Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
This message board is provided as a public service for the specific purpose of sharing and discussing any and all issues that directly or indirectly pertain to Native American Indians living 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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    Haiti's emergency but NO mention of DIRE conditions HERE!!

    SHAMEFULLY, there has been NO mention of this NATURAL DISASTER on our OWN LANDS by the "National Media"!!!




    Storm Takes Steep Toll on Destitute Tribe

    Thousands of Downed Power Poles Leave South Dakota Sioux Reservation Without Heat, Water; Melting Snow to Use in Toilets
    JANUARY 28, 2010

    A tiny tribe of Lakota Sioux has been battling wind, rain and subzero temperatures this week as ice storms lash one of the U.S.'s poorest communities and leave thousands without electricity, heat or drinking water.

    "There's been winters this bad before, but not with rain so bad it freezes the power lines and snaps the poles," said Joseph Brings Plenty, the 38-year old chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies about 200 miles northeast of Rapid City, S.D. The tribal chairman said 500 power lines were brought down in a blizzard in November, and that between 2,000 and 3,000 more have been lost since Friday from ice storms.

    The Cheyenne River tribe is made up of four of the seven bands of Lakota Sioux Indians in the Dakotas, whose reservations also include the Pine Ridge, Standing Rock and Rosebud bands. Power-line damage across all reservations may exceed 5,000 downed poles, which tribal authorities said may take weeks or months for utility companies to repair.

    "These events are showing just how painfully inadequate our emergency response capabilities are. Because of one ice storm, we had over 3,000 downed electrical lines and mass power outages," said Tracey Fischer, chief executive and president of First Nations Oweesta Corporation, a national nonprofit working on economic development in Indian country.

    "There has been looting of homes and businesses by people desperate for food and water. Schools have been out of session for a week and will likely be unable to open their doors for at least another week," said Ms. Fischer, a member of the Cheyenne River tribe.

    With just 10,000 residents spread across 2.8 million acres, many Cheyenne River families depend on electricity transmitted across hundreds of empty miles to run pumps for drinking water, or to power the ignition modules on natural-gas and propane heaters.

    The Cheyenne River tribe set up emergency shelters across the reservation in tiny towns with names like Eagle Butte, Cherry Creek, Swiftbird and Whitehorse.

    Last year the tribe earned $175,000 leasing land to nontribal ranchers and deposited the money in an emergency fund. That fund is now exhausted, the tribal chairman said. A special Wells Fargo account established to help raise funds to evacuate tribal members with medical needs brought in just $450 in donations on its first day, said Eileen Briggs, a Cheyenne River Tribal executive.

    Like most U.S. tribes, the Cheyenne River Sioux function as a sovereign nation on their reservation of 10,000 residents. An additional 8,000 Cheyenne River Sioux live off the reservation, mostly in Rapid City. The tribe manages its internal affairs and runs its own police force and court, but receives grants and subsidies from the federal U.S. government, as virtually all American Indian tribes do.

    Just 11 tribal police patrol an area the size of Connecticut. They have been warning residents who remained in their homes to ventilate frequently lest carbon-monoxide fumes build up from gas stoves, a potentially fatal hazard.

    "We've had 20-degree-below days; some people are burning wood in their homes," said Mr. Brings Plenty.

    The tribe also evacuated more than 40 elderly members to motels in Rapid City and Aberdeen, mainly so they could have access to thrice-weekly kidney dialysis treatments that had been provided on the reservation. Nearly 20 kidney patients were evacuated to the Oglala Sioux band's Pine Ridge reservation, where another dialysis station was still functioning. Those evacuees were staying at their sister tribe's Prairie Wind Casino.

    "Normally family members take care of these patients, but with no gas or electricity, and blizzard conditions, we needed a caravan to get them out," said Ms. Briggs. The first van caravan traveled on icy roads, finally reaching Rapid City last Thursday. More patients came on Sunday.

    Kidney patient Lennie Granados, 59, left his home after its water supply ran out, and is now at the Super 8 motel in Rapid City. "I get reports from my family," he said. "They're out there melting snow and keeping a look out for any water they can use, you know, to flush toilets and stuff."

    The Cheyenne River tribe has for years asked Congress for funds to restore its ancient water system, which Mr. Brings Plenty said was decades overdue for an upgrade. The total cost would be about $65 million, which may be hard to raise in Washington in the current budget-cutting atmosphere.

