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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    Who is an Indian

    Who is an Indian?

    Although some people prefer use of the term "Native American" or "American Indian" when describing descendants of the indigenous peoples of what is now the United States, the term "Indian" is the actual legal term used in federal law.

    There is no federal statute that defines who is an Indian. However, there are a number of federal court decisions that do so. In modern usage, the legal term "Indian" usually means an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe (or one who is eligible to be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe). Each tribe has the sovereign authority to define who their members are and who is eligible to be enrolled. Some tribes have blood quantum requirements (a requirement that to be enrolled, a person must have at least a certain degree of tribal ancestry - such as one-fourth) while other tribes' laws state that a person is eligible for enrollment if one of their ancestors appears on a particular historical list of tribal members. Ultimately, the question of, "Who is an Indian?", is determined by tribal law. Usually, this determination can be made by contacting the tribe and asking the enrollment clerk if a particular person is an enrolled member. In unclear cases, the tribal court may have to decide and issue an opinion as to a particular person's status. For purposes of criminal jurisdiction, members of all federally recognized tribes are "Indians" regardless what tribe's territory they may be present on (25 USC 1301(2); US v. Lara, 541 US 193). For example, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation is an "Indian" not only on Cherokee Nation lands but also on Navajo Nation land, and on the reservation of any other federally recognized tribe.

    If a person is not enrolled nor eligible for enrollment in a federally recognized tribe, then he or she is probably not an "Indian" for criminal jurisdictional purposes. Enrolled members of tribes recognized by a US state (but not by the federal government) and indigenous people from Canada, Mexico, and other foreign nations are not considered to be "Indians" for criminal jurisdictional purposes. This is because persons who are not members of federally recognized tribes in the US, do not have a special legal relationship with the US government. In Morton v. Mancari (417 US 535) and US v. Antelope (430 US 641), the US Supreme Court ruled that Indians can be treated differently under the law, not because of their race or ancestry, but because of their unique political status under federal law.

    TN & American Indian Related Links
  • Tennessee Legislature
  • Tennessee Executive Branch
  • Federal Government Links
  • TN Attorney General
  • TnCIA official website

  • Native American Indian Association of Tennessee (NAIA)
    Advisory Council on Tennessee Indian Affairs (ACTIA)
    Alliance for Native American Indian Rights (ANAIR)
    Tennessee Native American Convention (TNNAC)
    Tennessee Trail of Tears Association (TnTOTA)
    Tn Commission of Indian Affairs (Unofficial)
    Chattanooga InterTribal Association (CITA)
    InterTribal Sacred Land Trust (ITSLT)
    The Forum
    Tanasi Journal
    Native Nashville
    TN Indian Affairs Blog
    Chikamaka History Timeline
    Mundo Hispano/Hispanic World
    Tennessee Ancient Sites Conservancy
    Indian Burial & Sacred Grounds Watch

    National Native News Links
    Indian Country News
    Indian Country
    Wotanging Ikche/
    Native American News
    Aboriginal/First Nations/Native
    News in Canada
    Mohawk Nation News - Daily News from the Mohawk Nation Native News
    Native American Times,
    the nation's largest
    independent Indian
    news source
    On The Wings
    of Eagles

    NativeNews Online
    Native news,
    Views and Legends

    Health Needs / Job Seeker Links
    Partnership for
    Prescription Assistance
    CMATS - TN Dept of Labor
    & Workforce Development
    Manpower Inc.
    Locate Your KELLY Office

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