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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    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee


    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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    Re: The Southeast Syndrome......W Quinn

    Two Dogs
    Quinn's thesis is that his so-called "Southeast Syndrome," a
    "resurgence of Indian identity or 'pan-Indianism' among descendants
    and others in the Southeast who constellate through recruitment,"
    has had "at least two negative consequences" (p. 149). These are, first,
    the appearance of "individuals identifying themselves as Indian
    whose ancestry has no documentable Indian heritage or whose claim
    to Indian ancestry is simply bogus," and, second, "whether there is
    any Indian blood in their family lines or not, most of the culturally
    non-Indian people identifying as Indian have distorted notions of
    Indian cultures, issues, and history--notions which have their bases
    more in films and novels than in fact" (p. 150).

    Quinn goes on to comment on the "widespread use of non-local
    Plains Indian feathered war bonnets, the wearing of home-made
    Indian 'regalia' and references to each other as 'chiefs', 'braves' and
    'squaws'" among the "Indian descendants." He also includes a
    lengthy discussion on the use of Indian names by members of "these
    organizations," such as "Big Eagle," "Black Ace," "Swift Fingers,"
    "Wish Bone," "Green Day Mouse," "Sky Pilot," and, in Quinn's words,
    "Bambi-like names" such as "Dancing Fawn" and "Doe Eyes."
    Further, Quinn asserts that the names chosen are "neither legal addi­
    tions nor genuine surnames" (p. 150).

    Drawing back, for a moment, from this inexplicable, mean-spirit­
    ed rebuke of the members of "Indian descendant recruitment organi­
    zations," Quinn shifts to a more serious and significant issue: the fed­
    eral acknowledgment process. However, he seems to again tip his
    hand by prefacing his reference to the acknowledgment process with
    the observations that "the incidence of people [in the United States]
    identifying themselves as Indian has risen dramatically" within the
    last decade, and that there has emerged over the past two decades
    organizations "comprised of those who believe or want to believe that
    they are Indian descendants" ...


    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1185054


    The Southeast Syndrome: Notes on Indian Descendant Recruitment Organizations and Their Perceptions of Native American Culture
    William W. Quinn, Jr.
    American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring, 1990), pp. 147-154
    (article consists of 8 pages)
    Published by: University of Nebraska Press
    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1185054


    William W. Quinn, Jr. has left the BIA since writing the essay and is now practicing law.

    Re: The Southeast Syndrome......W Quinn

    Thanks, I was wondering who "W. Quinn" was.

    Hmmmm, there was his line about "homemade regalia" -- darn, I don't know anyone who buys their regalia from someone else. No one would want factory-made stuff. It's all "homemade." I guess the difference is whether it is well-made, well-designed regalia or the typical "Pocahontas was my great-great grandma" version.

    Even some eastern tribes have been seduced by the war bonnet--how many photos have you seen of the headmen (and sometimes women!) of eastern tribes wearing all those eagle feathers? Not too long ago, an EBCI person wanted to enter the dance arena in grand entry wearing street clothes and a turkey feather bonnet. He was turned away, but not without hurt feelings. It's not just white people who get the wrong ideas, but I guess they are funnier with their "Indian names" their faux suede outfits though.


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