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After 400 Years Jamestown Indians Still Want Aid

From those champions of justice at Reuters:


Tribes seek aid as Jamestown marks 400th year

Sat May 12, 2007

By David Alexander

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For most U.S. citizens the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America is a time to celebrate pioneers who crossed the ocean in sailing ships and braved hardships to forge a nation.

But for American Indians whose ancestors lived in America when the English adventurers slogged ashore on Jamestown Peninsula in what is now Virginia, it is at once a reminder of their long struggle to overcome persecution and prejudice and a chance to reintroduce themselves to the world.

“We’re celebrating 400 years of survival in a fairly hostile environment,” said Anne Richardson, chief of the Rappahannock, one of several Powhatan tribes involved in the commemoration events this month that included a visit by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

The struggle is not over. The last time the queen visited Jamestown, 50 years ago on the 350th anniversary, it was illegal in Virginia to register as an Indian, and violators faced up to a year in prison.

Even today, the state’s Powhatan tribes — the descendants of the people who helped the first English settlers survive — are not officially recognized by the federal government, a move that would make their 3,175 members eligible to receive aid available to other Indians…

After 400 years, you’d think they would have gotten over it.

But everybody wants that free government money.

The struggle is not over. The last time the queen visited Jamestown, 50 years ago on the 350th anniversary, it was illegal in Virginia to register as an Indian, and violators faced up to a year in prison.

It was illegal to register as an Indian for what? To vote? To go to school? For the draft? For welfare?

Something tells me this is completely untrue.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, May 12th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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