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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    TCIA promises secrecy to culture clubs, denies public access

    please note:

    the following is written by an unknown author

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

    From: Xxxxx

    Six Tennesseans who have whined out allegations for years that the
    Commission lacked public transparency and accountability are now
    blatantly holding secret sessions during public meetings (the ONLY
    "executive session" the Commission is allowed is a conference with its
    legal counsel to hear legal advice), withholding documents from
    pre-meeting public review (one of their biggest gripes over the
    years), and thumbing their noses at the State's Open Records act.

    No other legitimate Indian nations, recognized or pending recognition,
    were allowed secret review free from public scrutiny. On that note,
    however, no other legitimate Indian nations were allowed to be
    reviewed and recommended for recognition by other pending/potential
    applicants! There can be no "unbiased observations toward applicants"
    when the reviewers will all be motivated to gain the favor of one
    another for their own potential "reviews."


    Meeks, White and others are working overtime to insert a false history
    of their organizations into proposed legislation, newspapers and even
    a History Channel documentary.

    White believes if he claims it often enough, we will all believe the
    1806 Congressional Military Reservation set aside by Congress for
    service men who were pensioning-out really was an Indian reservation.
    You can bet your hindside he's already planning to find a way around
    state tobacco taxes with his new "cigarette manufacturing" endeavor.

    Meeks wants you to believe that Dragging Canoe's band survived the
    colonial attacks to remove Indians when, in truth, it fell and its
    members were reabsorbed into the pre-removal Cherokee nation.

    Vest wants you to believe a) he's Yuchi despite documented statements
    on his part that he isn't, b) the Yuchi practiced Cherokee traditions
    (which are far easier to learn from books than Yuchi traditions) and
    c) that his organization of several hundred "hid in the woods" for 800
    years. Oh ... and that it's okay to open a tourism industry about the
    Yuchi that will present Cherokee traditions and that the word of his
    uncredentialed "historian" is the final word on their existence.

    Lt. Governor Ramsey, Rep. Mumpower and other state lawmakers from that
    area want you to believe that, too, since they need the federal
    funding a tribe would bring to fund their own plans for the Tri-City
    area.

    Henry wants you to believe that her organization's members could all
    enroll in the CNO "if they wanted to."

    Walters just wants your $35 and to continue to live off his
    organization's treasury.

    Knuckles, Cross and Goddard want you to believe that changing their
    organization's name from United Eastern Lenape to Cherokee is just a
    name change (allowed per Faulk's new bill) and not an entire change in
    NATIONALITY. Plus Cross wants to keep his SBA 8a loan out of the
    frying pan and far away from the fire.

    Faulk (with his new version of federal criteria) wants you to believe
    if the criteria kind of matches the federal (leaving out very
    important in fact critical definitions, of course) that the already
    overburdened Secretary of State having no formal qualifications in
    Indian history, law or cultural knowledge is the right guy to make all
    the decisions. Upon recommendations of a Commission review committee
    consisting of applicants practicing good old boy back-scratching
    favors.

    Hicks wants you to believe her caca don't stink and she's as unbiased
    as it gets. Ohle apparantly left the building. Thigpen. Well Thigpen
    just wants you to believe whatever Henry and the other Confederation
    commissioners tell you to believe because that's what Henry told him
    to do. And that limiting his community participation exclusively to
    AIA meetings and activities of the Catholic church he attends is
    enough for him to know how to represent YOU at commission meetings.

    The current plan of the Confederation is to lobby the State to extend
    the "New Commission" as it now has full trust of "the community".
    Does it have your trust? Were you polled? I doubt it, especially
    since the Confederation is reducing "the community" to the members of
    their organizations with any other Indian living in Tennessee
    relegated to two lesser categories, the majority falling into an
    "otherwise" category.

    The Commission was sentenced to death in October 2009. I am not a fan
    of death row, but this is one execution that needs to take place and a
    few other items sent along as cell-mates: Rule 0785-1, Faulk's bill,
    and the ability of a private organization to manage elections for a
    state agency while escaping compliance with critical state laws like
    the Open Records and Open Meetings acts.

    If you agree, lobby your senators and representatives, both government
    operations committees, and the committee that reviews the "rules" of
    various state entities. Lobby them hard, lobby them often, ask your
    nations to lobby with you. Get everyone in your family to sign a
    handwritten/typed letter, flood them with snail mail, e-mail and phone
    calls. Visit their local offices in person.

    SAY NO to the continuation of a false commission, the invention of
    false tribes and the reduction of this state's Indian population to
    only the members of the Confederation organizations.

