Among all the people to sail with Williamsburg Charter Sails this season, I finally encountered my first naturalized American. It was like sailing to citizenship.

Ivan LevyIvan Levy is a Panamanian who grew up in Miami and elsewhere as his parents moved around with the military. He served eight years in the U.S. Marines and is now a sales executive for Williamsburg Plantation and The Colonies timeshare resorts in Williamsburg. I wondered if an ordinary American could answer the questions on the cititzenship test.

“I think they could,” he said as we motored with his colleague Corinna Caldwell out of Sarah Creek on the way to the York River. “For example, how many Supreme Court justices are there?” He was waiting for my answer. “Oh, nine,” I replied. He saw that we were passing green day marker No. 9 and joked, “You cheated.”

“They give you a book with 100 questions to study, and they ask around 20 when you take the test. Things like how many colonies are there, and name two. How many Native-American tribes are there, and name two.”

Whoa. Corinna and I looked at each other. How many tribes? It turns out there are 22. The list will have to be updated because locally the Pamunkey tribe in southeast Virginia was recently certified by the government. Here are the 22 from the test booklet:

  • Cherokee

  • Navajo

  • Sioux

  • Chippewa

  • Choctaw

  • Pueblo

  • Apache

  • Iroquois

  • Creek

  • Blackfeet

  • Seminole

  • Cheyenne

  • Arawak

  • Shawnee

  • Mohegan

  • Huron

  • Oneida

  • Lakota

  • Crow

  • Teton

  • Hopi

  • Inuit

Ivan did an excellent job on the helm in brisk and gusty winds. When we departed later in the afternoon, I bid him farewell and congratulations on his new status. “You can now complain about the government with newfound authority.”

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