Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee

    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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    yes indeed!

    definitely grab a good seat and PASS THE POPCORN!!!

    full text of HB 239

    okay, so with this Bill, ANY and ALL Tribes, Bands, Groups and Associations that claim ANY connection to, with, or for "Native American Indians" can apply for state recognition. So with any potential legitimate "tribal" status, any wanna-be group or association can claim equal status and have equal access to funding as a legit state-recognized "tribe".
    Wow, can't wait for the neighbors down the road to open their own group and/or association 'cause they've been reading books about native americans and want to help them.


    Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 20:16:18 -0500
    From: tom kunesh
    Subject: [tn-ind] full text of HB 239
    To: TN Indian Affairs list

    HB0239 ->

    HOUSE BILL 239
    By Mumpower (House Majority {Republican} Leader)

    AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, relative to recognition of Native American Indian Tribes, Bands, Groups and Associations.

    WHEREAS, The original inhabitants of North and South America were peoples who became known to European immigrants as Indians and, therefore, the original inhabitants of this State were members of various tribes of American Indians; and

    WHEREAS, These tribes have strongly influenced the heritage of this great State and have left their mark by way of names of rivers, mountains, towns, and counties, by introducing local crops and medicinal herbs, and in countless other ways; and

    WHEREAS, The Native American Indian culture in all its forms is manifested by the year-round Powwows and Festivals held across the country and the completion of the National Museum of the American Indian in the Smithsonian complex in Washington, D.C.; and

    WHEREAS, This has been further manifested within the surrounding states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama which have given recognition to the Native American Indian Tribes, Bands, Groups and Associations within their borders; and

    WHEREAS, The struggles of the Native American Indian Peoples including physical confinement, separation of families, suppression of language, traditions and culture as well as pervasive restrictions on arts, crafts, industry and agriculture have contributed to an economic disadvantage with which the Native American Indian People still contend; and

    WHEREAS, There is an economic benefit to the particular communities wherein the Native American Indians reside because of the ability of Native American Indians to impact positively tourism development, jobs, new economic development incentives, new health care opportunities, new education opportunities and to remove current barriers for Native American Indian Artists and Craft Persons to expand their trade in compliance with Federal law; and

    WHEREAS, Attorney General's Opinion No. 07-21, dated February 27, 2007, stated:
    "Congress has acknowledged that state governments have the authority to recognize Indian tribes." "States have the authority to recognize Indian tribes as long as there is no conflict with federal laws. There is no conflict between Tennessee's recognition law and federal laws."; and

    WHEREAS, The Tennessee Legislature possesses the power to recognize Indian tribes, bands, groups, and Indian associations; now, therefore,


    SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, is amended by adding SECTIONs 2 through 6 of this act as a new, appropriately designated chapter:

    SECTION 2. The general assembly hereby extends state recognition with full legal rights and protections to certain Indian-descended entities that have functioned in specific ways over time.

    SECTION 3. An Indian tribe, band, or group is a population of people related to one another by blood through their Native American Indian ancestry and tracing their heritage to a Native American Indian tribe, band, or group indigenous to Tennessee. Petitioners must submit a petition requesting state recognition specifying the type of recognition sought.

    SECTION 4. In order to be recognized as a tribe, band, or group, the petitioner must present a list of members of the group along with proof that each of its members is a descendant recognized as a member of a historical Tennessee tribe, band, or group by means of rolls which are compiled by the federal government or some other compelling documentation that shows their heritage. In addition a statement with the notarized signatures of the three (3) highest ranking officers of the petitioning group is required.

    SECTION 5. The general assembly hereby appoints the Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes as the entity that shall review and present for recognition any tribes, bands, and groups which seek such recognition.
    (1) The Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes is the formation of the Tribes and Clans of Native American Indians across the state who have joined together in one voice to represent the well-being of the Native American Indian in Tennessee; and
    (2) The Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes is comprised of the Remnant Yuchi Nation, the Upper Cumberland Cherokee, the Chikamaka-Cherokee Band of the South Cumberland Plateau, the Central Band of Cherokee, the Cherokee Wolf Clan, the Tanasi Council of the Faraway Cherokee, the Native Cultural Council and the American Indian Association of Millington.

