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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    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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    Thanksgiving...then and now

    First official document proclaiming
    As we know it today
    Came after the event below

    The year was 1637.....700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe, gathered for their "Annual Green Corn Dance" in the area that is now known as Groton, Conn.

    While they were gathered in this place of meeting, they were surrounded and attacked by mercenaries of the English and Dutch. The Indians were ordered from the building and as they came forth, they were shot down. The rest were burned alive in the building.

    The next day, the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared : "A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children. For the next 100 years, every "Thanksgiving Day" ordained by a Governor or President was to honor that victory, thanking God that the battle had been won.

    Source: Documents of Holland, 13 Volume Colonial Documentary History, letters and reports form colonial officials to their superiors and the King in England and the private papers of Sir William Johnson, British Indian agent for the New York colony for 30 years. Researched by William B. Newell (Penobscot Tribe) Former Chairman of the University of Connecticut Anthropology Department.

    For many Native American Indians of present day, the traditional "Thanksgiving" holiday is not recognized as the Pilgrim/Indian day popularized in children’s history books; rather it is a day of sorrow and shame. Sorrow for the fallen lives of those who were lost so long ago, and shame for living in a country who honors people who used religion and self-righteousness to condone murder, treachery and slavery.

    For the many in the Native community, "Thanksgiving" is a day to reflect on what has happened (past and present); to pray to the Creator that more people will know of the truth and show respect towards the fallen culture; to fast the body; to protest the commercialization of Thanksgiving; to share their time with the less fortunate in soup kitchens or shelters; and some take part in a family meal, honoring the spirit of Chief Massasoit and his initial charity and intentions of the Wampanoag Indians — who first came to initiate a peace agreement between them and the newcomers.

    Celebrating the spirit of the holiday - without the propaganda that is attached, is a respectful way to share the day with the Native American people. Understanding the true historical significance of their contributions to the day, as well as what the consequences of their efforts led to be, is even more important. Without the assistance of Squanto, and the agreement for peace made between the two cultures, I find it unlikely that the settlers would have lived so well or even lived at all.

    The Native people died so that the colony could flourish. They need to be remembered, respected and mourned. With them - the Native forefathers - is a much better place to lay your fondness and your thanks.

    It is with their spirit of generosity and charity that you should place your foundation for a true and honest "Thanksgiving."

    Plymouth Rock of 1620 Myth or Fact

    This is from an account of the Pilgrims landing -from the book The American Tradition. Is it myth or factual?

    " After some exploring, the Pilgrims chose the land around Plymouth Harbor for their settlement. Unfortunately, they arrived in December and were not prepared for the New England weather. However, they were aided by friendly Indians, who gave them food and showed them how to grow corn. When warm weather came, the colonists planted, fished, hunted and prepared themselves for the next winter. After harvesting their first crop, they and their Indian friends celebrated the first Thanksgiving."

    Answer - BOTH! The American Tradition account is a mix of myth and fact. Here’s why:


    1. Yes, the "Pilgrims" did come to America in 1620.

    2. Yes they were inapt to care for themselves due to the harshness of the winter and their lack of stored food and supplies.

    3. Yes, they did have a "feast".


    1. They were NOT met by "friendly" Indians who waved them in from the banks or welcomed their arrival. The Native people did not trust the whites, having encountered such foreigners before and suffering severe consequences. The Natives took pity on the settlers and only a (very) few Native Americans were actually "friendly" to the newcomers.

    2. The Native community did not help the colonists because of a deep friendship, rather it was a custom of their culture and religion to help those who were in need.

    3. The two groups did NOT come together to celebrate the harvest, as friends, and rejoice in the "first" Thanksgiving. They were meeting to discuss land rights.

    4. Lastly, it was NOT the first Thanksgiving. An Autumnal harvest and banquet were a tradition of the Native people - a celebration that was a part of their culture for centuries.

    Teaching the Truth about Thanksgiving - Lies my Teacher Told Me

    this is what i posted on my MySpace blog:

    another in many attempts to dispell some of the myths and misconceptions about the day called "Thanksgiving"; something that needs to be taught in every school in every State, every year:



    See also:

    Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
    by James W. Loewen

    Kids Reenact The First Thanksgiving With Smallpox Blankets And Whiskey

    Subject: RE: Kids Reenact The First Thanksgiving With Smallpox Blankets And
    Whiskey (VIDEO)

    This Is Why We Must Fight All Our Public Schools To Teach The Truth To All
    Our Youth. . . Remind Your Children's Teachers About The National Day of

    Kids Reenact The First Thanksgiving With Smallpox Blankets And Whiskey

    How did the Pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving? According to these
    adorable young history buffs, with blankets covered in smallpox. While it
    may appear that these kids are simply playing dress-up, their reenactment is
    pretty true-to-life, and includes hilarious depictions of The Pequot and
    King Philip's War. At the end, the Pilgrims give parting gifts to their
    Native American friends: whiskey, keys to a pickup truck, and of course,
    more smallpox.

