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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    Re: A question

    Two Dogs. Why in your opinion was there so few Federally Recognized Indians involved or interested in the commission ,TNNAC and ACTIA ?

    Re: A question

    "Two Dogs. Why in your opinion was there so few Federally Recognized Indians involved or interested in the commission ,TNNAC and ACTIA ?"

    I'll have to take you back to the year 2000. The Tennessee attorney generals opinion was asked for in a matter concerning membership requirement for Commissioners on the commission of indian affairs. In brief. " "To require at least 3 members of the Tennessee Indian Affairs Commission to be not ness that 25 percent Native American Lineage" Or 1/4 blood quantum. The attorney generals opinion stated that it was a raced based classification and it was unconstitutional. So be it.

    http://www.tntimes.net/TNT%20Publications/St_%20TN_%20AG_Memorandum2000_%20Ref_TCIA_Make-up.pdf

    Do you think a federally recognized Indian would ask the states attorney general for such an opinion. I hardly think so. There would be no reason to do so. Because doing so would only be opening a door for Wannabe,s. In part it did lay the ground work for the dilemma that exists presently. If you have followed the recent developments with the commission, and recognition, its obvious how well that worked.
    As you are aware of there are no reservations or federally recognized tribes in the state of Tennessee. There are only an estimated number of federally recognized indians living in Tenn. Those people are of tribes outside the state of Tenn. Not all....but almost all of those federally recognized indians are members of their tribes by blood quantum. Not all...but most tribes the blood quantum is 1/4 minimum. Some are 1/8 blood quantum. Some are enrolled by descendant....proving you are a descendant of a person on a designated roll.
    There is a great deal of debate and argument here in Tenn.about the use of blood quantum as a means of identifying who is who is an Indian. Of course that depends on the individuals definition of what an indian is.I have found in my life time that the individuals who argue the most about and against the use of blood quantum are those who either have no indian blood or have a great,great,great grand father who was 1/8.
    Which ends up him as being 1/128th !!!!!

    There has been in my opinion a inherent fear that if the federally recognized indians were to make up the majority of TNNAC, ATCIA and the Commissioner positions at the time recognition was the biggest issue. That they would have required a degree of blood quantum for any and all recognition. I myself believe they would have. It works very well for the federally recognized tribe in membership criteria. But like I said previously. There is a lot of argument over the use of blood quantum over indian identity. Maybe so. But blood quantum will tell you quickly just who is NOT indian.

    There are two questions Indians usually ask of those who claim to be Indian.

    !. What tribe claims you ?

    2.Whats your blood quantum?

    " Why in your opinion was there so few Federally Recognized Indians involved or interested in the commission ,TNNAC and ACTIA ?"

    There aren't to many Indians who share the same views with Wannabe,s

    Re: A question

    QuoteReply Re: A question

    Two Dogs. Why in your opinion was there so few Federally Recognized Indians involved or interested in the commission ,TNNAC and ACTIA ?

    Here us another reason.

    http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Kunesh_Tom_3509061.aspx?PersonID=3509061&lastName=Kunesh&firstName=Tom&id=3509061&searchSource=page&page=2

    Tom Kunesh, a resident of Chattanooga TN, has been working to divide and destroy the Indian Community in Tennessee since his arrival here in 1991.Kunesh has no history of participation in American Indian communities prior to moving to Tennessee.

    Lies Relevant to AIM

    Kunesh maintains a lie about being a member of AIM since 19721 and 19732.Not surprisingly, no one who was a member of AIM during that period (the Reign of Terror and Wounded Knee II) has any recollection of "tom kunesh."(Bellecourts excluded - see the Edgewood Declaration regarding any supporting statements from the Bellecourts about Kunesh).

    Kunesh's most recent AIM-related lie is that he is not active in AIM or N-AIM, and that his opinions are not influenced by his former participation in N-AIM.Kunesh is the webmaster3 and primary content creator for the Grand Governing Council of AIM's (N-AIM) website, where attacks against well known and long time American Indian activists such as Russell Means, Ward Churchill, David Hill, Lawrence Sampson, Bobby Castillo, Bob Robideau, Robert Roche, Glen Morris, Santos Saurez, and many others are maintained.
    ...
    Kunesh, at most a person "of Indian descent" and more likely not native at all, alleges he is "Hunkpapa & Blackfeet Lakota, that his mother is enrolled Standing Rock, and that he "joined AIM in 1973,"2 often uses the internet handles, "Iktomi" and "Unktomi."His psychological profile certainly matches the profile of his handle.No self-respecting Lakota would purposefully name himself after the spiritual equivalent of Satan: Iktomi represents everything a Lakota is not supposed to be and he (Iktomi) has no established 7th Direction.His virtues are dishonesty, disrespect, greed, lack of humility, lack of wisdom, lack of compassion, lack of spirituality.His number is 3.His colors are black, red, and white, all combined together.Oftentimes, he focuses on only certain colors so they will cause others' colors (medicine circles) to weaken which then leads those others to become diseased.This is one way he gets his victims.

