Appalachian Cherokee Nation of Virginia, etc.; State recognition. (SJ300)

Introduced By

Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester) with support from co-patron Sen. Kenneth Alexander (D-Norfolk)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Recognition of the Appalachian Cherokee Nation. Recognizes the existence of the Appalachian Cherokee Nation within the Commonwealth. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/07/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13101701D
01/07/2013Referred to Committee on Rules
02/01/2013Reported from Rules with substitute
02/01/2013Committee substitute printed 13104892D-S1
02/01/2013Incorporates SJ326
02/01/2013Incorporates SJ354
02/04/2013Reading waived (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2013Read second time
02/05/2013Reading of substitute waived
02/05/2013Committee substitute agreed to13104892D-S1
02/05/2013Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SJ300S1
02/05/2013Reading waived (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2013Agreed to by Senate by voice vote
02/11/2013Placed on Calendar
02/11/2013Referred to Committee on Rules
02/12/2013Tabled in Rules


This bill mentions Lee, Smyth, Wise, Nottoway, Winchester.


Marsandria Ball writes:

I am a direct descendant of Chief Redbird and Chief Goldenhawk. My great, great, great-grandmother was Chief Goldenhawk's daughter. The Native Americans are the only race of people who have to fight to prove their identity to the government. Please vote yes and grant us state recognition. We deserve our rightful place in history.

Fletcher Wells writes:

I am a direct descendent of Chief Redbird and Chief Goldenhawk. My great great great grandmother was Chief Goldenhawk's daughter and her son, John Hoover, is my great, great grandfather. My mother is Flora Hoover-Wells. It is imperative that my rights, and those like me who are direct descendents, are restored. It would be a true injustice for our people to be denied recognition by the State of Virginia and the federal government.

Marshall (Princi;al Chief) Couch writes:

My Great Great Great Grandfather was Chief Aaron Redbird Brock who had signed many Treaties while living in Virginia. We the Cherokee people have been in Virginia before 1600AD. We are a Proud people that still reside in the State of Virginia and continue to make contributions to the Commonwealth communities in Virginia.

I believe with the history of the Appalachian Cherokee Nation, the past Chiefs involvement in Treaty signing, we should be granted State Recognition

Audrey (Whispering Wind) Dillard writes:

I believe the Appalachian Cherokee Tribe of Virginia should be approved for State Recognition. The Cherokee Indians has been in the State of Virginia for a long time and before both West Virginia and Kentucky split from Virginia as individual States. The history of the present Principal Chief Marshall (Lone Wolf) Couch's Great Great Great Grandfather, Aaron Redbird Brock and his brothers and Uncles who were instrumental in signing Treaties with the Commonwealth of Virginia and aided in Virginia's development is proof of our existence in the State of Virginia. It should be know that we are still here and are continuing to making contributions to the Commonwealth of Virginia's communities

Roosevelt (Silver Fox) Dillard writes:

What some folks forget is the West Virginia, Kentucky States were one time called Virginia until the split by West Virginia in 1863 and Kentucky in 1792. The cherokee Indians were here before and still after the split between the two mentioned States. We are still here and there were Treaties signed by one of the main Cherokee Chief, Aaron Redbird Brock, his sons and other member os his family also took part and the signing of treaties.

For this one fact alone, this Tribe should be granted State Recognition.

Lorraine Schneider writes:

I support the rights of Native Americans.

Tim (Black Eagle) Watson writes:

To our Brothers and Sisters of Virginia,
Here we see an opportunity to join hands in a peaceful, respectful way between we Cherokee who were among America's First Peoples here in the Commonwealth, and the good people of Virginia of European descent.

Recognition of our Cherokee People's existence in Virginia will serve to strengthen the bond between all concerned. Recognition of our ancestral heritage is just as important to us as our recognition of European descent people and their rich cultural heritage is to them.

Let recognition of our People's heritage open the doors of friendship ever wider, and in this way see our People's enthusiasm for being staunch Virginians grow ever stronger.

Cindy Bamford writes:

Cherokees have historically occupied the southeast portion of the United States: AL, GA, KY, NC, SC, VA and WV. From as early as the 1750's, Virginia's Governor Robert Dinwiddie realized the necessity of retaining the friendship and securing active assistance from Virgnia Indians, in particular, the Cherokee and the Catawbas. Governor Dinwiddie, as part of his negotiations in recruiting natives for the French/Indian War, instructed his esquires, Peter Randolf and William Byrd, appointed Commissioners to treat on behalf of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, "you are to exhort them [natives] not to be drawn away by deceitful empty speeches, the peculiar talent of that cunning People, nor to suffer them on any Pretense whatsoever, to erect any fort in their country. But in every attempt that shall be made to shake their duty to our common Father, let them consider what real Acts of Friendship have been done by them by the English, and what by the French; let them weigh these things well in their minds, and then determine who best deserves their esteem and regard, for it is not by vain unmeaning words that true friendship is to be discovered, but by its effects..." The key word here is friendship between the Virginia Indians and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Over the past 250 years, the Cherokee numbers may have dwindled, but we are here in Virginia, we always have been and we always will be. We only ask that the State of Virginia recognize our friendship now, just as we did over 200 years ago. Aho.

Quote Citation:
(A Treaty: Between Virginia and the Catawbas and Cherokees, 1757) Source: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 13, No. 3 (Jan., 1906, pp 225-264). Publish by: Virginia Historical Society

Mary Sunbeam writes:

Tribal affiliation is valued as a cultural identity and provides a sense of official acknowledgement of one’s connection to a source of song, dance, clothes, food, storytelling; ancestry and America’s history; especially so as reservation life was removed. The State recognition of the Appalachian Cherokees is vital for present and future generations. Thank you for caring.

You Are Important!♥™ Mary Sunbeam

Fletcher Wells writes:

Fletcher Wells
Regions of Virginia's First People

Virginia's first people lived throughout what is today the eastern United States in thousands of large villages. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people resided in each village, which was organized around a complex economic, social, and political structure. The people depended on intensive gardening for most of their food. Before the Middle Woodland era, tribes scattered throughout Virginia differed little. By Middle to Late Woodland, however, they developed strong identities as each adapted to its local setting. In Southwest Virginia, the transplanted Mississippian and local cultures thrived; in the Shenandoah Valley, the Earthen Mound Burial culture grew; and to the east, the Coastal Plain Indians prospered.

When Europeans first made contact with the early inhabitants of Virginia, there were three distinct language groups. These language groups were the Algonquian, Siouan, and Iroquoian.