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
    731-723-9994

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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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    Re: TN GA bills / 13feb09 (to date/not final) - COMMENTS

    for more info and texts see list at: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/billsearch/billsearchadvanced.aspx?terms=indian&searchtype=all

    1. HB0186 by Casada/SB0136 by Ketron
    Holidays and Days of Special Observance - As introduced, redesignates the second Monday in September each year as American Indian Day instead of the fourth Monday in September each year.



    What is the point of switching things around? If it's not broke, why try to 'fix' it? My comment: Leave it alone.


    2. HJR0082 by Lynn
    Naming and Designating - "American Indian Heritage Month," September 2009



    An Indian Education Day is good to have in September and the Indian Heritage Month in October, which is the month of the largest & longest-running powwow in Tennessee, along with two or three other good Native American events. Then in November, it's the federal "Native American Heritage Day". For three months running in a row, American Indians have opportunities for showcasing the heritage and culture of their Nations. THIS makes sense to me, rather than trying to cram too much into one month and have nothing to spread information out over more time.
    My comment on this legislation: NO. Leave the "American Indian Heritage Month" in October, not September. Again, if it's not broke, why try to "fix" it?!


    3. HB0239 by Mumpower/SB1733 by Ramsey
    State Government - As introduced, grants state recognition to certain Indian tribes, bands, and groups; provides means for other Indian tribes, bands, and groups to receive state recognition.



    Simply put; my comment: Not only "NO" but OH HELL NO!!!!! Many reasons.


    4. HB0333 by Mumpower/SB1735 by Ramsey
    Naming and Designating - As introduced, extends state Native American Indian recognition with full legal rights and protections to the Remnant Yuchi Nation in the counties of Sullivan, Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Unicoi, Johnson, and Washington.



    Simply put; my comment: Not only "NO" but OH HELL NO!!!!! Many reasons.


    5. HB1078 by Lynn/SB1015 by Johnson
    Sunset Laws - As introduced, extends commission on Indian affairs, June 30, 2010.



    My comment: Yes, this is needed for the Commission to continue its Duties .... but if the Commission's killed, it will also kill many other beneficial things the Commission could've done - a loss to the Indian communities and even to the State.


    6. HB1305 by DeBerry J/SB1804 by Herron
    Child Custody and Support - As introduced, requires juvenile courts to conduct custody proceedings in compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.



    When my son was having problems as a teenager, in several instances I was asked if we/he qualified for potential resolution(s) under the Indian Child Welfare Act so I thought it was already part of the process.

    My comment: This should have already been done but if a special Bill is what makes it happen, then it needs to be implemented!

    Re: TN GA bills / 13feb09 (to date/not final) - COMMENTS

    an edited and organized compilation of some of the few comments received ...

    for more info and texts see bills at url above.

    >1. HB0186 by Casada/SB0136 by Ketron
    >Holidays and Days of Special Observance - As introduced, redesignates the second Monday in September
    >each year as American Indian Day instead of the fourth Monday in September each year.
    >
    >2. HJR0082 by Lynn
    >Naming and Designating - "American Indian Heritage Month," September 2009


    a. there's no background information on this proposal that i know of.
    b. there shouldn't be any changes made to long-standing community calendars without an explicit reason for doing so.
    c. as pointed out last year, the Commission is charged with reviewing all legislative proposals affecting indians in the state (TCA 4-34-103.9) and hasn't yet received this proposal. end-runs around the Commission instead of engaging it should automatically be reviewed negatively.


    >3. HB0239 by Mumpower/SB1733 by Ramsey
    >State Government - As introduced, grants state recognition to certain Indian tribes, bands, and groups; provides means for other Indian tribes, bands, and groups to receive state recognition.
    >
    >4. HB0333 by Mumpower/SB1735 by Ramsey
    >Naming and Designating - As introduced, extends state Native American Indian recognition with full legal rights and protections to the Remnant Yuchi Nation in the counties of Sullivan, Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Unicoi, Johnson, and Washington.


    a. there's no historical information on any of these groups that i know of.
    b. these are culture clubs until proven otherwise with an explicit, detailed history of each group (Rule 0785-1-.02.2.c)
    c. recognition of a group as indian should first come from indians, not non-indians. that's why it's the Commission of Indian Affair's responsibility to establish criteria for recognition and do the recognition review (TCA 4-34-103.6).
    d. as pointed out last year, the Commission is charged with reviewing all legislative proposals affecting indians in the state (TCA 4-34-103.9) and hasn't yet received this proposal. end-runs around the Commission instead of engaging it should automatically be reviewed negatively.
    e. the state needs either (1) objective recognition criteria, or (2) a law that says 'no recognition'.


    >5. HB1078 by Lynn/SB1015 by Johnson
    >Sunset Laws - As introduced, extends commission on Indian affairs, June 30, 2010.


    a. the Commission requested a two-year extension. this is only one year.
    - why was the proposal shortened?


