Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents







Pamunkey Indian Tribe attains U.S. Federal Acknowledgement

After a decades’ long process, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe received notice July 2, 2015 that the United States acknowledges the Pamunkey Indian Tribe as an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. “The Native American Rights Fund has had the distinct honor and privilege of representing the Pamunkey people since the mid-1970s. We applaud Assistant Secretary Washburn and OFA Director Fleming for their careful review and decision” said NARF’s Executive Director, John Echohawk. Along with the tribe’s legal co-counsel, Mark Tilden of Tilden McCoy + Dilweg LLP, NARF would like to congratulate the Pamunkey Indian Tribe on today’s victory! Here is the Pamunkey Indian Tribe’s official press release.




July 2, 2015

Today, after years of research and participation in the federal acknowledgment regulatory process, the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs (AS-IA), U.S. Department of the Interior published a Final Determination for Federal Acknowledgment of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe.

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe, located on the Pamunkey Homeland in Virginia, has a rich and well-documented history. In the course of collecting evidence for the federal acknowledgment petition, researchers compiled thousands of documents recording the tribe’s existence and enduring presence.

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe played a vital role in the Europeans’ first contact with the New World. Documents have been preserved in the archives of the United States and England that clearly show the continuous existence of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe as an independent sovereign since the first visit of Captain John Smith in 1607, when the English settled Jamestown. The Pamunkey still honor the treaty relationship forged between the tribe and Great Britain in 1646, and reasserted through the Treaty of Middle Plantation in 1677. One expression of the perseverance of this treaty relationship, performed as recently as November 2014, is the annual tribute ceremony where deer and other wild game are presented to the Governor of Virginia by the Pamunkey Chief and members of the Tribal Council in Richmond, Virginia. The continuity of the tribe’s community and political authority has helped the tribe preserve its cultural traditions and a tight-knit community. Federal acknowledgment will serve to strengthen these bonds for the future.

For any questions, please contact Robert Gray, Assistant Chief, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, 804.339.1629 or the tribe’s legal counsel: Mark C. Tilden, Tilden McCoy + Dilweg LLP at, 303.818.0310 or 2500 30th Street, Suite 207, Boulder, Colorado 80301 or David Gover, Native American Rights Fund at, 303.447.8760 or 1506 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80302.

CO Office (main) 303-447-8760
DC Office 202-785-4166