October 16, 2006

Indians = Palestinians?

Give Virginia Indians a fair dealI am so tired of hearing that all we want is a casino and the "evils" that are associated with it. How two-faced the forked-tongued white man is!

We have legal gambling in this state, with the state-owned lottery and horse racing. No tribe has plans for a casino. What we want is the legal recognition that we have been denied and the respect associated with being recognized.

My tribe--the Chickahominy (I am an enrolled member)--had a reservation, but that, too, was taken from us in the 1700s.

We are the Palestinians of Virginia, a people in their homeland without legal recognition.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is a "real" Indian tribe or if this is a case of white people with minuscule Indian descent forming their own tribe and asking for recognition. These types of so called "tribes" seem to be springing up all over the East and South.
I tried to look them up on the Internet and found a web site for the Chickahominy which was asking for donations. I could be wrong but after re-reading the statement from Ms.Canaday it sure sounds like they are a wannabe tribe to me.

Rob said...

There are six tribes seeking federal recognition in Virginia. All have been around since the beginning. Here's a little history on them:


In the early 1700s, relations between the Indians and the English were tense. Cultural differences were a major cause of the tension between the two groups of people. The Indians felt the English and their alien culture had been forced against them for almost 100 years. The once mighty Powhatan chiefdom was reduced to a tributary status, being required to make yearly payments to the colonial government as a sign of dependence. They also lost all lands between the York and Blackwater Rivers. In 1677, another treaty was made with the colonists. The Indians along the coast lost their remaining land and were confined to small reservations. Many of the tribes were extinct by 1722. The Rappahannock tribe lost its reservation shortly after 1700; the Chickahominy lost theirs in 1718. These groups and the Nansemond, who sold their reservation in 1792, faded from public view. Only the Pamunkeys, Mattaponis, and an Eastern Shore group kept reservations, although their land constantly shrank in size.

Rob said...

Along with the differences, there's one huge point in common: having an oppressive foreign power occupying their homeland.

See Why Don't "They" Like Us?: Israel for more on the Indian-Palestinian connection.

Rob said...

Your links are intact, "not a sioux," even if you can't see the entire link. You just have to be sure to highlight the whole link before copying it to your browser. (Hint: Don't try to move your cursor to the end of a long link. Move it to the next line instead.)

This may be the Chickahominy's official website:


Even if tribal members have intermarried with whites (or blacks), it doesn't mean they're not directly descended from the tribe's original Indians.

Anonymous said...

How tedious and unoriginal to ONE MORE TIME have one group with legitimate grievances be compared to another group in a sorry effort to bolster their argument.

The tribes in Virginia may very well have a legitimate argument (I'm deferring since I don't have enough familiarity with all the particulars of the debate)but comparing it to what is going on between the Palestinians and Israelis? Uh uh. Not only is it not apples and apples it's not even apples and oranges. More like apples and footballs.

A poor debating point used by a writer with little ability. And come on, already. The minute you succumb to using "we" and "they" and resort to blanket racial stereotypes, you lose whatever validity your argument might have had.

Rob said...

I'd say the letter writer made his comment more for the shock value than as a serious argument. And it seems to have served its purpose. It got our attention, right? We're already up to 10 comments on the subject on the first day.

Rob said...

Nevertheless...you don't see any similarities between the two cases? Let's see: One is an oppressed group of indigenous people unable to rule their own land because of an occupying power controlling their destiny. The other is an oppressed group of indigenous people unable to rule their own land because of an occupying power controlling their destiny.

Hmm. That doesn't sound like apples and footballs to me. At worst, it sounds like apples and some kind of fruit. (I leave it to you to determine which one.)

Incidentally, when the Ghost Dance religion swept the West around 1890, some Indians claimed it would end with the removal of Euro-Americans from the land. If you were an insecure white man, you easily could've interpreted this as the equivalent of today's "terrorist talk." So did the government's genuine concerns justify the violations and crimes that followed (including Wounded Knee)? Why not, if the Ghost Dancers intended to wipe America off the map?

Anonymous said...

Okay. One difference. One BIG HUGE difference. Jews are also indigenous to the land under dispute.(A point that seems to get lost in the argument among certain factions, probably because it's an inconvenient truth.) The Palestinian conflict is more like the struggles in Nations where you have ethnic strife of peoples of the same region--like the Kurds and Turks, for example.

Palestinians and Indians?
Apples and Footballs.

The Local Crank said...

"part 2) I don't know what Chickahominy blood quantum requirements are, but I did want to check out the assertion that this tribe was basically "white". One way to check this might be to look at some members."

Hmmm, well being Cherokee I should probably refrain from comment here, huh?

Anonymous said...

Well, everyone it's been fun and thank you for the history lessons. But I still stand by my original statement about the Chickahominy. Please go back and re-read the statement by Ms. Canaday, especially the part where she writes "How two-faced the forked-tongued white man is!" Give me a break, no self respecting Indian would make such an inane statement.

Anonymous said...

Let me make this a little clearer for you. I think they are people with "minuscule" Indian descent forming their own tribe and asking for recognition. I believe they are marginally descended from the Chickahominy and this may be why they have been denied federal recognition. I could be wrong,(correct me if I'am) but this is the second time they have been turned down for federal recognition.
And I will stand by my second statement "Give me a break, no self respecting Indian would make such an inane statement."

Anonymous said...

To not a sioux, I don't think I understand your last statement. Maybe you can clarify it for me. Also, why does my opinion anger you so? I have a sneaking suspicion with all the talk of minuscule Indian descent, marginally descended from and wannabe has hit a nerve with you.
This will be my last post on this subject, not a sioux you may have the last word. And, oh yes I stand by all my statements.

Rob said...

Jews were indigenous to Palestine once. But the millions who arrived because of the 1948 UN mandate were immigrants, not natives to the land.

Because of the Jews' historic roots in the region, the decision to let them return was arguably just. What wasn't just was their subsequent invasion and occupation of Palestinian territory during the Six-Day War. It's this that makes the comparison between Indians and Palestinians apt.

Rob said...

I don't know that the Chickahominy have been denied recognition once, much less twice. I'd have to see the documentation on that one.

The criteria for recognition is tough. The feds can deny it for several reasons, but racial purity isn't one of them. More likely, the tribe lost its continuity during the middle of the 20th century when the government was trying to terminate tribes (often successfully).

If the Chickahominies were dispersed like other tribes were, it doesn't mean they became less Indian and more white (or black). It means they didn't have an effective government for a spell. In other words, the racial group continued to exist but the political entity didn't.

Rob said...

To reiterate, the Indian/Palestinian comparison isn't because the Israelis and Palestinians are contending for the same land like non-Indians and Indians are in the US. It's because the Israelis invaded Palestinian territory during the Six-Day War and continue to occupy it despite international opprobrium. End the illegal occupation and the comparison ends also.