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Pamunkey tribe withstands challenge to federal recognition

A group challenging federal recognition of Virginia's Pamunkey Indian tribe has lost its case before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals.
UNITED STATES - MAY 01: Chief Stephen R. Adkins of the Chickahominy tribe and Chief Ken Adams of the Upper Mattaponi Tribe at Indian View Church built in 1925. The church is located on route 30 in King William County, Virginia and sits on Upper Mattaponi tribal land. The Virginia Indians are the direct descendents of Chief Powhatan, the Paramount Chief of over 30 neighboring tribes. The Virginia tribes still do not have federal recognition after 400 years. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A group challenging federal recognition of Virginia's Pamunkey Indian tribe has lost its case before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals.

The Washington Post reports that in July, the Pamunkey became the first Virginia tribe to receive federal recognition from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. In October, the recognition was put on hold when the group Stand Up for California issued a last-minute challenge to the decision.

Stand Up argued that the Pamunkey didn't meet requirements for recognition. The group seeks to impose stricter guidelines for tribal recognition.

In its ruling, the Indian appeals board said Stand Up had no standing to challenge the tribe's new status.

The tribe, which claims Pocahontas as an ancestor, will now receive all the benefits and rights of federally recognized tribes and can now pursue casino gambling.