Departure Ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian
The Ceremony began with acknowlegement by the museum representatives of the historic visit of the Virginia Indians to England, and the honor they felt at NMAI to be apart of such a significant occasion. Both Chief Stephen Adkins and Chief Kenneth Adams spoke to the audience of the importance during the commemoration of the 2007 anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America, to tell the Virginia Indian story. Ben Denby representing the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, and the Jamestown 2007 Commission, spoke to the crowd of the significance of the historic relationship of the Tribes to the English Government.
Then, Wayne Adkins acknowledged the audience and those who were supporting the Tribes trip and brought forth the dancers who then perform a traditional Virginia Indian dance.
After the dance performance, Rev. John Barton lead a prayer asking everyone who was departing to touch or hold hands as a way of creating the spiritual energy between them for this important mission. The power of the prayer and emotion among those embarking on the journey, touch, moved and inspired all of us in the room.
Senator George Allen and Congress Jim Moran, long time supporters and friends of the Tribes were in attendance and took time to speak to many of the tribal members and take interviews from the press. Congressman Moran and Senator Allen are sponsors of the bill seeking Federal Recognition for Six of the Virginia Indian Tribes. The bill recently had a hearing in the Senate on June 21, 2006. See link to the Senate Testimony of Chief Stephen Adkins.
Then everyone loaded onto the buses and headed for Dulles airport bound for the UK.