Virginia Indian Recognition, Joint Commission on; established, report, sunset provision. (HB2106)

Introduced By

Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Joint Commission on Virginia Indian Recognition; report. Creates the Joint Commission on Virginia Indian Recognition to review applications and make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding applications of groups seeking recognition as Virginia Indian Tribes. The bill designates the membership, powers, and duties of the Commission; sets out criteria for formal recognition of Virginia Indian Tribes; and requires a report of the Commission's activities and recommendations. The bill provides that the Commission will expire on July 1, 2024. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/14/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15100053D
01/14/2015Referred to Committee on Rules
01/19/2015Impact statement from DPB (HB2106)
02/06/2015Reported from Rules with substitute (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2015Committee substitute printed 15104431D-H1
02/07/2015Read first time
02/08/2015Impact statement from DPB (HB2106H1)
02/09/2015Read second time
02/09/2015Committee substitute agreed to 15104431D-H1
02/09/2015Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB2106H1
02/10/2015Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (100-Y 0-N)
02/10/2015VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (100-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2015Constitutional reading dispensed
02/11/2015Referred to Committee on Rules
02/20/2015Reported from Rules with amendments (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2015Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2015Read third time
02/24/2015Reading of amendments waived
02/24/2015Committee amendments agreed to
02/24/2015Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/24/2015Passed Senate with amendments (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2015Placed on Calendar
02/25/2015Senate amendments rejected by House (0-Y 95-N)
02/25/2015VOTE: REJECTED (0-Y 95-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2015Senate insisted on amendments (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2015Senate requested conference committee
02/26/2015House acceded to request
02/26/2015Conferees appointed by House
02/26/2015Delegates: Peace, McQuinn, Ware
02/26/2015Conferees appointed by Senate
02/26/2015Senators: Norment, McDougle, Newman
02/27/2015C Amended by conference committee
02/27/2015Conference report agreed to by House (96-Y 0-N)
02/27/2015VOTE: ADOPTION (96-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2015Passed by temporarily
02/27/2015No further action taken
02/27/2015Failed to pass in Senate


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 2 minutes.


Greg (Soaring Osprey) French writes:

This bill is the end-product of a "Report to the Chiefs" originally produced by the outgoing Secretary of Natural Resources in 2013. The first version of his report was so bad that the entire report had to be re-written and was delivered in January 2014 as the "Recognition of Virginia Indian Tribes". This report was also very flawed and went absolutely nowhere. Since that date, the responsibility for Virginia's Native American tribes (Indians live in the country called India on the Asian sub-continent)has been transferred to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

This bill (HB 2106) is a discriminatory bill designed to prevent Virginia Tribes who are not one of the already recognized eleven tribes from ever being state recognized. No other tribe has had to meet such a stringent list of criteria in the history of the Commonwealth. It is a documented fact that many of the recognized tribes met no list of criteria at all.

The delegate who sponsored this bill, Delegate Peace, represents the district in which the Pamunkey and Mataponi reside. This bill is nothing more than an attempt to block any future state recognition for other Virginia Native American tribes. Blocking state recognition serves no one as it deprives the non-recognized tribes the ability to create 8-A minority owned government contractors which are job creators and economic engines.

I hope the Senate Rules Committee wakes up and realizes that this bill serves only a very small number of regressive minded Virginians and does nothing to create the potential for individuals to better themselves and lift themselves and others out-of-poverty.

Fletcher Wells writes:

Please vote no, this bill will harm the standing
and lives of the American Native peoples. Not
Good for the history of the State.

Joan Reynolds writes:

It is my understanding, based on good authority, that as recently as 11/25/14, there was as yet, no established criteria for a decision to be made as regards Virginia State Tribal Recognition. The Governor's Council on Virginia Indians, now defunct, was the former authority on criteria for State Tribal Recognition. Please excuse my ignorance, but should not criteria for Virginia State Tribal Recognition have been established by some authority within the Commonwealth before the meeting of the General Assembly? Please vote "NO" on bill HB 2106.

Jerry Skyles writes:

Vote no on this discriminatory bill. It will hurt native people. This will hurt future tribes for state recognition in Virginia. No local State recognized Indian tribes had to go through the strict criteria that this bill will enforce. Please vote NO

Chris Peace writes:

Sent: Thu, Feb 19, 2015 5:38 pm
Subject: HB 2106

Chief Stephen R. Adkins
Chickahominy Indian Tribe
7240 Adkins Road
Charles City, Va 23030

Senator Ryan McDougle
Rules Committee
Virginia General Assembly
Richmond, Virginia January 19, 2015

Dear Senator McDougle,

I am writing you in reference to HB 2106, Joint Commission on Virginia Indian Recognition, which is coming up for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee tomorrow. My wife underwent heart valve surgery last week and needs someone with her 24/7 for the next couple of weeks. Consequently, I am unable to attend tomorrow’s Senate Rules Committee meeting.

I believe a formal recognition process involving qualified evaluators is a necessity if the Commonwealth of Virginia plans to grant Virginia Indian Recognition to petitioners seeking such recognition. In 1983 the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Eastern Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Rappahannock Indian Tribe, and the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe were accorded state recognition as a result of the findings of a joint study commission established by the Virginia General assembly in 1983. (HJR 54)

HB 2106 would lead to the evaluating of a group’s documents by people with tribal experience in addition to historical, genealogical, legal, and anthropological training. I strongly support and urge passage of this bill.


Stephen R. Adkins
Chief, Chickahominy Indian Tribe

Roosevelt Dillard writes:

Chief Stevens in a video attached spoke that his tribe could not meet the criteria as presented by the VCI. Indian Protest Video. What is he saying now?????

Terrie French writes:

We understand the necessity of validation by the state is required to obtain funding by 8A minority contractors. We know those with wrong motives "money seekers, casino-builders, etc" have sought funding in the past from not only state but federal government resources. We do, however, question the motives of those who wrote HB2106. In good conscience, have they met with Appalachian Cherokee tribal members to discuss their plans for economic growth and development? Have they, in good conscience, considered the positive impact of allowing funding to go to minority contractors? What are their motives? Interesting to consider, and worth examining, is their rationale for proposing such strict criteria...and eliminating any fair chance for legitimate Virginia native americans to obtain funding. Or do the writers of HB2106 want the funds only for themselves? We ask these questions and respectfully request forthcoming comments from HB 2106 bill writers regarding such stringent criteria. VOTE NO on HB 2106.