April 23, 2024

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Sacred land returned to Rappahannock Tribe in Virginia

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Sacred land returned to Rappahannock Tribe in Virginia
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and US Fish and Wildlife Provider Director Martha Williams celebrated the tribe’s reacquisiton of the land Friday, according to a press launch from the Department of the Inside.
“We have labored for several years to restore this sacred spot to the Tribe,” mentioned Rappahannock Tribe Chief Anne Richardson, in accordance to the Chesapeake Conservancy. “With eagles remaining prayer messengers, this place in which they collect has generally been a spot of purely natural, cultural and religious significance.”

Fones Cliff is the ancestral dwelling of the tribe, positioned on the jap side of the Rappahannock River in Virginia. The area, situated inside the Rappahannock River Valley Countrywide Wildlife Refuge, will be publicly accessible and put in rely on with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Tribe strategies to educate the public about their historical past by setting up a reproduction 16th-century village and develop their “Return to the River” program, which trains Tribal youth in traditional river expertise and methods.

“The Division is honored to sign up for the Rappahannock Tribe in co-stewardship of this part of their ancestral homeland. We glimpse forward to drawing upon Tribal know-how and Indigenous expertise in aiding control the area’s wildlife and habitat,” Secretary Haaland mentioned in the assertion. “This historic reacquisition underscores how Tribes, non-public landowners, and other stakeholders all play a central job in this Administration’s function to ensure our conservation efforts are regionally led and support communities’ wellbeing and very well-currently being.”

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The cliffs participate in a central section in the historical past of the tribe. In 1608, the tribe 1st encountered and defended their homeland from English settler Captain John Smith, who played an vital role in the 1st long-lasting English settlement in The usa at Jamestown, Virginia. In the 1660s, the tribe commenced to be forcefully displaced from their homeland on the Rappahannock River by the English, according to the Chesapeake Conservancy.

In addition to their cultural and historical value to the tribe, the cliffs are also essential to wildlife: The web-site is property to a single of the most significant nesting populations of bald eagles on the Atlantic coast, according to the Division of the Interior..

The tribe’s reacquisition of its land was produced probable by the spouse and children of William Dodge Angle, who presented the cash required for the Chesapeake Conservancy to invest in the 465 acres and donate the price title to the Rappahannock Tribe. Added funding also arrived from a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Basis via Walmart’s Acres for The us Application, in accordance to the conservancy.

The acquisition follows a rising motion of Indigenous persons preventing to reclaim their land.
In 2019, the Wiyot tribe effectively reclaimed their ancestral homeland of Duluwat Island on the northern coast of California immediately after more than a century of displacement. And before this 12 months, more than 500 acres of California forests have been returned to a team of Native American tribes.
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