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.

Friday, August 8, 2014

National recognition of our tribe?

More news articles from earlier in 2014 about the Native American tribe of Nansemonds, from whom my Rogers family has descended through my great great grandfather, Col. Richard Bass. I started a year ago HERE, and several following posts are about my Native American connection.

This post also will talk about false pretenses..

Bill to recognize Nansemonds passes committee

Published 9:14pm Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A bill that would extend federal recognition to the Nansemond Indian Tribe and five others in Virginia passed the (US) Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

The tribes also include the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock and Monacan.

“I just hope we can finally get there,” Nansemond Indian Tribal Association Chief Barry Bass said on Thursday. “It’s been a long, hard road.”

The bill has passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee before, but a vote in the full Senate has been blocked by senators who believe the tribes should have to go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs as other tribes have done.

But recognition through the bureau’s administrative process requires documentation that current tribal members have a continuous line of descent from the historical tribes. That has been difficult, if not impossible, for Virginia Indians to prove, in part because of Walter Plecker, who was the registrar of Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics from 1912 to 1946. He replaced “Indian” with “black” for the race on many birth and death certificates that passed through his office, ensuring that no official documentation exists for many tribal members to prove their relationship to ancestors.

“Federal recognition of the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan, Nansemond, Rappahannock and Upper Mattaponi tribes of Virginia is long overdue,” Sen. Mark Warner said in a press release. “Members of our Virginia Indian tribes are both part of the history of the Commonwealth and valued members of our present and should be recognized as such.”

“Committee passage of this legislation is a critical step toward granting these six Virginia tribes the recognition they deserve,” Sen. Tim Kaine said in the press release. “These tribes are an integral part of Virginia’s history and identity, and it is both troubling and tragic that they have never been recognized by the United States, even when more than 500 other Indian tribes have been granted recognition.”

NansemondLogo Keziash Elizabeth Tucker Bass

Time for recognition

Published 9:58pm Friday, April 4, 2014

...Virginia has officially recognized Virginia’s Indian tribes, but the U.S. Senate has a chance now to finally make amends with them for Pleckerism. (see above)  Recognition of the tribes in Virginia — the first people Europeans encountered upon reaching the New World and the first people to call this place home — would help restore the identity that a truly hateful and bigoted man began tearing from them a century ago (Walter Plecker)
 Federal recognition would send a message that the nation is also proud of these First Peoples, their heritage and the important place they hold in Virginia’s — and the nation’s — history.

Source: http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/2014/04/04/time-for-recognition-3/
(underlines and bold typeface by BRogers)

I'm submitting this post to Sepia Saturday this week, where the topic does include false pretenses (which is this man's charged offense).  

I'd say Pleckerism definitely qualifies, and certainly was criminal, even unto the seventh (How many?) generations that follow and aren't recognized as American Indians.


I personally find it interesting that still, if a persons parents are white and black, they automatically become black on various pieces of paper.  If American Indian and white, they become American Indian, and if American Indian and black, Pleckerism continues and they are usually considered black.

You don't have to wear a white hood and burn crosses to continue white supremicism. Racism is still an ugly truth in our lives today.  I live in the south still.  

I wonder how things are in the UK and Australia?


Wendy said...

Goodness -- I live in Virginia and did not know our tribes were not recognized. This post is especially interesting to me because I was looking at the birth record of a very distant relative just recently and noticed she was recorded as Black. I didn't understand that until now -- this family has claimed to be part Indian, so that must explain the record.

La Nightingail said...

How irresponsible that one single man in such a position could be allowed to 'erase' whole communities of a people with the erroneous stroke of a pen! Hopefully the latest push to rectify this grave mistake will succeed.

Mike Brubaker said...

The idea of false pretense can indeed be a bureaucratic crime too. Newspapers of the past often used racial terms like quadroon, and octoroon to distinguish mixed race. It meant that knowing ones family genealogy was an important history to remember.

Karen S. said...

It will forever be a crime in my mind when one man or more can commit such a thing. So sad. Great informative post!

Alex Daw said...

Barbara I really like your take on the theme this week. False pretenses can work in reverse too can't they? Can't believe it has taken this long to get recognition. I had to keep scrolling up and look at the date.

Little Nell said...

A very interesting take on the prompt. How on earth was that allowed to happen?

Jo Featherston said...

I agree, very interesting. Here in Australia they tried to eradicate the Aboriginal people by taking their children away, creating what has since become known as the Stolen Generation. In most cases, the children taken had one white and one Aboriginal parent, and the object behind their removal was one of racial assimilation, while being separated from their families, community and culture. The terrible and lasting damage done to these children and their families has only recently been acknowledged.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Dear Sepians all...sorry I haven't been answering each of your thoughtful comments. I do appreciate them all. I'm currently looking into the times following the Civil War here in the south, called "Reconstruction." Because I studied history of the US before the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, I wanted to see what the revised version might be. Not much different, but indeed worse than expected. Politics, bah humbug. And racism was supported in so many ways, often not as blatantly as Plecker did.