From left: Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray, Gov. Ralph Northam, First Lady Pam Northam and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson listen as Mattaponi Chief Mark Custalow sings and drums for dancers during the 342nd annual Indian Tax Tribute ceremony inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, VA Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.
Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray and Mattaponi Chief Mark Custalow each presented a whitetail deer to Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday during the annual pre-Thanksgiving Indian tax tribute ceremony in Richmond.
The tradition dates back to a treaty signed in 1677 between Colonial Gov. Herbert Jeffreys and several Native American leaders. The peace treaty was meant to preserve territorial rights and codify the tribes' status as subjects of the English king.
The tribes agreed to deliver game to the governor of the colony in exchange for the Mattaponi and Pamunkey reservations in King William County being able to hold their land tax-free.
The tax tribute ceremony, traditionally outdoors, was held Wednesday inside the Patrick Henry Building.
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