Based on the history of relations with state government and Virginia’s Indigenous population, the Sovereignty conference will help build relationships, understanding, and common ground needed to better the future for our Virginia Tribal communities and all Virginians.
Scholars and experts in Native American sovereignty from across the country will present and provide an opportunity for Tribal and state officials to approach and address issues we face as sovereign nations in the Commonwealth and to discuss how together we might address them more efficiently and respectfully for the benefit of all Virginians.
As Federally-recognized sovereign nations, Native peoples have unique rights and powers similar to and sometimes beyond those wielded by states. Recognition brings needed balance to the centuries-old relationships between Tribes and government agencies. The development of professional, respectful Tribal–State relations has been mutually beneficial in other regions – working together for common goals, rather than wasting time, money, and goodwill seeking solutions through the courts. With shared understanding and guidelines for clear communications and consultation, the Tribes and the Commonwealth of Virginia can work together on issues important to all in our state.