The economic stimulus package will not be giving assistance to Native American tribes in Virginia, reports the Daily Press. Nationally, some $2.5 billion will be going to Native American tribes, but since no tribes in Virginia are federally recognized, none will receive any funding directly.
Legislatures have said that money from the economic stimulus for Native American tribes will help people in some of the most impoverished areas of the nation. The current economic recession has seen the rates of poverty in Native communities worsen. Some Native American communities face more than 50 percent unemployment. Eight of the 10 poorest counties in the United States are on reservations. The stimulus funds could go far in helping with projects on the ground -- repaving roads, building schools and health clinics, and generating employment.
The Daily Press reports that for more than a decade several Virginia tribes - including the Chickahominy, Mattaponi and Pamunkey in the Hampton Roads region - have been trying to have legislation passed in Congress for federal recognition without success.
Now the only way the Virginia tribes currently can receive any of the funding or help from the stimulus package is if the city or county where the tribe is located is given money for improvements that may benefit tribe members, reports the Daily Press.