    Some tribal members lamented the chaos, and how hard the current generation of Sioux was finding life on their native ground. "A long time ago there were tough Lakota people who knew how to survive. Their teepees were pretty warm, too," said Mr. Brings Plenty. "Times have changed, and the people have changed, too."

    Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monitory gain to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the material for research and educational purposes. This is in accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. section 107.


    Oglala Sioux Tribe
    Loretta Afraid of Bear~Cook
    "Anpetu Luta Win"
    Post Office Box 2070 ~ Pine Ridge, So. Dakota ~ 57770
    Mobile: (605) 441 | 5692 ~ Fax: (605) 867 | 6076
    Office of Public Relatio...ns


    Tuesday, January 26, 2010
    For more information, contact:
    Loretta Afraid of Bear-Cook, OST Public Relations
    C/O: OST Media Center
    Telephone: (605) 454-2592 | e-mail:


    PINE RIDGE, So. DAKOTA - The Oyate (People) of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
    recently experienced a series of harsh blizzards and extreme weather beginning in late December. Hundreds of
    families were ill prepared for the high winds, whiteouts and heavy snowfall that closed all roads and highways across
    the reservation. Many households eventually ran out of propane, firewood, food and medical supplies.

    Tribal President, Theresa Two Bulls, immediately established a Command Post out of her office and organized the
    Emergency Management Team to begin the task of assessing the situation. The team paid particular attention to tribal
    members with severe medical needs such as heart and dialysis patients. The Oglala (Sioux) Lakota Housing Authority
    under the direction of Paul Iron Cloud; the Energy Assistance Director, Denise King Red Owl; Monica Terkildsen,
    Emergency Response; and David Kelly from the OST Transportation Department; all provided the core guidance to
    the agencies to ensure that all calls were addressed. Without the care and compassion of all resource agencies, the task
    of responding to the needs would have been next to impossible.

    The disaster prompted other tribes, non-profit corporation and individuals to respond with food, clothing and financial
    assistance. Sadly, the disaster had also resulted in tribal members and outside organizations "scamming" for funding
    on the internet claiming to raise funds for the poor and needy on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. President Two
    Bulls advises the public that these Organizations have not received permission from the Oglala Sioux Tribe to solicit
    funds on behalf of the Oglala tribal membership.

    President Two Bulls requests that any Tribe, organization or individual who wish to donate for emergency assistance
    can send directly to the Oglala Sioux Tribe in care of Dean Patton, Treasurer, Oglala Sioux Tribe, P.O. Box 2070, Pine
    Ridge, South Dakota 57770. Mr. Patton has established an emergency fund for such donations. Funds will be used
    exclusively for heating costs for electrical, propane, fuel oil and firewood needs. The Housing and Energy Assistance
    funds have been depleted.

    The Oglala Sioux Tribe is very grateful to the organizations, tribes and individuals who have contacted President Two
    Bulls with generous outpouring of help for this ongoing need. President Two Bulls also expresses her sincere
    gratitude to all who have kept the Oglala Sioux Tribe in their prayers. She can be contacted via her direct line: (605)
    867-4021, or e-mail:

    Update: Due to the State of Emergency on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, the Oglala Sioux Tribe opened
    the doors at the Prairie Wind Casino Hotel to care for 25 dialysis patients and 10 supporting staff from Cheyenne
    River. According to media reports, electrical power will be restored in approximately 10 to 14 days.


    power restoration will take much longer than news reports estimate!

    See also here:

    State of Emergency: Ice Storms Knock Out Indigenous Infrastructure in South Dakota
    Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 16:41

    It has been a devastating winter for weather-related disasters. While there has been a lot of information about (and vital response to) the situation in Haiti, there's another emergency closer to home, one which calls for solidarity with the indigenous people of South Dakota and surrounding areas.

    The past weekend's ice storms brought down 2,000 to 3,000 utility poles on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, knocking out an already shaky resource infrastructure. Crews are working feverishly, but electricity may be out for up to 30 days in some areas. With no electricity, no heat, no running water, and a wind chill below zero the situation is growing more difficult. The bulk of those most affected by the storm are located on reservations in Pine Ridge, Standing Rock, Eagle Butte and others. This is an urgent state of emergency.

    read more at the links above

    Re: Haiti's emergency but NO mention of DIRE conditions HERE!!

    That's the way it always goes. It's always been that way. Things that affect the tribes are of no concern to anyone else--it would seem! Just business as usual in the good ole US of A!

    Good to see you got the addresses for the actual treasurer. THere are some fakes out there trying to take advantage of people trying to help.

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