Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission welcomed leaders of Native American tribes at the state Capitol for a ceremony to dedicate “Mantle,” a monument honoring Virginia’s first inhabitants. This Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting celebrated the culture, contributions and significance of Native Americans. Many of the attendees dressed in traditional Indian garments, and each speaker passed to the next an eagle’s feather conveying strength, courage and wisdom.
“It’s apt, I think, that we gather here on Capitol Square — in many ways the very heart of our commonwealth’s diverse, vibrant and engaging civic life — to show our respect, to show our gratitude and to show our abiding admiration for native peoples who have lived in this land for thousands of years,” said Paul Nardo, clerk of the House of Delegates and a member of the commission. Members of the community joined in celebrating the completion of “Mantle,” for which ground was broken last summer.