    >6. HB1305 by DeBerry J/SB1804 by Herron
    >Child Custody and Support - As introduced, requires juvenile courts to conduct custody proceedings in compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.


    a. there's no background information on this proposal that i know of.
    b. as pointed out last year, the Commission is charged with reviewing all legislative proposals affecting indians in the state (TCA 4-34-103.9) and hasn't yet received this proposal. end-runs around the Commission instead of engaging it should automatically be reviewed negatively.
    c. unknown cause, unknown effect.


    noted

    a. all the proposals (except DeBerry) are sponsored by Republicans.
    b. Rep. Casada (R), Republican Caucus Chair and Member, House Government Operations Committee,
    Rep. Mumpower (R), House Republican Leader and Member, House Government Operations Committee, and
    Rep. Lynn (R), Chair, House Government Operations Committee,
    all voted against the Commission last year.
    c. Lt. Gov. and Senate Speaker Ramsey appointed to the Commission's West-Tennessee position a member of the "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes" (sponsors of the HB239) with no Indian Preference or documentation, against the nominee of the TN Native America Convention, a fullblood tribal-member and elected chair of the Commission, based on the lobbying efforts of a member of "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes" from northeast Tennessee and connected to the "Remnant Yuchi Nation".
    d. the Governor's Archaeological Advisory Council is unanimously opposed to recognition of undocumented Native American Indian cultural groups as tribes.
    e. all the leaders of the "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes" are Republicans. (not checked)
    f. there is constant tension and conflict in the state House due to Rep. Mumpower not getting elected House Speaker as 49 of the 50 House Republicans expected. ("a House that’s practically been fighting the Civil War and a speaker without a party" - Ed Cromer, editor of the Tennessee Journal)
    g. this year's legislative proposal of the "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes", in both its parts - HB239 and HB333, is essentially the same proposal that former Rep. Nathan Vaughn (D) proposed last year and failed in the Senate State and Local Government committee.
    h. it's believed that HB239 will be dropped and HB333 pushed forward on the basis that NE Tennessee needs a major new tourist attraction and tribal status for the "Remnant Yuchi Nation" would benefit the tourist attraction.
    i. members of the "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes" and supporters of HB239 and HB333 are the principal and most prolific "Anonymous" posters on Tammera Hick's (R) hate board (web-based message board).


    it's less than a week before the Commission meeting.
    for you to have your say on these issues, we need your comments
    -before- the meeting and our votes, not afterwards.

    your comments appreciated.


    ;>

    Federal Mandatory Child Support Laws

    State government does NOT need your PERMISSION to be in COMPLIANCE with FEDERAL law. So keep dreaming you have so much power maybe when you become big chief of this country or at least of those who made madated Federal laws pertaining to child support or ICWA.



    >6. HB1305 by DeBerry J/SB1804 by Herron
    >Child Custody and Support - As introduced, requires juvenile courts to conduct custody proceedings in compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

    a. there's no background information on this proposal that i know of.
    b. as pointed out last year, the Commission is charged with reviewing all legislative proposals affecting indians in the state (TCA 4-34-103.9) and hasn't yet received this proposal. end-runs around the Commission instead of engaging it should automatically be reviewed negatively.
    c. unknown cause, unknown effect.

    Re: Federal Mandatory Child Support Laws

    Yo. Madame Reads Minds. it said COMMENTS. Stop DREAMIN' ya know what's gonna happen before it happens.

    Legislative “Source” Clarifications

    http://www.nativepages.com/opendoor/index.php/2009/02/14/legislative-source-clarifications/#more-680
    http://www.nativepages.com/opendoor/index.php/2009/02/14/legislative-source-clarifications/#more-680

    Legislative “Source” Clarifications
    Posted by Valerie on Feb 14, 2009 in Issues of Others, TCIA, TN Legislation

    The following bills were not originated, sponsored or otherwise generated by the TN Commission of Indian Affairs nor did the originators of the bills follow the mandate of TCA 4.34.103 and present the bills to the Commission for its review and comment.

    Regardless, the bills will be reviewed by the Commission at the Feb. 21, 2009 meeting.

    * HB0186/SB0136 - Redesignates “American Indian Day” as 2nd Monday in September instead of the (current) 4th Monday in September.
    * HB0239/SB1733 - Confederated Tribes Recognition Bill.
    * HB0333/SB1735 - Recognizes “Remnant Yuchi Tribe”.
    * HJR0082 - Designates September as “American Indian Month”.
    * HB1305/SB1804 - Child Custody & Support (ICWA Compliance)

    The following legislative proposals have been requested by the Commission of Indian Affairs and were approved at the Jan. 17 meeting in Memphis:

    * HB1078/SB1015 - Extends TN Commission of Indian Affairs to 2010 (TCIA requested 2011)

    And the following which have not yet posted to the bills search index:

    * Designates Feb. 28 as Annual Dragging Canoe Memorial Day
    * Designates 2010 as Tanasi/Tennessee Native History Year
    * Native American Grave Goods Protection (amendments to existing laws; may be 4 separate acts)
    * Promote reconciliation and reconnection with existing recognized nations

    It’s ironic that this “community” demands that only five people in particular involved in Indian politics must explicitly obey all laws and rules. It’s even more ironic that those five people vetted the legislative proposals openly at a public meeting.

    You are incorrect on point "b.", listed above.

    The bill to extend the Commission until 06/30/09 passed the House 79-14. Casada and Mumpower voted in favor of passage; only Rep. Lynn voted against the bill.

    Also: in addition to HB0239/SB1733 and HB0333/SB1735, Mumpower has introduced HB1692, which is essentially the same as HB0239, except that it refers to the Chikamaka-Cherokee of the South Cumberland Plateau as simply the "Chikamaka Band."


    TN & American Indian Related Links
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    Indian Burial & Sacred Grounds Watch



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