A ground-breaking event for the Virginia Indian tribute took place the morning of June 24, 2017, attended by members of state-recognized tribes, state dignitaries, and hosted by Billy Mills, an Oglala Lakota and 1964 Olympic gold medal winner. Karenne Wood (Monacan), VFH Director of Virginia Indian Programs, offered a prayer in the Tutelo language. Upper Mattaponi Chief Emeritus Kenneth Adams addressed the crowd, along with Representative Chris Peace, Mohawk artist Alan Michelson, and Billy Mills. Virginia Indian dancers performed with Turtle Clan drum. The ground was symbolically broken by dignitaries, using shovels signed by chiefs. The crowd was then invited to sprinkle tobacco on the ground as a way of blessing the space before the monument's construction began. The monument will be dedicated in April 2018.