Upcoming ‘Virginia Indian Tribute’ to be a public display of tribe legacies

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Preserving rich traditions of Virginia’s Native American tribes is ongoing across the Commonwealth from the sounds to the sights. Now a model at the State Capitol will soon become a public display of the legacy they have developed over thousands of years.

“It’s in the shape of a labyrinth, and it’s to serve as a meditation space for visitors to either walk the labyrinth or sit and contemplate,” explains Colleen Dugan Messick, Executive Director of the Virginia Capitol Foundation.

What is called the Virginia Indian Tribute has been in the works since 2005 with legislation at the General Assembly. In 2012, the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission approved the final design, Mantle.

A reflecting pool will include names of 20 rivers associated with indigenous people across Virginia: Potomac, Occoquan, Yeocomico, Wicomico, Machipongo, Rappahannock, Piankatank, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Poropotank, Poquoson, Chickahominy, Powhatan, Chesapeake, Nansemond, Nottoway, Meherrin, Appomattox, Roanoke and Shenandoah.

“The ground has been blessed,” says Virginia Senate Clerk Susan Clarke Schaar, who is also a member of the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission. “They selected a site on Capitol Square. They had a blessing ceremony, and we’re hoping to break ground on that by this fall.”

Messick says more funding is needed to break ground on the Virginia Indian Tribute.

To make a donation and to learn more about the project, follow this link.

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