This article first examines the historical background of the Virginian-American Indian identity after European contact in Part I. This section looks at the early interactions between American Indians and colonial settlers, the treaties that defined American Indian identity, and the first government-to-government relationships between the tribes and colonial powers. It also follows the changing social attitudes toward American Indians. Part II discusses how social attitudes in the early twentieth century about American Indians led to long-reaching legal effects for Virginian-American Indians. Part III details the federal recognition process, and discusses how and why it denies Virginia’s tribes an equal place in modern America. The article concludes with recommendations to Congress for improving the future of equality for Virginia’s American Indians.

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Publication Date

Fall 2011