Friday, April 19, 2024

Casino proposal prompts tribes to clash over ancestral lands

Conceptual rendering courtesy of Pamunkey Indian Tribe
Conceptual rendering courtesy of Pamunkey Indian Tribe.

NORFOLK — As one Native American tribe seeks to open Virginia’s first casino, another tribe has lodged an objection over claims to ancestral lands.

The Nansemond tribe objects to the Pamunkey tribe’s claim that its ancestral lands stretched as far south as Norfolk. That’s where the Pamunkey have proposed building a $700 million resort and casino.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs would have to approve the casino. Among the things it would consider is the Pamunkey’s claim that it had a presence in what is now Norfolk. The Nansemond tribe claims it inhabited that land, not the Pamunkey.

The Pamunkey’s reservation is about 40 miles east of Richmond. The tribe greeted English settlers at Jamestown in the early 1600s and claims Pocahontas among its lineage.

RELATED STORY: Pamunkey tribe seeks to build Virginia’s first casino in Norfolk

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