Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mattanock Town

Let's spend a moment or two catching up (perhaps) with the events and connections which I found about a year ago.  The Rogers family, through my great-great grandfather, Col Richard Bass, are descendents of the Nansemond Indians of Virginia, who are currently located in Suffolk, VA.  The tribe has a bit of a problem being recognized by US Congress...still.

But here are some articles the Suffolk News Herald has published in the last year.  I'll limit each day to one topic.

Surrounded by city officials, Nansemond Indian Tribe Chief Barry Bass signs a ceremonial document at the Aug. 17 2013 powwow.

Home again

Published 8:49pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013A step forward. A swoop of the pen. And just like that, the Nansemond Indian Tribe had its land back.
Except it didn’t happen just like that. European settlers forced the tribe off its land in the early 1600s, and the tribe didn’t start the process of trying to get it back until nearly 400 years later.
Once they started, there were planning meetings. City Council meetings. Unsuccessful votes, and more meetings.
Finally, the vote came. 7-1, but it was enough. The tribe had its ancestral land back.
Then came more meetings, lawyers, more votes. It was a long road to Aug. 17, 2013, when at the end of Pembroke Lane, under a tent, Chief Barry Bass stepped forward along with city leaders to sign his name to a ceremonial document. The actual deed had been recorded in the courthouse two days before.
Gifts were exchanged, here on this ground where hesitant contacts with European settlers resulted sometimes in gift exchanges, sometimes in death.
A monument was unveiled, here on this ground where the tribe’s ancestors once built their longhouses and kept gardens.
A celebratory powwow began, here on this ground where the tribe’s ancestors danced and drummed so long ago.
The mayor and the chief walked into the dance circle side by side, here on this ground where America’s long history of racial hostility began.
Soon the tribe hopes to change the land, which has been a city park for many years, into a development called Mattanock Town, named for its village that was near the site.
Here on this land, there will be longhouses once again. Gardens once again. Tribal crafts once again. A native burial ground once again.
Here on this land, Americans will learn rather than kill. Teach rather than conquer. Contribute rather than steal. Help build rather than burn down.
And the Nansemond Indian Tribe will once again have its own village.

1 comment:

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Oh my gosh! What an amazing story!