Helen C. Rountree Lecture to Anthropological Society of Washington, 1988 October 18-19, Side 2, Helen C. Rountree Papers

Web Video Text Tracks Format (WebVTT)


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HELEN ROUNTREE: September 19th, 1988. Ceremony at the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, kicking off the State's 'Native American Indian Week.'

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RECORDING: We're going to begin our Native American Indian celebration with the Opening Prayer given by the Webster Counselor.

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WEBSTER COUNSELOR: Welcome to the [[??]] of nations. We gather here today to celebrate another historical event [[??]] And I hope that everyone here will enjoy it, knowing it is real.

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So right now, at the present moment, I'll ask each and everyone to bow down their heads as we look for the Great Prayer, in prayer. Lord have great pride of the Universe, we have power, we have power of, we have power in this place in the pleasure of the cause [[??]]

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We ask you this day to look down from thy majestic dome with grace and cast thy powers on all of mankind, to allow us, Oh Great Spirit, inspire all of us as we're gathered here today with thy Holy Trinity which will be uplifting and [[??]] love.

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Webster Counselor: Bless this celebration this early morning today. And make the im-powerful Heaven have blessings to all that are gathered here. That they all may be pleasing and upright in Thine sight.

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That is towards this cause of our counsel and love of the counsel [[?]] deliver Thy cause and the Lord help Thy people.

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Bless us this day and reward our leaders twofold. Enable us to prove Thy ultimate wisdom, that we are brothers and your strength that's with us each and friendship swells.

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Inspire our counsel with wisdom that they may guide their respective tribes in the right paths.

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That they go not astray and follow the paths of evil spirits. Oh, Thy Great Spirit, keep us from dangers, make us wise and virtuous, teach us the trails that we must follow, while we remain in the forest of life.

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And when it is thy will that we shall cross to the river of death, take us up to Thyself, that Thy Council will live forever in grace.

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Oh, Thy Great Spirit, hear us we pray. [[speaker: different male voices]] Amen. Amen. [[great sound of crowd cheering and making much noise]]

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HELEN ROUNTREE: Thank you, Chief, for those great, inspirational words. I'd like now, to formally welcome each of you to our Second Annual Native American Indian Celebration. This year we are launching a whole week of activities to draw attention to--

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Helen Rountree : -- the contributions of Native Americans.

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Thanks to the efforts of the Chairman of the Virginia Council on Indian [[?]], legislation was passed in the 1988 General Assembly to extend the celebration from a day to a week.

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The legislation states the purpose of Native American Indian Week is to honor the culture and heritage of the American Indians; to recognize the historic continuing contribution of that heritage in our society, and in particular, remembering the special place of the tribes native to Virginia, [[?]] history of the Commonwealth.

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To celebrate Native American Indian Week this year, there will be many, many special events taking place in the Commonwealth. Some ten thousand Virginia students, hundreds of thousands of visitors to this year's Virginia State Fairs will have an opportunity to see the 'living history' exhibits.

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This new exhibit, which is part of the American heritage showcase, will demonstrate the skill and efficiency which Virginia Indians used to farm and hunt in the early 17th century. Governor Baliles will be visiting this exhibit on Governor's Day to see it and to meet the Indian people who participated and brought forth its development.

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Also for the first time, Native American dancers will be performing at the State Fair, at [[? ?]] Day in Chesterfield County and at the Natural History Museum in Martinsville [[?]].

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Helen Rountree : Also, 500 schools have been sent packages of information about Native American Indian peoples. They have been invited to participate in the events planned by the Council on Indians and the tribes, so they can learn more about the contributions of Native Americans.

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In October, each of the middle schools of Virginia will receive a booklet about the tribes native to Virginia. And it's the hope of the Council, and the tribes that these events--

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Helen Rountree : -- to our teenagers, our young people to the Third Way to learn about the way Native Americans contributed to our ancient nation.

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So that the culture and heritage will never be lost and so the children of today will, in time, teach their children that they [[?]].

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Last year we stood up at this very portico and celebrated Native American Indian Day, and we all decided then that a day was simply not sufficient.

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That a week would probably begin to bring to all Virginians the richness of the history, heritage Native Virginians, the first Native Virginians, have given us.

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It is my pleasure now to introduce to you the honorable Chief of the tribe [[?]] of Virginia, and to ask each of them to join me in welcoming you. We'll do it at random here. We'll call each chief up to say a few words starting with Leonard Adkins of the Chickahominy Indian tribe.

