Below are the details of the charge to the commission given in the Executive Order made by Governor Kaine on October 22, 2009.
Establishing the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission
Importance of the Issue
Native Americans have lived in the land now known as Virginia for thousands of years, their history having been and continuing to be documented. The historical record confirms that Virginia Indians provided aid and comfort to the British colonists in 1607 and were instrumental in the establishment of the first permanent English-speaking settlement in North America at Jamestown.
The legacy of the indigenous peoples of the Commonwealth has been recorded in the names of many Virginia locations and landmarks, such as the Cities of Chesapeake and Roanoke, the Counties of Accomack, Appomattox, and Powhatan, and the Chickahominy, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Potomac, Powhatan, and Rappahannock Rivers, as well as many other sites. Despite hardships brought about by the loss of lands, languages, and civil rights, American Indians in Virginia have persisted and continued to contribute to the Commonwealth through agriculture, land stewardship, teaching, military and civil service, the arts, and other avenues of productive citizenship.
Establishment of the Commission
In recognition that the courage, persistence, determination, and cultural values of Virginia's Indians have significantly enhanced and contributed to society, the General Assembly approved House Joint Resolution 680 (2009), requesting the creation of a commission to recommend an appropriate monument in Capitol Square to commemorate the life, achievements, and legacy of American Indians in the Commonwealth. Accordingly, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, including but not limited to Section § 2.2-134 of the Code of Virginia, and subject to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, there is hereby established the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission.
Composition of the Commission
The Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission shall consist of the Governor of Virginia, who shall serve as Chairman thereof, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, three members of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates, the Clerk of the House of Delegates, the Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules, two citizen members of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, the Clerk of the Senate, the Executive Director of the Capitol Square Preservation Council, three members who shall be representatives of Virginia Indians to be appointed by the Governor, and the Executive Director of the Virginia Capitol Foundation who shall serve ex officio with nonvoting privileges. Additional members may be appointed at the Governor’s discretion. The Virginia Council on Indians shall provide staff support for the Commission.
Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but they may receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties.
Charge for the Commission
The Commission shall determine and recommend to the General Assembly an appropriate monument in Capitol Square to commemorate the life, achievements, and legacy of American Indians in the Commonwealth. The Commission shall seek private funding for the operation and support of the Commission and the erection of an appropriate monument. However, the costs of implementation of the Commission, its work, and the compensation and reimbursement of members shall be borne by the Commission from such private funds as it may acquire to cover the costs of its operation and work. The Commission may establish an organization with 501c(3) status for fundraising purposes. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Commission, upon request.
The Commission shall report annually the status of its work, including any findings and recommendations, to the General Assembly, beginning on December 1, 2009. The report shall also be posted on the General Assembly's website.
This Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in effect until the Commission submits a final report, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Given under my hand and under the seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 22nd day of October, 2009.