Introduced Version - Originating in Committee House Concurrent Resolution 138 History

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(By Delegates Morgan, Stephens, Caputo, Diserio, Eldridge, Ferns, Hartman, Jones, Lynch, Paxton, Smith, P., Staggers, Swartzmiller, Arvon, Azinger, Border, Cadle, Faircloth, Folk, Kump, Romine, Smith, R.)

[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;

April 8, 2013.]


Requesting that the Joint Committee on Government and Finance authorize a study on state recognition of Native American Tribes.

    Whereas, Currently, West Virginia does not formally recognize indigenous Native American tribes within the State, but has historically been the homeland of Native American tribes and groups; and

    Whereas, During the 2002 Regular Session, the West Virginia Legislature adopted House Resolution 18 and Senate Resolution 28, recognizing the Native American Indian Federation as an official tribe of the State of West Virginia; and

    Whereas, During the 2002 Regular Session, the West Virginia Legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution 78 requesting a study on the establishment of a State Commission on Indian Affairs; and

    WHEREAS, Native Americans and their descendants live throughout the state of West Virginia and contribute to the economic, cultural, political and social diversity of West Virginia; and

    Whereas, Native Americans have influenced and enriched the heritage of this state as reflected in the names of our rivers Ohio, Monogahela and Kanawha, the names of our counties Logan and Mingo, and our state parks and forests Seneca Rocks and Watoga; and

    Whereas, The State of West Virginia has a unique history as an area esteemed for its great natural resources depended upon by Native Americans of many tribes; and

    Whereas, It is in the public interest for West Virginia and its citizens to recognize the diverse culture and ethnic heritage of the people of this State in order to promote greater awareness and understanding for the education, inspiration and the general public welfare of its people; and 

    Whereas, Official state recognition of Native American tribes will help keep alive the oral history and traditions that have been handed down through countless generations of families; and

     Whereas, There is a mutual shared interest of West Virginia and groups in West Virginia to recognize Native American Tribes and certify Native American Organizations as such recognition is necessary to promote access to certain educational, cultural and economic development opportunities, pursuant to Public Law 101-644 the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and its subsequent revisions; and

    Whereas, Official state recognition of Native American tribes by West Virginia may be necessary to facilitate access to federal funds set aside for Native Americans; and

    Whereas, The Legislature of West Virginia is committed to promoting access to opportunity and recognizing cultural diversity for all of our citizens; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to authorize a study on the state recognition of Native American Tribes; and be it   

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the Regular Session of the Legislature, 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Legislative expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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