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Chief Leonard Adkins: I think this is a great day for all of us.

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[[tape interrupted]]
UNKNOWN YOUNG WOMAN: You did, you did. I got carried away.

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[[tape continued]]
CHIEF LEONARD ADKINS: ... family and like many of the chiefs of the [[?]] Thursday, after the State Fair's over with, we'll put up a [[baret ?]] sign [[?]].

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But I hope this will be, ah, not a re-educating, but educating process for children and grown-ups for the State of Virginia and [[?]]. Thank you

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Helen Rountree : Boris Bradly of the East Chickahominy Indian tribe

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Boris Bradly: I'm particularly glad to see the number of people that are here and, I would like also to express my thanks to all of those people that have been involved in making this event possible, both today's events, and the events of next week.

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I think if perhaps, if we look back in time we wouldn't have seen any event, like this at all approximately twenty years ago. But as time changes things, time also changes us and we have to be prepared whatever changes can take place and then take our part in making those changes take place.

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So again I thank you for your attendance, for the opportunity that we have in sharing with the State of Virginia, we hope now as a result of some of these events that all Virginians will know that there are still a few of us natives left. [[applause]]

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{SPEAKER name="Helen Rountree } Webster Custalow, Mattaponi Indian tribe

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{SPEAKER name="Webster Custalow } I have hopes that, [[?]] the celebration of our Native American Indian Day. It is a great pleasure to take a part in this special occasion helping to celebrate this day.

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And I don't think I have to say, [[?]] Mattaponi tribe because I see so many of the Mattaponi [[?]] around here, we all know they are here. And I hope everyone will enjoy this ceremony, and I do hope that each and every one will help to keep it alive and

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{SPEAKER name="Webster Custalow } [[?]] for everybody. And I hope everyone here today will really enjoy themselves. And go home and sleep and think about tonight. Thank you. [[applause]]

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Helen Rountree : Our next Chief is Chief Broband of the [[??]] Indian tribe.

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Chief of unknown VA tribe: I ain't got much to say, [[?]], but I am the chief of the [[?]] tribe. God bless to all. [[?]] [[applause]]

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Helen Rountree : Chief William [[Loud]] of the [[?]] Indian tribe.

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Chief William ?: [[inaudible]] Indian reservations. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have made this event possible. [[inaudible]]

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Chief William ? : [[?]] Thank you. [[applause]]

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Helen Rountree : Chief [[Captain ?]] of the United [[Web Academy?]] could not be with us today but his daughter, Anne Richardson is here.

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Anne Richardson: Good afternoon. Honored guests. Many friends. I am very proud to be here today, an honor, this celebration today commemorates last year's celebrations, a first in the Commonwealth of this type. It lets me know that my Commonwealth is proud of American history. There is much history in the State of Virginia, it's so rich. We have the same [[?]] here today. For the [[?]] crowd standing here today and be proud of our heritage. And give us the strength to go forth and know that we [[?]]. That's seen so much of pretty lands. Thank you so much. [[applause]

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{SPEAKER name= "Helen Rountree"} Thank you very much. Great[[?]] of the Upper [[?]] tribe.

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{SPEAKER name=" [[?]] Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. You might notice I'm the last one. [[inaudible]] Don't always save the best for last [[?better?]] but I am the biggest. [[laughter]] No, I really appreciate being here today, and uh [[?]] Native American Indians. I thank the Council of Indian Affairs for what they have done to get us here today. And I'd personally like to thank the state of Virginia for really recognizing some of the wrongs that have been done to the American Indian over the years.

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[[?]] [[male speaker]] : ...but to be big enough to say it and make certain and have to try and make it right. I'd like to thank the State of Virginia. [[applause]]

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Helen Rountree: Thank you, Honorable [[?]]. Last Saturday and Sunday many of us were at [[?]] Island, to celebrate the very moving return of [[?]] tribe to their ancestral homeland. Those of you that were not there, you missed a wonderful ceremony, and a wonderful part of history. What we're doing today symbolizes that search that we have for that history and culture and heritage; that we want to find out what happens in the past is still not [[that history?]]. And today Native American communities are in celebration beginning a very special week I hope we'll do just that.

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It is now my pleasure to introduce to you the very capable, the very energetic, the very dedicated, the very smooth, the very wonderful Chairman of the city Council of Indian [[?]] Art. [[applause]]

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[[? male voice]] : I thought she was talking about somebody else! [[laughter]] I thought she was talking about [[?]]. And all the time she was talking about [[?]]

