Bells toll in Richmond for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Posted at 12:18 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-10 13:19:32-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Bells from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church echoed throughout downtown Richmond to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday.

The Pocahontas Project and executive director Rick Tatnall organized the gathering at the mantle on Capitol Square.

Tatnall said the ceremony honors the ancient wisdom of Native, Indigenous & First Nations peoples around the world.

Indian Monument Dedication
Visitors walks around the Mantle a Virginia Indian tribute monument on Capitol Square in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The inspiration for the design by artist Alan Michelson was from Chief Powhatan's "mantle," which was a deerskin ceremonial cloak decorated with shell-beads sewn in spiral clusters. The tribute's design takes on this distinctive spiral shape, which for Powhatan would have symbolized his pre-eminence and authority. The center stone of the monument has the inscription of the Virginia Indian tribes.

Chief Mark Custalow of the Mattaponi Indian Tribe spoke about his people’s respect for the Earth and nature.

The Mattaponi people continue to fight for federal recognition.

“We are one of the oldest reservations in the United States. Our reservation was confirmed in 1658, so we and the Pamunkey people are the oldest reservations in the United States. We predate the constitution of the United States,” Chief Custalow stated.

Virginia officially recognizes 11 different Indian tribes.

The Pocahontas Project is also calling on President Joe Biden to designate March 21, 2023, as the National Day of Honor for Pocahontas and America’s Indian tribes.

The group is currently working with Virginia lawmakers to codify the day into state laws.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.


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