Gov. Northan, two Native American tribes hold ceremony for Thanksgiving
RICHMOND, Va. – A 342-year-old ceremony took place in Richmond on Wednesday between leaders of two Native American tribes and the state’s governor.
It’s the annual tax tribute, which marks a treaty signed between the colonial governor in 1677 and the Mattaponi and Pamunkey nations.
The ceremony also honors Native American Heritage Month.
Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray and Mattaponi Chief Mark Custalow both presented a whitetail deer each, along with handmade gifts, to governor Ralph Northam.
The ceremony is usually conducted outside, but it was held inside this year because of rain.
Originally, the treaty was supposed to guarantee territorial rights -- game and gifts were to take the place of taxes.
It is considered to be the oldest continual nation-to-nation ceremony in the US.
After the ceremony, the deer are usually donated to charities that provide food for people in need.