June 07, 2007

Rez doesn't meet expectations

Indian Reservation Rich With CultureIn King William County, about 45 miles from Richmond off Route 1, is a tract about 1,200 acres that is very special in Virginia and indeed, in the entire nation. It is a peninsula with only one road leading in or out. In many respects, it has retained the vestiges of long ago--harvesting local game, planting crops and the creation of earthenware. The land is the home of very proud people--the Pamunkey People.

Bounded by the Pamunkey River and Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, the reservation does not meet Hollywood expectations when visiting Native American lands--visitors will not find tepees or dilapidated houses. The homes, of approximately 75 members of the tribe, are modest, well-kept and encompass the natural landscape. Acceptance of some of society's modernity outside the reservation boundaries is visible, but so-called benefits, such as casinos, fast-food restaurants and garish neon lights, are not.

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