Cheroenhaka Tribe presents 311th Spotswood Treaty Tribute

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of Southampton County recently presented the 311th annual Spotswood Treaty Tribute to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. 

A tribe news release noted that the Spotswood Treaty was signed with the Cheroenhaka Tribe on Feb. 27, 1713.

The treaty requires three peace arrows and any other formal treaty tribute. As such, the tribe wrapped the three peace arrows in a beaver pelt, which represented the 1677 treaty, Woodland Plantation Treaty, that took place in Williamsburg. A wampum belt also was presented as part of the treaty tribute as a representative of a tax tribute.

The treaty ceremony took place April 23 at the Mantle, a Native American memorial on the Capitol grounds in Richmond.

After initial welcoming comments by Youngkin, tribal members in attendance in full native regalia opened up the ceremony with an Honor Dance for Gov. Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin to the hand drumming and singing of Cheroenhaka Tribe Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown.

At the close of the Honor Dance, Brown presented the traditional tribute of three peace arrows, a beaver pelt and a wampum belt to the governor, followed by group pictures with the governor, first lady, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Gee and Virginia State Del. H. Otto Wachsmann Jr.