquois? Being an allied with does not diminish our capacity as a Nation... unless the US being Allied with England means that the US is restored to being a colony of England. We still exist VCI and nothing will stop us from existing as the Nottoway Tribe.

Again, I fully support the Nottoway Tribe in its quest for respect from the great state of Virginia through acknowledging our existence as a Tribe.

Stephanie Dancing Wolf Brown-Valderrama writes:

The Cheroenhaka Nottoway Tribe has worked long and hard, properly preparing themselves for state recognition. I await the bill passing giving the Cheroenhaka Nottoway Indian Tribe state recognition.

Deborah writes:

On January 18th 2006 Sen. Lucas offered SJ 152 to the General Assembly extending State Recognition to The Cheroenhaka(Nottoway)Indian Tribe. On February 10th 2006 she struck SJ152 on a Voice Vote without testimony.
And now she is supporting this group calling themselves The Nottoway Indian Tribe of VA Inc. consisting of some members residing in Portsmouth VA.
It should be noted that five members of their Governing Council to include their Chief were on the active Tribal Rolls as of December 2005 of The Cheroenhaka(Nottoway)Indian Tribe of Southampton County Virginia.
This is why we say they are a Splinter Group. For more information about The Cheroenhaka(Nottoway)Indian Tribe of Southampton County Virginia please visit our Website:

Ellen Turner-Walker writes:

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

Bob writes:

The nottoway of VA INC. should be a band of the cheroenhaka nottoway indian tribe.

Erica writes:

I am so excited for the Nottoway Indian Tribe of VA, Inc. Well deserved and about time!!!

Nancy Turner writes:

SURPRISE!!!! Many of the Southampton County court records are online. As most of us know, a web site, may give a bias or misleading view of the records in order to further an agenda. So, one needs to read through the records (that includes Tribal Members), starting at the beginning (yes, it is a lot of reading) and not take them out of context. It is important to get a full view of what was happening in the County and how it may have related to the Indian Tribe. When I had questions about Edith Turner, and the Indian Tribe, the Library of Virginia, sent me an information packet that helped me in my search. If you read and study the County records (by the way, I am still reading), you will probably have numerous questions.

Southampton County is rich in Virginia History and I am proud to say, that my ancestors were a part of that history.

The General Assembly of Virginia nor the US Congress is a fact finding agency for the recognition of Indian Tribes. They are Politicians FIRST. Politicians, who, many times, vote according to political correctness and what is in at the time.

Hopefully, you will decide to read and study the County court records, and other records that are related to the Southampton County Indian Tribe. Who knows???? may be the one who finds even a BIGGER SURPRISE, that at this time, has not been revealed.

Good Luck!!!