Mattaponi Tribe Fights for Sacred River

August 7, 2001

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On August 7, 2001, The Christian Science Monitor reported that "the Mattaponi Indians - which include descendants of Pocahontas - have long considered sacred the river that runs through their reservation in Virginia. The annual shad run, in particular, is of great cultural significance... Now, however, the city of Newport News, Va., wants to transfer water out of the Mattaponi River to support its growing population. The result is a clash of old and new - ancient religious values and modern water needs - that could set a precedent for how such disputes will be settled in the future... Starting this month, the federal government - in the form of the Army Corps of Engineers - will try to sort out the Mattaponi clash."