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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    Commission terminated     30 June 2010


    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee


    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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    SB1978 as amended - text

    TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
    FISCAL REVIEW COMMITTEE

    FISCAL MEMORANDUM
    HB 1692 - SB 1978

    March 30, 2010


    SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS (015409, 015754): Deletes all language of the original bill. Establishes a procedure through the Secretary of State by which Native American Indian groups may apply for Nation, Tribe or Community recognition by the state of Tennessee.
    The Department shall develop policies and procedures which shall include the payment of non-refundable application fees. The Department of State shall develop an Applicant for Recognition form available on-line or by written request. The Department shall appoint a review committee to review applications and documentation for completeness and to assist applicants achieve completeness. Applications pending with the Indian Affairs Commission may be transferred to the Department and information updated as required. Such applications shall be approved or denied within 12 months of the completed application. The roll of all approved applicants shall be maintained current and posted on the Department's Web site. Applicants who disagree with a denial may seek a contested case hearing before the Department.


    FISCAL IMPACT OF ORIGINAL BILL:
    MINIMAL


    FISCAL IMPACT OF BILL WITH PROPOSED AMENDMENTS:

    Increase State Revenue - $4,000/FY10-11
    Not Significant/FY11-12 and Subsequent Years

    Increase State Expenditures - $4,000/FY10-11
    Not Significant/FY11-12 and Subsequent Years

    Assumptions applied to amendments:
    • There are an estimated eight applications pending with the Indian Affairs Commission.
    • According to the Department of State, an estimated eight applicants will apply for state recognition and pay a $500 non-refundable application fee per applicant. The increase in state revenue from the collection of fees is estimated to be $4,000 the first year.
    • The Department of State indicates that a three-person review committee will be appointed which will meet in Nashville for seven days to review applications and supporting documentation and will cost approximately $150 per day per member for a total of $3,150 (3 members x $150 x 7 days).

    HB 1692 - SB 1978

    -----

    • According to the Department of State, there would be an additional cost of
    approximately $850 for printing, postage, and related operational expenses of the review committee.
    • The number of Native American Indian groups that would seek Nation, Tribe or Community recognition, be denied, and seek a contested case hearing before the Department cannot be determined but is estimated to be small.
    • The number of future applicants who would seek state recognition cannot be determined at this time, but is estimated to be few, if any.
    • Any increase in state revenue and expenditures in future years is estimated to be not significant.


    CERTIFICATION:

    This is to duly certify that the information contained herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
    James W. White, Executive Director
    /rct

    HB 1692 - SB 1978

    ----

    S S&L Gov't
    FILED
    Date 3/31
    Time 10:00

    AMEND Senate Bill No. 1978 House Bill No. 1692*
    by deleting all language after the enacting clause and by substituting instead the following:

    SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, is amended by adding the following language as a new chapter 56.

    4-56-101.
    As used in this chapter:
    (1) "Applicant" means Native American Indian groups applying for Nation, Tribe or Community recognition by the state of Tennessee;
    (2) "Department" means the department of state;
    (3) "List" means the updated membership list to be submitted to the department by applicants and recognized Nations, Tribes, and Communities;
    (4) "Nation," "Tribe," or "Community" for the purposes of this act, means an assembly of Native American Indians who are related to each other by blood or kinship and includes "band" and "clan";
    (5) "Recognized" means being acknowledged as a Native American Nation, Tribe or Community by the state of Tennessee;
    (6) "Roll" means the official list of recognized Native American Nations, Tribes
    and Communities in Tennessee;
    (7) "Secretary" means the secretary of state;
    (8) "State" means the state of Tennessee.

    4-56-102
    (a) Eligibility for recognition by the state of Tennessee as a Native American Nation, Tribe or Community shall be determined using the following criteria:
    (1) The applicant for recognition as a Native American Nation, Tribe or Community is indigenous to Tennessee and has been identified on a substantially continuous basis as a Native American indian Nation, Tribe or Community throughout the history of the group;
    (2) A majority of the applicant's members inhabit a particular geographic area in Tennessee or lives in a community in Tennessee viewed as Native American Indian and distinct from all other populations in the geographic area, and a majority of its members consist of individuals who have established verifiable documented descendancy from an Indian tribe which has historically inhabited the State of Tennessee;
    (3) The applicant has maintained tribal political influence or other authority over its members, or is able to demonstrate the applicant's existence as a continuous, distinct cultural entity capable of self regulation, throughout the applicant's history until the time of filing an application; and
    (4) The membership of the applicant is composed of a majority of persons who are not members of any other North American Indian federal or state recognized tribe.

    (b) The following information shall be provided to the department for review:
    (1) A copy of the applicant's present governing document or a statement describing in full the membership criteria and the procedures through which the group governs its affairs and members, or both such items;
    (2) A list of all known current members of the applicant and a copy of any available list of former members, based on the tribe's own defined criteria;
    (3) A history of the applicant from 1900 to the present time; such history to be written by a professional historian or anthropologist and contain a maximum of two thousand (2000) words, unless an exception is granted by the department;
    (4) The applicant shall also submit additional information requested by the department, including one (1) or more of the following:

    (A) Documented traditions, customs and legends that demonstrate the group's Native American indian cultural heritage;
    (B) Letters, statements, and documents from city, county, state, or federal authorities that document a history of tribal related business and activities that specifically address Native American indian culture, preservation, and affairs;
    (C) Letters, statements, and documents from federal or state recognized tribes in or outside of Tennessee which attest to the indian heritage of the group; or
    (D) Other compelling documentation acceptable by the department that shows the heritage of the applicant; and
    (5) A signed and notarized statement from the officers of the applicant affirming that, to the best of their knowledge, information, and belief, the information provided is true and accurate.

    adds (c)
    (c) The application shall be submitted to the Tennessee department of state in accordance with application policies and procedures established by the department. Such policies and procedures shall include, but shall not be limited to, payment of reasonable non-refundable application fees.