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I have [[?]]. I have the distinct pleasure to introduce [[?]]. I have known him from the early sixties, in fact the late fifties, and watched him in his progress through [[?]]

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[[same male speaker as last clip]]

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the people of this great city, our capitol city, [[?]] elected him to [[?]] of the [[?]] with a great deal of dignity, expertise [[?]] not only the people of [[?]] but the people [[?]] of a [[?]]

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In 1985 he made his announcement for [[?]] and he ran, and he ran hard. He ran from [[?]] to [[?]]. He ran from Loudon County [[?]] to the North Carolina [[?]]. And everywhere the people of this great continent were impressed with him.

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I'm not gonna say nothing [[?]] because he wouldn't want me to do that. He would like me to say that what he's saying before y'all he is the epitome of what can happen to someone in Virginia [[?]] He has been a credit to America

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He's been a credit to our great commonwealth and a credit to our [[?]] and he'll tell you in just a short minute, Chief Adkins, he's got some[[?]]. At this time it is my great pleasure to [[?]], butter up [[laughter]] [[?]] [[applause]]

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Thank you very much. [[?]] Secretary of state, to the distinguished chiefs, [[?]] and to the native american press. It has been my esteemed pleasure to participate today.

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[[?]] Being the chairman of the Council on Indian Affairs, he wanted to tell you that he has been working with reference to legislation relating to Indian Affairs for a long time. Introducing legislation.

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Having people to often even understand, or to ask, "Why is it necessary?" And he said, "Well, you just vote for it and I'll show you why it's necessary later." And he did.

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[[?]] came that he's still here, still championing the cause. I was very pleased to support the legislation which made this [[?]]

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{SPEAKER same male speaker as in previous page} I need not tell you the role that Native Americans have played in the development of our country and development of our commonwealth because our country started here. To the respect that our country started here, whatever you have done and those who were your forebearers, your ancestors {{??}} have built this country. It's only fair that, if I may mention something relative to ancestral roots [[?]] and I have always held that the slave trade give me. Yet the modern days fascinating living, the trend toward a more [[?]]society comes more upon us to learn about and to remember the constitutions of the various people of America and especially about governments and although only 2 of the original Virginia tribes have retained their reservations, the culture and the history of the Virginia Indians lives throughout our [[?]].

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The names of our [[?]]recognized tribes are part of our consciousness [[?]] epitomized the other day by the presentations of chiefs from the [[?]], the eastern [[?]], the [[?]], and [[?]], the [[?]], the [[?]] and the [[?]]. Many people know these names only as rivers in our commonwealth. Not the rich cultural development and contributions that that have been made. Our children

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Governor Walker: but that not only are these geographical features but that thosenames represent a rich, and indeed a very valuable, cultural heritage. No man, no state, no place can ever long endure without the appreciation of heritage. A full and complete appreciation of that heritage.

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So it's important to all of us to understand and to appreciate the contribution of Virginia's Indians to our society.

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It is a part that makes us unique and indeed it reminds of the fact that although we are all part of the fabric of American society, that the individual threads of that fabric are what gives it it's color, it's energy and it's vibrancy. So the contributions of Native Americans will be highlighted in a comprehensive way with the opening of the new [[?]] gallery museum in Jamestown.

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I hope very much to be there next fall when that day occurs. Thank you for all the things you have done, I encourage you in all the good work you are doing. Good luck and God bless you. [[applause]]
Helen Rountree :

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Thank you Governor Walker. We will now be privileged to see Indian dancing done by the [[?]] dancers. It will take place in the center of the circle here. Are you dancers ready?

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Helen Rountree : [[?]] I'm glad to see we have members of the [[?]]. We're sorry [[?]] couldn't be here. We participated in the [[?]] festival this weekend and had a wonderful time and I'm sure you'll must be aware it was a very long trip and some of us couldn't be here. I'd like to call on the [[?]] dancers who are here to come up and do their dances [[?]].

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[SILENCE] [[hear Indian singing and drums]]
Helen Rountree : I'd like to call on [[?]] dancers

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Speaker One: I'm here to drop off from the [circus?] [[?]]

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Speaker Two: [[?]][Firstly for each one of you?], we are here today to celebrate the points for the greater America and the state of Virginia so please call in and if you feel like please stand while we are here today. [[?]]

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SPEAKER Three: Now we hope to pledge [Cameron?] here... [[?]]

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{SPEAKER name=SPEAKER Four} Well... [[?]]

