Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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American Indians in Tennessee government volunteer service
TN Archaeological Advisory Council
mandated 3 Native American representatives
  • Michael Lynch, West Tennessee (2008-12)
         member, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Pat Cummins, Middle Tennessee (2004-08)
         descendant, Cherokee
  • Mark Cantrell, Middle Tennessee (2010-14)
         unknown tribal affiliation
  •   TN Historical Commission
    mandated inclusion of person/s
    of Native American ancestry

  • Brent A. Cox (2008-2012)
    444 Cades Atwood Road
    Milan, Tennessee 38358

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    TN Commission of Indian Affairs
    Website of the (defunct) TCIA * History of the 1st & 2nd TNCIA

    Greene (CNO) v. TCIA   filed 30 June 2010
    Commission terminated     30 June 2010

    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee

    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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    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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