    4-56-103.
    (a) An Applicant for Recognition form with appropriate instructions for completion and submission shalt be developed by the department. It shall be available on-line or on request by writing to the Tennessee Department of State at the address below. Complete applications and supporting documentation are to be sent to:
    Department of State
    312 8th Avenue, N., 7th Floor
    Nashville Tn, 37243
    (b) The department shall appoint a review committee to be comprised of persons as determined by the secretary of state to review applications and supporting documentation for completeness and work with applicants to achieve completeness. A record shall be maintained of all applications and appropriate information, including, but not limited to, the date received, date determined complete, date presented to the

    department and the departments decision. The review committee shall review an application within six (6) months of the submittal date.
    (c) If the application and required documentation are complete, the review
    committee shall present the information to the secretary of state for further review. Applicant(s) shalt be notified in writing of the date, time and location of the meeting with the secretary of state, or the secretary's designee, at which the application is to be considered.
    (d) The secretary of state, or the secretary's designee, shall either approve or deny the application within twelve (12) months of the application being determined complete by the review committee. The secretary of state may request additional information from the applicant.
    (e) The secretary of state, or the secretary's designee, shall notify each applicant in writing of the secretary of state's decision.
    (f) Applications pending under the former Tennessee Department of Indian Affairs may be processed using the new criteria following the effective date of this act. Such applications, if any, shall be forwarded to the department for review as provided in this act. Applicants shall be contacted in writing by the department and advised accordingly. The secretary of state, the secretary's designee, or the review committee may request the applicant to provide updated or additional information.
    (g) An applicant may, at any time prior to approval, withdraw its application and supporting documentation by writing to the department at the address in subsection (a) and may request the return of all submitted documents.
    (h) An applicant applying for recognition shall specify all submitted documentation that is to be returned to the applicant following the decision of the department or withdrawal by the applicant of the submitted application. All documents returned to the applicant shall be at the applicant's expense.
    (i) The roll of all approved applicants for recognition shall be maintained current by the department and posted on the departments web site.

    adds (j)
    (j) Upon a finding by the secretary of state that a recognition granted to an application was made based upon fraudulent evidence or testimony or upon a finding that a previously recognized Native American Nation, Tribe or Community no longer meets one (1) or more of the eligibility criteria, the department shall revoke the nation, tribe or community's official state recognition.


    4-56-104.
    (a) Every two (2) years from the date of recognition as a Nation, Tribe or Community, the Nation, Tribe or Community shall notify the department of any changes in membership criteria and subsequent additions or deletions of members at the address in § 4-54-103(a).
    (b) Any recognized Nation, Tribe, or Community may terminate its recognition by submitting written notice to the department. Upon receipt of such a request, the department shall remove the name from the roll.

    4-56-105.
    Applicants who disagree with the denial of their application for recognition may use the following procedures to seek a contested case hearing before the department pursuant to §§ 4-5-223 through 4-5-225 of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act:
    (1) When an affected applicant disagrees with the denial of an application for recognition based upon the contention that such action is an illegal application of rules or statutes, or both rules and statutes, or such action is based upon invalid rules or statutes, the applicant may petition the department for a declaratory order.
    (2) Upon receipt of such a petition, the department may convene a contested case hearing pursuant to the uniform administrative procedures act compiled in title 4, chapter 5.
    (3) if the department refuses to issue a declaratory order or fails to set a petition for a contested case hearing within sixty (60) days of receipt of the petition, the affected applicant may apply for a declaratory judgment pursuant §4-5-225.

    adds 4-56-106:

    4-56-106. The department of state is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

    SECTION 2. For purposes of developing appropriate forms and appointing a review committee, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. For all other purposes this act shall take effect July 1, 2010, the public welfare requiring it.

    ----

    New 3/22/10

    AMEND Senate Bill No. 1978 House Bill No. 1692*
    by inserting the following language as a new subsection (c) to the amendatory language of Section 4-56-102 of Section 1:

    (c) The application shall be submitted to the Tennessee department of state in accordance with application policies and procedures established by the department. Such policies and procedures shall include, but shall not be limited to, payment of reasonable non-refundable application fees.

    AND FURTHER AMEND by inserting the following language as a new subsection (j) to the amendatory language of Section 4-56-103 of Section 1:

    (j) Upon a finding by the secretary of state that a recognition granted to an application was made based upon fraudulent evidence or testimony or upon a finding that a previously recognized Native American Nation, Tribe or Community no longer meets one (1) or more of the eligibility criteria, the department shall revoke the nation, tribe or community's official state recognition.

    AND FURTHER AMEND by adding the following language as a new Section 4-56-106 at the end of the amendatory language of Section 1:

    4-56-106. The department of state is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

    Re: SB1978 as amended - text

    I guess the state is beginning to realize that recognizing these groups won't be free, and will, in fact, cost the state money.

    About time.


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