By Scott Wise
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A Thanksgiving tradition continued Wednesday morning outside the Virginia governor’s mansion when Governor Bob McDonnell accepted a tax tribute from Virginia Indian tribes.
The governor’s office called 335-year-old ceremony the “oldest continuing nation-to-nation ceremony in the United States.”
“[Mattaponi Tribe] Chief Carl Custalow presented the governor and first lady with a piece of pottery decorated with fish and turtles, a beaded feathered medicine bag and an eight point buck deer,” the governor’s office announced. “[Pamunkey Tribe] Chief Kevin Brown presented them with a drum made by a Pamunkey artisan, a beaded barrette, and a deer.”
The tax tribute tradition started in 1677 following Bacon’s Rebellion. A treaty between Great Britain and the Indian tribes spelled out that the British would reserve land for the tribes and in return, the tribes would pay the governor a token, in lieu of taxes.
During the ceremony, Gov. McDonnell announced a new monument honoring Virginia Indians would be unveiled at the Capitol as early as next year.