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Update: Chief of Monacan Indian Nation Dies After Cancer Battle

Amherst, VA - Today visitors will start paying their respects to the Monacan Indian Nation Chief Sharon Bryant.

Bryant passed away from cancer on Tuesday.

Chief Bryant was the first woman to hold the position of chief of the Monacan Nation.

She was only 54 at the time of her death, and fought hard for federal recognition of the tribe's indigenous status.

In an interview with WSET in 2011 - she said it had been a childhood dream to hold the position of Chief - and she fulfilled that wish.

Bryant was planning to run for re-election and wrote these words on the nation's Facebook page in April.

"There is one single most important requirement for any nominee for any position in the Monacan Nation, and that is LOVE. A true, deep and abiding love for your people is what you must have to serve them well."

Her loss is being felt all over the state: Even Senator Tim Kaine weighed in - saying he is "deeply saddened."

Memorial Services are pending the arrival of officiants right now.

But Chief Bryant's family will receive visitors at her home in Monroe starting tonight through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If you'd like to write your condolences, please go to tharpfuneralhome.com.

The Monacans have elected a new Chief - Dean Branham - who served as assistant Chief to Bryant.

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Amherst, VA - ABC 13 is working to confirm funeral arrangements for Sharon Bryant - the Honorary Chief of the Monacan Indian Nation.The nation announced yesterday that she passed away from cancer.Bryant was 54 years old.Right now - they're working out her funeral plans.ABC 13 will bring you more information as it is made available.

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