November is Native American Heritage Month, and since 2020, Virginia has recognized the second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day. Native Americans have lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia since time immemorial and have, thus, contributed a tremendous amount to our history, culture, and overall society. A significant percentage of this population, for example, has served in the military.  

In Virginia, there are about 24,000 Native American residents. Seven are federally-recognized tribal nations: the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division, Monacan Indian Nation, Nansemond Indian Nation, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Rappahannock Tribe, and Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. Four additional state-recognized tribes call Virginia home: the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Mattaponi Indian Tribe, Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, and Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia. The total Native American population in the state has not changed much over the past decade. 

Homeownership rates tend to be lower for Native American households. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, about 40% of Native American households in Virginia are homeowners, compared with more than 65% of the overall population in the state.  

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has several resources for Native Americans—particularly the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program, which is a home mortgage product specifically designed to increase homeownership amongst and to better equip Native families.  

Happy Native American Heritage Month! 

Click here to send any comments or questions about this piece to Virginia REALTORS® Senior Vice President of Community and Industry Relations Leslie Frazier.