Rep. Darren Soto: Several Virginia Tribes Denied Recognition “Due in Great Part to the Machinations of One Man”

These tribes [Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan, Nansemond] have been unable to claim their rightful Indian identity in relation to the Federal Government, due in great part to the machinations of one man, Walter Ashby Plecker, the State registrar for the Commonwealth in the early 20th century. Plecker, an avowed White supremacist, ran Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics for over 34 years. From 1912 to 1947, Plecker set out to rid the Commonwealth of any documents that recorded the existence of Indians or Indian tribes living therein.

—Rep. Darren Soto (D–FL)

Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017, House Floor, May 17, 2017

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