The U.S. House of Representatives took the farthest step yet towards officially recognizing the tribes who greeted the first settlers at Jamestown.  By a voice vote, the chamber approved legislation (H.R. 1294) to grant the Virginia tribes their long awaited recognition from the U.S. federal government.

With this vote, the Virginia tribes are close to gaining their rightful place of honor.  The Native Americans who greeted the first English settlers at Jamestown have endured many hardships to get to this point, surviving state sponsored racism and a brutal repression meant to erase them from the historical record.

This racial hostility culminated with the enactment and brutal enforcement of Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924.  The act empowered zealots, like Walter Plecker, a state official, to destroy records and reclassify in Orwellian fashion all non-whites as “colored.

Married couples were denied marriage certificates or even unable to obtain the release of their newborn child from a hospital until they changed their ethnicity on the state record to read “colored,