WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law granting federal recognition to six Native American tribes in Virginia.
The law gives the six tribes access to federal funds for education, housing and health care.
The congressman who introduced the bill, U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Virginia, says in a press release it will also allow the tribes to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, among other powers. The six tribes – Monacan, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Nansemond and Upper Mattaponi – have sought federal recognition for about 20 years. They already had state recognition.
Trump’s Monday signing of the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017, also known as H.R. 984, follows years of lobbying from U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia.