The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17456   Message #169090
Posted By: GUEST,Okiemockbird
27-Jan-00 - 08:56 AM
Thread Name: REQ: Native Amer Songs
Subject: RE: REQ: Native Amer Songs
State "recognition" must be distinguished from a centuries-long treaty relationship with the state. The state of New Jersey recognizes an entity calling itself the "Rankokus Powhatan Tribe". These people probably sincerely believe that they have Indian ancestry, and it may even be partly true, but their claim, especially that part of their claim which traces their ancestry to the Powhatans, should be viewed with skepticism. Known descendents of the subjects of Powhatan live in the towns of Mattaponi and Pamunkey in Virginia. The State of Virginia, as I understand, has had a long-term relationship with these groups. If so, these towns' inhabitants' assertions of Indian ancestry can be accepted with reasonable confidence.

New Jersey also recognizes a group calling itself the "Ramapo Indian Tribe". These folks are in fact descendants of black slaves of the New Amsterdam Dutch. Any special connection to the Tuscaroras, ancestral or cultural, should probably be viewed as slight to nonexistent, however sincerely believed in.

If you look at the link above you will find a number of Eastern nations, such as the Narragansetts, the Passamaquoddies, and the Senecas. Federal recognition for the Eastern nations is available when the claim is strong, and will probably be granted eventually. Due to the importance of the special relationship between the Federal government and recognized tribes, the government has a valid interest in screening out imposters.