Historic Justice & Equity

Virginia’s 400 history is difficult and complex, and Governor Northam is dedicated to telling the full and true story of our past.

Prior to the 2020 legislative session, the Governor announced legislation and budget priorities for historic justice and equity in Virginia. The full details of Governor Northam’s historic justice proposals are available here.

Statue Commission

In 2020, Governor Northam announced Juneteenth as a paid state holiday and proclaimed the day in observance across the Commonwealth.

Empowering and Honoring Virginia’s Indian Tribes

The Northam Administration has continued to support Virginia’s eleven state-recognized Indian tribes and build strong government-to-government relationships with the seven federally recognized tribes, including hosting roundtables with leadership from tribal governments and state agencies.

In 2019, the Northam Administration also took several important steps to honor the tribal history of Virginia Indians and ensure they have an enduring home to continue their sacred traditions in the Commonwealth. In June of 2019, Governor Northam announced an important land acquisition by the Chickahominy Tribe. The 105-acre site, known as Chickahominy on the Powhatan, along the James River was purchased with the assistance of a grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.

The land, upriver from historic Jamestown Island, will be permanently protected from development and will provide a location to showcase the culture, history, and traditions of the Chickahominy Tribe. In addition to its cultural importance, the property was identified by the Commonwealth’s new data-driven approach to land conservation, ConserveVirginia, for its ability to reduce flooding and protect wetlands.

In August, Governor Northam signed a land trust agreement with the Mattaponi Indian Tribe, formally transferring over 100 acres of land to the reservation in King William County and almost doubling the size of the current reservation. Over the past decade, the Mattaponi have purchased and re-acquired over 100 acres of private land that had once been part of the reservation. These land parcels will now be held in trust for the benefit of the Tribe, and the Mattaponi will have complete control over the land. Governor Northam visited the reservation to commemorate the occasion and joined tribal members at their annual Homecoming and Revival.