    Re: TCIA promises secrecy to culture clubs, denies public access

    Well darn. The previous commission was sunsetted, gone, kaput, over, done with. Tom Kunesh had the bright idea of bringing about the rebirth of a "New Broader Commission of Indian Affairs". For support of the commission "recognition" was dangled out there like a hot dog on the end of a stick in front of a hungry dog. Now its a different episode of "May you reap what you sow"

    Re: TCIA promises secrecy to culture clubs, denies public access

    Two Dogs
    Well darn. The previous commission was sunsetted, gone, kaput, over, done with. Tom Kunesh had the bright idea of bringing about the rebirth of a "New Broader Commission of Indian Affairs". For support of the commission "recognition" was dangled out there like a hot dog on the end of a stick in front of a hungry dog. Now its a different episode of "May you reap what you sow"



    eh ... as the old saying goes, "Those without sin (making mistakes) can toss all the stones they want at the glass houses around 'em." paraphrased slightly. LMAO personally speaking, ive never yet met anyone who's without sin/never made a mistake. have you?

    we all make mistakes, no matter how good the idea might have seemed at the time. when it 'goes south', instead of fussing and arguing about who, how, what, when, why, and where, it's better and far more productive to DO SOMETHING to change it - to make it better; fix it. Ya know?

    onward and upward to stop the insanity that it's become - or fuss and argue while doing nothing ... that ends up actually SUPPORTING the insanity.

    re: sowing & reaping

    Two Dogs
    Well darn. The previous commission was sunsetted, gone, kaput, over, done with. Tom Kunesh had the bright idea of bringing about the rebirth of a "New Broader Commission of Indian Affairs". For support of the commission "recognition" was dangled out there like a hot dog on the end of a stick in front of a hungry dog. Now its a different episode of "May you reap what you sow"

    the 2001 "Broader Commission" plan called for the creation of a Tribal Recognition Committee, with the following purposes:
    a) study and make recommendations on the recognition of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muskogee/Creek, Shawnee and Yuchi tribes by the state of Tennessee as the historic tribes of Tennessee.
    b) study and report on the Melungeons of East Tennessee and the Choctaw of West Tennessee/Ripley as historic landed Native American communities.
    c) work with the TCIA Native History Committee to study and report on surviving (post-Removal) Native communities in state.

    the one result of that project was SJR 82 by Sen. Eric Stewart - a joint resolution to acknowledge the Historic American Indian First Nations of Tennessee, which passed the Senate but was later recalled due to amendments and disagreements about the text.

    "recognition" of specific organizations "was dangled out there like a hot dog on the end of a stick in front of a hungry dog" by individuals, not by the Commission. "Chief" Joe "Sitting Owl" White, "principal chief of the Central Band Cherokee" (or "Cherokee of Lawrence County" as he was known then), claims that it was the previous Commission that solicited his support ca. 1999. and while his story may be true, the Commission even then responded that there wasn't enough documentation to support White's claim.

    in this iteration of the Commission of Indian Affairs, the "Cherokee Wolf Clan" claimed "recognition" from three commissioners in 2004 without the knowledge or support of the Commission itself, and despite these commissioners' repeated repudiations.

    the Commission itself never "dangled" recognition out to any group. the Commission did promise recognition _rules_ that would establish the criteria for recognition, as the previous Commission had done in 1990 and 1991, and as other state commissions of Indian Affairs have done around the country. the Commission did _not_ promise that any group would be "recognized" as a tribe, or as indian, or that any individual would be "recognized" ... which is why the "Cherokee Wolf Clan" has pursued its own legislative recognition agenda (SJR 657) since 2004, and why the six culture clubs joined together as "the Confederation" to pursue their collective legislative recognition over and apart from the Commission in 2008.

    these culture clubs did not support the re-creation of the Commission back in 2001. in fact, most of these culture clubs didn't even exist til after then. they only support the Commission now because they and their political allies are currently on the Commission and can and will twist and bend the rules to suit their need - which is primarily secrecy to avoid public review.

    it is indeed a different episode of reaping what we have sown. the first difference is the collective rather than personal nature of sowing and reaping this time. the second and biggest difference is taking responsibility for the potential damage we have helped create. we never expected that state leadership would avoid appointing members of federally-recognized tribes. we never expected the Commission to have no members of federally- or state-recognized tribes. we never expected that the Commission would meet in secret and develop plans to speed along state tribal recognition for these six fake culture clubs. yes, we will reap the good and the bad of what we have sown. and when it becomes obvious that the fruits of a community's labor will be used for evil ends, it's time to burn the field before the harvest.

    re: sowing & reaping

    "...and when it becomes obvious that the fruits of a community's labor will be used for evil ends, it's time to burn the field before the harvest".