    SECTION 6. The general assembly recognizes for purposes of state Native American Indian recognition with full legal rights and protections the following tribes, bands and groups:

    Remnant Yuchi Nation -
    Counties: Sullivan, Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Unicoi, Johnson, and Washington;

    Upper Cumberland Cherokee (also known as the United Eastern Lenape Nation) -
    Counties: Scott, Morgan, Fentress, and Campbell;

    Chikamaka-Cherokee Band of the South Cumberland Plateau -
    Counties: Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Warren, and Coffee;

    Central Band of Cherokee (also known as the Cherokee of Lawrence County) -
    1806 Congressional Reservation;

    Cherokee Wolf Clan -
    Counties: Carroll, Benton, Decatur, Henderson, Henry, Weakley, Gibson, and
    Madison; and

    Tanasi Council of the Far Away Cherokee -
    Counties: Shelby, Dyer, Gibson, Humphreys, and Perry.

    SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.

    Re: HB 0239 - recognizes "Confederation of TN Native Tribes" and 6 culture clubs

    Mr. Kuenish,
    Did you consult with Indians all over this State about this prior to submitting this? I don't think so. More shady back door tactics by you again!!
    Shame on you!!

    Re: Re: HB 0239 - recognizes "Confederation of TN Native Tribes" and 6 culture clubs

    ummm ... tom did NOT submit this Bill. It was those of the "CONFed" group that are wanting this Bill to become law here in Tennessee.

    the only thing tom's done is let everyone know the Bill exists so we can educate and fight legislators.

    --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

    Replying to:

    Mr. Kuenish,
    Did you consult with Indians all over this State about this prior to submitting this? I don't think so. More shady back door tactics by you again!!
    Shame on you!!

    Re: Re: Re: HB 0239 - recognizes "Confederation of TN Native Tribes" and 6 culture clubs

    Ya really think?

    Re: "Ya really think?" LMAO

    no, I don't "really think": I "really know" tom didn't have anything to do with the creation of that Bill.

    hmm .. maybe I misinterpreted what was said

    Mr. Kuenish,
    Did you consult with Indians all over this State about this prior to submitting this? I don't think so. More shady back door tactics by you again!!
    Shame on you!!

    Maybe tom's being blamed for sharing the Bill's information outside of the CONFed group?!

    Re: Wesho--see what I was talking about? This is why states need an Indian commission

    that has powers of recognition. Otherwise they find some doofus state rep or senator to write a bill for them--probably someone they've given an "honorary" memebership to. State governments know nothing about native or tribal structure and traditions. They'll pass anything because that's what they do--pass laws nobody wants or needs.

    Re: Re: Wesho--see what I was talking about? This is why states need an Indian commission

    And you think sone of the commissioners are not a part of this very thing?? What about the cencus fiasco? One appointed, commisioner wants their person in and runs to Nashville. Same dirty dealings. I personally do not want someone in OK telling me, a Native Tennessee Indian, how to handle my business. Who better to "watch over" our affairs in TN than Tennessee Indians, who meet certain criteria to claim their ancestory. The Tennessee Indians need honest,open and truthful representation. Building a relationship with other Indian governing bodies should be attainable. Tennessee Indians should not be in competition with the other bands, as they seem to insinuate. We deserve too!!!

    Re: Re: Re: Wesho--see what I was talking about? This is why states need an Indian commission

    Okay. Tennessee needs a commission with the needs and wants of Tennessee native people as their first priority. However, the commission has been hamstrung by not being allowed to recognize groups which was their main intent. So they have no real power now, isn't that what you folks wanted? So you can bamboozle a bunch of uninformed and hands-out politicians? Yes, the commission needs to be cleaned up, straightened up and empowered to actually do something--otherwise, the legislature will make clubs into "tribes." Great! Wonderful! That's getting no one anywhere.

    ya had me agreeing and going until

    Tennessee needs a commission with the needs and wants of Tennessee native people as their first priority. However, the commission has been hamstrung by not being allowed to recognize groups which was their main intent.

    Gotta disagree with your comment about the commission's "main intent" being to recognize groups!

    By Statute, the Commission's "Powers and Duties" are:


    4-34-103. Powers and duties.