    Click on link to watch video:

    http://www.huffingt 2009/11/20/ kids-reenact- the-first-
    th_n_365432. html

    40th National Day of Mourning
    Plymouth, MA
    Buses from NYC leave at 6AM from the front of the Solidarity Center building
    55 West 17th Street (btwn 5th & 6th Ave) in Chelsea/Manhattan/ NYC
    Round Trip Tickets: $45 ($40 low-income) must be bought in advance at the
    Solidarity Center 2PM-8PM Monday thru Friday (212)633-6646, contributions
    toward the bus are also welcome.
    Join us as we dedicate the 40th national day of mourning to our brother,
    Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier. Create true awareness of
    indigenous peoples and shatter the untrue image of the Pilgrims and the
    unjust system of racism, sexism, homophobia and war.

    Potluck social to follow rally/march.

    40th National Day of Mourning
    Nov. 26, 2009
    12:00 noon
    Coles Hill Plymouth, MA
    United American Indians of New England
    284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    An annual tradition since 1970, Day of Mourning is a solemn, spiritual and
    highly political day. Many of us fast from sundown the day before through
    the afternoon of that day (and have a social after Day of Mourning so that
    participants in DOM can break their fasts). We are mourning our ancestors
    and the genocide of our peoples and the theft of our lands. NDOM is a day
    when we mourn, but we also feel our strength in political action. Over the
    years, participants in Day of Mourning have buried Plymouth Rock a number of
    times, boarded the Mayflower replica, and placed ku klux klan sheets on the
    statue of William Bradford, etc.

    Thursday, November 26, 2009 (U.S. "thanksgiving" day) at Cole's Hill,
    Plymouth, Massachusetts, 12 noon SHARP. Cole's Hill is the hill above
    Plymouth Rock in the Plymouth historic waterfront area.

    There will be a march through the historic district of Plymouth. Plymouth
    has agreed, as part of the settlement of 10/19/98, that UAINE may march on
    Day of Mourning without the need for a permit as long as we give the town
    advance notice.

    Although we very much welcome our non-Native supporters to stand with us, it
    is a day when only Native people speak about our history and the struggles
    that are taking place throughout the Americas. Speakers will be by
    invitation only. This year's NDOM is once again dedicated to our brother
    Leonard Peltier.

    We hope there will be a pot-luck social held after the National Day of
    Mourning speak-out and march this year. Please check back to the website to
    confirm. We anticipate that the hall may not be large enough to seat
    everyone at once. We may have to do two seatings. Preference for the first
    seating will be given to Elders, young children and their mother/caretaker,
    pregnant women, Disabled people, and people who have traveled a long
    distance to join National Day of Mourning. Please respect our culture and
    our wish to ensure that these guests will be the first to be able to sit and
    eat. With this understanding in mind, please bring non-alcoholic beverages,
    desserts, fresh fruit & vegetables, and pre-cooked items (turkeys, hams,
    stuffing, vegetables, casseroles, rice & beans, etc.) that can be easily
    re-warmed at the social hall prior to the social. Thank you.

    Limited carpool transportation may be available from Boston. Contact the
    Boston International Action Center at (617) 522-6626. There is
    transportation from New York City via the International Action Center, for
    more information call 212-633-6646.

    Directions: National Day of Mourning is held by the statue of Massasoit at
    Cole's Hill. Cole's Hill is the hill rising above Plymouth Rock on the
    Plymouth waterfront. If you need directions, use Water Street and Leyden
    Street in Plymouth, MA as your destination at That will bring
    you to within a few hundred feet of Plymouth Rock and Cole's Hill. You can
    probably find a place to park down on Water Street.

    Monetary donations are gratefully accepted. Please make checks payable to
    the Metacom Education Project and mail to Metacom Education Project/UAINE at
    284 Amory Street, Boston, MA 02130.
    http://freepeltiern ow.blogspot. com/2009/ 10/26-november- 40th-national-

    For more information contact: United American Indians of New England/LPSG at
    617-522-6626 or
    The group´s site can be found and viewed at There will a
    pot-luck social to follow.

    Re: Kids Reenact The First Thanksgiving With Smallpox Blankets And Whiskey

    That was so cute and so funny! I can even forgive them having the Pequots on the Trail of Tears---"we got hosed." I sent the link to my friends.

    Re: Thanksgiving...then and now

    thanks giving Bullshyt they came like locusts and took, lied, with them nothing is right goes for woodchunk injuns, little images made in the white man mode of operation thus thxgiving is for fools or injuns from the state of white is right or maybe just another bullshyt way of taking opps forgot like them real yoohoochis of the wayward sobs tribe of lets make that money

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