    AMEN! Preach on, brother!

    re: sowing & reaping

    Joe
    "...and when it becomes obvious that the fruits of a community's labor will be used for evil ends, it's time to burn the field before the harvest".

    AMEN! Preach on, brother!







    e'men!

    Re: TCIA promises secrecy to culture clubs, denies public access

    Why you sorry-azz pot stirring cowardly old cur!

    You had as big a role as anyone with all the "anti-Kunesh" bile you spewed in your unending crusade to destroy your singular enemy. YOU dangled carrots of (false) "friendship" and (false) "respect" to anyone who would let you use them.

    You've made a career out of feeding any and every angry wolf that would carry on your selfish war for you including the current frauds sitting on that commission. You didn't give a turd who you promoted, who you fed allegations to as long as THEY promoted your "down with Kunesh" war.

    You poked and prodded and pushed to keep the fire as hot as possible, getting everyone else to lay their necks on the line and always keeping yourself one or more steps out of the fire?

    And now YOU want to push 100% of the blame off on someone else? NOT THIS TIME. Your "discredit Kunesh at all costs" war worked. YOU PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE in netting this bag of leeches calling themselves fish.

    Better grab a bottle of water, Williams. I hear crow is hard to swallow and we may be reaping what was cooperatively sown, but you, fool, have a whole FLOCK waitin' for you.

    Re: TCIA promises secrecy to culture clubs, denies public access

    anon an' on an' on
    Why you sorry-azz pot stirring cowardly old cur!

    You had as big a role as anyone with all the "anti-Kunesh" bile you spewed in your unending crusade to destroy your singular enemy. YOU dangled carrots of (false) "friendship" and (false) "respect" to anyone who would let you use them.

    You've made a career out of feeding any and every angry wolf that would carry on your selfish war for you including the current frauds sitting on that commission. You didn't give a turd who you promoted, who you fed allegations to as long as THEY promoted your "down with Kunesh" war.

    You poked and prodded and pushed to keep the fire as hot as possible, getting everyone else to lay their necks on the line and always keeping yourself one or more steps out of the fire?

    And now YOU want to push 100% of the blame off on someone else? NOT THIS TIME. Your "discredit Kunesh at all costs" war worked. YOU PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE in netting this bag of leeches calling themselves fish.

    Better grab a bottle of water, Williams. I hear crow is hard to swallow and we may be reaping what was cooperatively sown, but you, fool, have a whole FLOCK waitin' for you.







    touche'

    Re: Can't people take their private wars somewhere else?

    Please?

    Re: Can't people take their private wars somewhere else?

    well ... in this case, the "private war" wasn't so "private". LOL

    Re: Can't people take their private wars somewhere else?

    Yeah, I thought a vendetta was an Italian thing.

    Re: Who is Cherokee?

    I can definitely understand when people look at that video (playing on Youtube about what Cherokees look like) and get frustrated that even though they MAY have more Cherokee blood than some of the people shown, they cannot get enrolled. The reason they cannot get enrolled is they don't have an ancestor on the Dawes Roll. Some people seem to think that ALL Cherokee people were listed on the Dawes Roll. Not true. Not even close. And many of the people listed are not listed with correct blood quantums as full bloods were thought to be incompetent to handle their own affairs and were assigned a white person to take advan... uh, assist them. Many full bloods were listed as half or less to avoid the requirement to have someone else manage their money. Also, brothers and sisters of the same parents are often listed with varying blood degrees--from a visual appraisal by the roll taker. Now, between the Trail of Tears when people went to Oklahoma and the taking of the Dawes Roll, there was a good 50-60 years. In that time many people left Oklahoma and returned east--some of those people hooked up with the Eastern Band in Qualla, but some returned to the areas they had previously lived in. The Eastern Band are not Cherokee according to many in Oklahoma because they are not on the Dawes Roll--that's humbug. They are Cherokee--most moreso than those in Oklahoma. Anyway, most of the arguments I hear going back and forth about who is and who is not Cherokee leave out most of this information. I guess those who want to be the final word only list the information that helps to prove their point. There is more than one side to this argument--I guess that's why it will always be an argument. I guess my advice to those who know they have living relatives in NC or Oklahoma is--look them up, meet them, exchange family information. You may or may not be able to enroll, but at least when some asks, "Who claims you?" you can answer--"My relatives do."


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