The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, made first ethno-historic contact with the English in 1607/1608 in what is now Nottoway County. We were referred to as Mangoak, or Mengwe, by the Algonquian Tribes and later in 1650, per the diary entries of Edward Bland, referred to again by the Algonquian Tribes as “Nadawa,” which soon reverted to Nottoway. In our native Iroquoian Tongue we call ourselves CHEROENHAKA – People at the Fork of the Stream.
We lodged and hunted in the southeastern part of Virginia along the Nottoway and Blackwater River. Our hunting territory extended into North Carolina along the Chowan River as far as Albemarle Sound. We, the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe’s Chief Men were signers of three Treaties with the English / Colonial Government: the Treaty of 1646, 1677 and 1714 (w/Successor Clause), wherein Tribal Land was granted, the last of which was the” Circle” and the “Square Tract” (41 K acres) located in what is now Sussex and Southampton County, Virginia.
An 1808 “Special Census” depicted the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Members still living on said land in Sussex and Southampton County, Virginia in the vicinity of Assamoosick Swamp. Due to conditions germane to an influx of English Settlers (encroachment) and other accompanying economic conditions; to include, “Documentary Genocide,” some Tribal Members dispersed to other locations outside of Southampton County and even the state of Virginia; however, many of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Members remained, continuing to live in a communal group/tribe in “Artist Town” up to the early 1990s, and their descendants (as of this day) still remain in Southampton County.
As Tribal citizens, and as residents of Southampton County Virginia “We” the Historical Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe (Reorganized) came together in a purpose to share much, of our culture, and traditions, realizing that we have one thing in common – through no fault of our own, some of us must struggle to find our Native American roots. Many of us were lucky in that our ancestors / parents guided us in our Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian genealogy, Culture, and Traditional Ways. Others had parents who were afraid to embrace their Native American heritage for fear of repercussions, even to the point of being reclassified as another race – which we were on paper – Documentary Genocide at it’s worst.
The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County, Virginia seeks to remedy that situation by uniting together as a Nation, while building ALLIES with other neighboring Native American Tribes, so that our rich heritage, history, traditions and culture is not lost.
The “Goals / Purpose” of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County Virginia are:
- To Preserve and perpetuate the ideas, culture, and traditions of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe.
- To enlighten and inform others as to the Native American way of life.
- To raise public awareness of the history and culture of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County, Virginia.
- To assist members in researching their Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian genealogy.
- To bring together (once dispersed) the NATION of Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian descendants and those seeking a tribal unity with the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe.
- To engage in scientific, educational and cultural activities / exchanges to benefit the Tribal Membership and Virginia’s community at large.
- To encourage the educational system of Virginia to teach an accurate portrayal of Native American influence of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian culture and Traditions.
- To seek out / research the Quiocosine(s) (Nottoway Indian Burial Grounds) clear / clean a portion of said discovered Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Cemeteries located in Southampton County, Virginia and /or surrounding counties; such as, Rose Hill , Hand Site and Raccoon Island – and conduct a Native American rededication ceremony, to include the laying of an official marker.
- To acquire “letters of support” from congress, other state recognized Tribes in pursuit of Federal Certification for the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County Virginia.
- To submit a petition to the National Museum of National History for repatriation of the remains and return to their original resting-place the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian’s Skeletal Remains (132 ea.), excavated at the Hand Site # 44SN22 in Southampton County, Virginia – 1965, 66, & 69.
- Coordinate with the Southeastern Virginia Community at large, Counties, State and Federal Government in pursuit of land donations and / or purchases / repatriation, for a Reservation Site.
- Establish a Tribal Historical Cultural Center / Museum for the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County VA.
- Research and document the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Language.
- Coordinate and develop a Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation with the purpose of providing scholarship support for four year college or Technical Educational pursuits by Native Americans.
- Seek and retain a 501 ( c )( 3 ) status, non-profit tax status, thus providing a catalyst or vehicle in raising money for educational support to Virginia’s Native Population.