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Virginia Indians present governor with deer

Chief Carl Custalow presents Governor McDonnell with a deer as tax tribute, killed Monday. (PHOTO: Kathy Scott)

Chief Carl Custalow presents Governor McDonnell with a deer as tax tribute, killed Monday. (PHOTO: Kathy Scott)

Chief Carl Custalow presents Governor McDonnell with a deer as tax tribute, killed Monday. (PHOTO: Kathy Scott)

Chief Carl Custalow presents Governor McDonnell with a deer as tax tribute, killed Monday. (PHOTO: Kathy Scott)

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.


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