RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam on Monday announced the signing of a land trust agreement with the Mattaponi Indian Tribe.
The agreement will formally transfer over 100 acres of land to the Mattaponi Indian Reservation, located in King William County, Virginia, almost doubling the size of the current reservation.
“Expanding the Mattaponi Indian Reservation through this land trust agreement will help preserve the sustainability of the Tribe and its unique history and culture,” said Governor Northam. “I look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with the Mattaponi as we grow the friendship that connects the Tribe and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Governor Northam visited the reservation on Sunday to commemorate the occasion and joined tribal members at their annual Homecoming and Revival.
The land base was granted to the Mattaponi in 1658 by King Charles of England. Today, the Mattaponi Reservation is held in perpetual trust by the Commonwealth of Virginia for exclusive use by the Tribe.
Over the past decade, the Mattaponi have purchased and re-acquired over 100 acres of private land that had once been part of the reservation. With the signing of this agreement, these land parcels will now be held in trust for the benefit of the Tribe. By formally returning the parcels to the reservation, the Mattaponi will have a permanent right of possession and complete control over the land.
The newly annexed parcels will play a key role in the Mattaponi’s cultural preservation, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, and increasing the amount of available land for new housing construction on the reservation.
The Mattaponi Indian Reservation is currently 150 acres in size and houses around 75 residents and hosts a church, a museum, the Minnie-Ha Ha Educational Center, the Hatchery and Marine Science Facility, and a community building.
The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth serves as the Governor’s liaison to Virginia’s Indian tribes. Click here for more information.
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