Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission Meeting

June 23, 2010 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Members present: Delegate Chris Peace – Vice Chair Delegate Delores McQuinn James Wootton Alice Lynch Chief Kenneth Adams, Upper Mattaponi Sidney Turner, Nottoway Tribe of Virginia Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield Members absent: Governor Bob McDonnell Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling Speaker Bill Howell Delegate Bill Janis Clerk of the House Bruce Jamerson Clerk of the Senate Susan Clarke Schaar Vice Chair Delegate Chris Peace opened the meeting at 10 AM. At his request, each of the members introduced themselves and offered brief remarks regarding their participation in the Commission. Delegate Peace called the members’ attention to the minutes from the December 17, 2009 meeting, and asked if there were any corrections. Two minor corrections were recorded, and the minutes were accepted as corrected. Delegate Peace summarized the next steps of the Commission to include: 1) gathering information on other states that have memorials to American Indians on their capitol grounds. A list has been compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures and was circulated. 2) gathering information from the members and the interested public on potential concepts to be represented in the commemoration. 3) gathering information on artists, including local and renowned artists. He asked that all tribal representatives please solicit input from their tribal members and from other Virginia citizens. Alice Lynch commented regarding the compiled list of memorials that very few eastern states have anything on the list. This meant that Virginia could be in the vanguard in taking this commemorative action. James Wootton commented that the Civil Rights memorial captured the spirit of a moment in time, but the Indians may wish to capture a spirit through the centuries.

Speakers from the audience, which included 4 chiefs of Virginia tribes, were then invited to make public comments. Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy said that he hoped the Commission would not be fixated on the idea of a statue, and that the memorial should embrace both history and future, and include all the tribes of Eastern Woodland Indians who were in Virginia historically, some of whom do not have descendent communities in Virginia today. He hoped that the process would move with due deliberation. Chief Lynette Allston of the Nottoway Tribe of Virginia agreed that there were many tribes to be included, and that the project offered an opportunity to raise awareness of the histories and presence of all. She expressed an interest in helping to raise funds for the project. Powhatan Red Cloud-Owen, Chickahominy, stated that this project had been many years coming, and would give honor to the ancestors of the Virginia Indians. Karenne Wood, Monacan, Director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program, said that American Indians had been in Virginia for at least 18,000 years, and that she hoped the memorial would reflect the special attachment to place that Virginia Indians have for this area. She foresaw two major functions to be carried out, design and fundraising, and expressed an interest in working on the design. Delegate Peace then asked for additional comments from the Commission members. Chief Adams stated he would like to see as many of the ideas solicited in public comment incorporated into the design as possible, but that both funding and design would be difficult tasks. Delegate Peace suggested call the commemoration a tribute as it is not yet certain what form it will take. He delineated questions to be ask as: What is it? Where is it? What programs will come with it? How do we pay for it? He also specified several action items including *soliciting input from tribal members at tribal meetings *setting up a Facebook page *holding tele-town-halls *setting up subcommittees *aiming for monthly or bi-monthly meetings of the Commission. Delegate McQuinn stated that a timeline of anticipated dates to accomplish certain milestones would be helpful, as would a strategic plan, which would be useful in soliciting funds. Alice Lynch said she would ask the presidents of VCU and VMFA about who might be contacted regarding potential guidance in selection of an artist. Chief Adams called on Chief Kevin Brown of the Pamunkey, who was in the audience for his ideas, and Chief Brown stated that there was a saying that “Art by committee is bad art.” He

suggested that the Commission would be more effective in choosing the right artist primarily by looking at the body of work by the artist. Regarding the allotment of space to the commemoration, Delegate McQueen suggested the Commission let the design drive the space rather than the converse. Delegate Peace then suggested that the next meeting be held July 28 at 10 AM in the same room, House Room C. Commission Member Sidney Turner said he would be out of the state on that date, and Delegate Peace asked that he send a representative. The meeting was then adjourned.

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