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SPEAKER Two: [[?]] Well we want it here just as well as but we can only do that...[[?]]

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SPEAKER Two: [[?]] will say a few words now about the Council agenda for 1989.

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SPEAKER ?: Thank you, Secretary [[?]]. I would like to [[?]] ---

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SPEAKER Five: Darn.

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SPEAKER One: [[?]] I'd like to start here again. [[?]]

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SPEAKER One: [[?]] I'd like to go up and draw...[[?]] You know how hard it is to draw...[[?]] Things have better...[[?]] a lot that they've been paid. Living like this is a pretty hard to throw away a reports to it. [[?]] It is a bigger...

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Glad to be here and to recreate

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Today I want to take a few minutes to tell you about where I've seen as a junior councilman in the [[?]]

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But first, I'm going to tell you where we stand.

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The council has made great strides in order to have some objectives over the last several years.

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[?]] constituted the Native America's pride. Was brought to the [[?]] celebration

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I've seen it grow from single day to weeks, mainly uh they could brought in Charles Bennett the second to [[?]] and Native Americans love it [[?]] without it be aware, folks.

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uh, we've also developed a newsletter and we've produced a biannual report that key legislators, state and local government, [[?]] and tribes about Council activities. This newsletter has received input from council and at times from members of the various tribes.

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And it should serve for and to keep you aware of the fact that we're the public council to enhance your positions as members of the various tribes.

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We also, the Council also supports Native American bands and brands.

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The Council has worked to educate the Commonwealth school children about the role Native Americans played in the history of our state and nation. While augmenting educational exhibits at the state fair, by inviting school children to attend any festivals and events

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...And by participating in the development of the new Powhatan Gallery at Jamestown Festival Park.

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The council has also worked to create and maintain good state and tribe relations.

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In many states Indian people have to struggle to be heard by their state government, but not so in Virginia. Virginians have enjoyed a relationship with mutual respect and openness with state officials.

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I believe this relationship is best symbolized by the tribute the Governor made to the Indian people last Thanksgiving Day.

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SPEAKER 1: The government announced that they will not limit their support of the Indian people's special occasions.

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If provided, a loyal and active support through his appointee, [[?]]. Even if you are [[?]] and use her considerable powers to work on behalf of Virginians.

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She has also given her staff, and this staff which had been sorely needed for many years, has enabled the council to make significant progress

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This year she has allowed us to obtain attain our first position, permanent position, in the 1988 general assembly. This staff has the support of Virginia [[?]] has made it possible for us to plan a full agenda for the future.

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Our future, our future plan includes sponsor state wide powwow. We have talked about this for a long time and for a long time it seemed like a dream. But that dream is really close to approaching reality.

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The counsel also will continue to provide information to Virginian students on how they might prepare for college education and how they might obtain financial aide for the institution.

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The counsel is working to develop a Director of Information on the federal state and product programs which may be of assistance to Indian people.

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The counsel has expelled and working to replace historic landmarks that portray our ancestors in derogatory way.

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And also our constant work to increase strong communication [[?]]

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In all these ways and others, I believe the council can continue to be an effective advocacy groups for Virginians.

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I look forward to working with you in the coming years and for us together finding a [[?]]

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I find, I find as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, that the great things in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are going.

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i thank you for this opportunity to share with you several things that

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Speaker 1: [[?]] and what we plan to do in the future. Thank you.

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Speaker 2: Thank you very much, Steve

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Speaker 2: Before we begin our closing prayer, Chief [[?]] wanted me to let everyone know that

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Speaker 2: after the closing prayer he has some beads that were traded,

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Speaker 2: I guess 300 years ago at least, and they're in his possession. They have to be handled very carefully so he'll have them here if anyone wants to look at them.

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Speaker 2: But they came from England and were traded I guess practically 300 years ago or even longer than that.

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Speaker 2: Now for our closing prayer, the [[?]] of the united Rappahannock tribe and a member of Virginia council of Indians will do the closing prayer, closing service for us. The Coven--

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Speaker 3: [[singing]] Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

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Speaker 3: [[singing]] Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is

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[[female voice singing]] it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgave our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever, Amen. [[applause]]

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Thank you [[?]] that was beautiful.

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Honorable Chief, Governor Wilder, [[?]] honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our ceremony. As I said earlier, [[?]] will be available [[?]]

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We thank you for coming today, and we hope you will remember the hope we're celebrating for the rest of your day. Thank you.

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