    It is the duty of the commission to:

    1. Study, consider, accumulate, compile, assemble and disseminate information on any aspect of Indian affairs;

    2. Investigate relief needs of Indians of Tennessee and to provide technical assistance in the preparation of plans for the alleviation of such needs;

    3. Confer with appropriate officials of local, state and federal governments and agencies of these governments, and with such congressional commissions that may be concerned with Indian affairs;

    4. Encourage and implement coordination of applicable resources to meet the needs of Indians in Tennessee;

    5. Study the existing status of recognition of all Indian groups, tribes and communities presently existing in Tennessee;

    6. Establish appropriate procedures to provide for legal recognition by the state of presently unrecognized tribes, nations, groups, communities or individuals, and to provide for official state recognition by the commission of such;
    [This "duty" and/or "power" was accomplished but the legislature removed the Commission's "power" to enforce the Rules]

    7. Cooperate with and secure the assistance of the local, state and federal governments or any agencies thereof in formulating any programs that the commission finds necessary or beneficial to Indians in Tennessee;
    [For all the folks fussing about the involvement of Nations/Tribes outside of TN yet those same folks claim to be descended from and even related to those Nations/Tribes - the commission is authorized to consult with those same Nations/Tribes - as they should when allegedly the groups, et-al here in TN claim some form of relationship/descendecy!]

    8. Coordinate any programs regarding Indian affairs adopted or planned by the federal government to the end that the commission secure the full benefit of such programs;

    9. Review and comment on all proposed or pending state legislation and amendments to existing state legislation directly affecting Indians in Tennessee; and
    [Such as the current Bill being petitioned by the CONFed group for recognition]

    10. Conduct public hearings on matters relating to Indian affairs and to subpoena any information or documents deemed necessary by the commission.

    [Acts 2003, ch. 344, § 4.]

    Re: ya had me agreeing and going until

    Hmmm, I could have sworn one of the commissioners who posts here said that very thing. I could be wrong. But the commission does very much need to be there to serve the native community--the legislature can't and won't do it. The legislature does not care about the native community--it's not even on their radar. But, there needs to be a better way to choose commission members--a way that would keep it from being loaded with people from the cheesy groups and those out for what they can get for themselves. I also think the commission should be paid for their time and travel. A lot of good, Indian people can't afford to run for a post which you have to pay your own way all around the state. There has to be a better way

    ah - gotcha

    Yes, one or more commissioners - at one point or another - have said the 'duty' to recognize IS but ONE mandate. It's why so much time and energy was devoted to crafting a good piece of legislation for recognizing 'tribes' - only to be bullied by the State into withdrawing the recognition criteria in order for the commission to survive another year! Recognition, however, is not THE sole mandate as many would prefer to believe.

    YES, the commission DOES need to continue as an agency of the State to help GUIDE the legislators. No doubt about that! I am also of the same opinion that "The legislature does not care about the native community--it's not even on their radar" except when some "cheesy" group petitions the legislators with some self-serving agenda that's NOT about culture, traditions or anything related as much as it's all about MONEY; making a buck, which could be done at ANY time without having to claim to be something they're not. When I see that, it's infuriating!!

    And yes, it would be most helpful if commissioners were paid a small amount - at least - for their travel. Especially when traveling takes so much time and does end up costing quite a bit. I don't know how many of them have been able to do it while they were on the commission and gas prices were through the roof!

    Ok, so now I better understand what you were saying. LOL

    STAY WARM - it's FREEZING outside this morning!

    Re: sometimes...

    My fingers don't keep up with what I'm really thinking and it don't come out as gooder as I thought it sounded. Make sense? I dunno. Anyways, looks like we need to start writing more letters to let those legislators know we don't need any clubs "recognized" as tribes--which is what all of those groups in that legislation really are.

    "BANDS" ?


    That so called "BAND" out of Oklahoma is a "NATION" and don't forget it. When your little social clubs come up with a signed treaty between your social club and the United States only then can you run with the big boys!

    Re: "BANDS" ?

    Actually, CNO was called the Western Band before they changed their name to Cherokee Nation and EBCI --what does that stand for again? And what, exactly does UKB stand for? It's not a slur, it's the way the Cherokee people have long referred to the three entities.

    Just so you know, I think all tribes should refer to themselves as nations, but most haven't changed their official names yet. I think the government might treat the nations with more respect if they insisted on being called "nations." But that's my opinion.

    Re: Re: "BANDS" ?


    You can argue all day but the fact remains they were giving names by the federal government to identify seperated groups of ONE Nation.

    No wannabe 501c3 or other has any right to equalize themselves to any NATION. It only brings to light the garbage these individuals believe by their so called "leaders", "historians" or any other label they give themselves.

    I wish BIA would hurry up and eliminate these people but then again thats probably why they are going to state cuz they know they won't get federal. Just like that one group there in Tennessee trying for state recognition, years ago it already had been determined by BIA they are nothing more than a social club of non indians.


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