    Iktomi is lazy and when he does work he overdoes it.He thinks he is above, better, smarter, wiser, than others.His communication is the transfer of bad medicine (i.e. jealousy, revenge, hatred, ignoring others, etc.), and he tells people what they want to hear, instead of the truth.
    ...
    Tom Kunesh moved to Tennessee in approximately 1990 or 1991, allegedly to work for the Unitarian Universalist Church in Chattanooga.By 1993, Kunesh had lost his position with UUC and implanted himself in the Chattanooga Intertribal Association, assuming the responsibility of "Public Relations."By

    Born August 28, 1956 (making him 17 and a highschool senior when he "joined AIM"), Kunesh graduated from Cathedral Highschool in St. Cloud, MN.Ironically, no one affiliated with AIM in the 70's has any recollection of Kunesh, possibly because they were all busy (including the other boys Kunesh's age) fighting for their lives in South Dakota.Perhaps someone should have told him buying a patch and bumper sticker didn't constitute membership.If Kunesh were to provide someone living and not a Bellecourt who actually spoke for him, we would, of course, be obliged to think differently of Citations
    ...
    A word of warning, though: prepare yourself for a barrage of flames from supporters (aka underlings) of Tom "I'll run this show or know the reason why" Kunesh.
    ...
    Immediately, Tom Kunesh jumped to his feet and said, "Hold on!Just wait a minute!This whole thing is moving too fast!Let's just back up here and slow down."

    When John and Alva said that it was not moving too fast, and that the very goals that CITA had been working for were on the verge of fulfillment, Tom went into a rage, cursing them for not including him in the negotiation process and demanding that things be put on hold for awhile.
    ...
    In fact, when Nancy Crow, Alva's wife, called Tom down.
    ...
    Another CITA member had to get between Tom and Nancy to keep him from hitting her.
    ...
    At that point, another member who was there at Tom's invitation, butted in and threatened Alva, Nancy, and the one who intervened between Nancy and Tom.
    ...
    The following week, behind everyone's back, Tom took steps to kill the meetings among Alva, John, and the local and tribal entities.
    ...
    That started the rift between Kunesh & friends and those who sided with John and Alva.
    ...
    We learned later that Tom Kunesh had already begun planning with Friends of Moccasin Bend to try to get the National Park Service to take over Moccasin Bend with the stipulation that Kunesh and the FMB be allowed to set up a museum and souvenir shop, where artifacts from the Bend would be put on display and replicas of period pieces could be sold.There were also plans to "share the wealth" with other businesses by exploiting the burial ground and the Civil War history of the Bend.

    Not long after Kunesh's temper tantrum, he brought in an infiltrator.The rules were that a person had to have attended at least three general meetings before that person was allowed to attend a council meeting, but even then, only the council was allowed to vote on any business or to set the agenda for the meeting.Tom's friend had only attended one general meeting before Tom brought him to the council meeting.
    ...
    Within a month, Kunesh and his friend, along with another local and his own little "tribe," held a secret meeting and voted Kunesh and his friend as the new President and Vice President of CITA.When they tried to take over at the next general meeting, fighting ensued, resulting in Alva's calling the police and having the local group, Tom Kunesh, and Tom's infiltrator friend expelled from the meeting.
    ...
    Of course, Kunesh and his infiltrator friend put CITA back together with those who had helped them take over and went into cahoots with the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park to plan how they could exploit and make money from Moccasin Bend when the National Park Service took over.

    I have purposely abstained from getting involved with the formation of a new Indian Commission in Tennessee, because Tom Kunesh has taken things over.I suspect that right behind him somewhere is his infiltrator friend.As long as either or both of them are involved with Tennessee's Indian affairs commission or anything dealing with Indigenous Americans, the commission will never accomplish anything positive for the Indian people as a whole.I promise you this: Kunesh, his infiltrator friend (if he is still around), and their closest cronies will be the only people who will benefit significantly from the commission.I can promise you that one of Tom's first concerns, if not THE first concern, will be establishing his salary and perks.

    Kunesh could not care less what is best for the people.He only cares about such things when he is at the center and in control.If he cannot be in control, he cares nothing about it.He tries to come off as benevolent and caring, but only so he can keep the upper hand.

    I have tried to warn everyone before; but everyone who was under Kunesh's spell turned on me, so I backed off.

    Until the people get serious about forming an honest, Indian run commission that will operate in the best interest of the people, and as long as Kunesh and/or his infiltrator friend and their bunch are in any way involved in the leadership or decision making of the commission, I will not participate--and I am not the only one.In fact, there are people who know Kunesh's ways who will do everything in their power to get Kunesh and his partners kicked off the board and banned from holding office.

    Re: A question

    that person was seeking validation and disputing Tom Kunesh while claiming connections or legitimacy in the names of ward churchill and lawrence sampson?

    Re: A question

    Two Dogs


    Tom Kunesh, a resident of Chattanooga TN, has been working to divide and destroy the Indian Community in Tennessee since his arrival here in 1991.Kunesh has no history of participation in American Indian communities prior to moving to Tennessee.



    and u no this how?


    Two Dogs

    Kunesh is the webmaster3 and primary content creator for the Grand Governing Council of AIM's (N-AIM) website, where attacks against well known and long time American Indian activists such as Russell Means, Ward Churchill, David Hill, Lawrence Sampson, Bobby Castillo, Bob Robideau, Robert Roche, Glen Morris, Santos Saurez, and many others are maintained.



    ward churchill & lawrence sampson are wellknown to be not indians


    Two Dogs
    Kunesh, at most a person "of Indian descent" and more likely not native at all, alleges he is "Hunkpapa & Blackfeet Lakota, that his mother is enrolled Standing Rock,

    often uses the internet handles, "Iktomi" and "Unktomi."His psychological profile certainly matches the profile of his handle.No self-respecting Lakota would purposefully name himself after the spiritual equivalent of Satan: Iktomi represents everything a Lakota is not supposed to be and he (Iktomi) has no established 7th Direction.His virtues are dishonesty, disrespect, greed, lack of humility, lack of wisdom, lack of compassion, lack of spirituality.His number is 3.His colors are black, red, and white, all combined together.Oftentimes, he focuses on only certain colors so they will cause others' colors (medicine circles) to weaken which then leads those others to become diseased.This is one way he gets his victims.

    Iktomi is lazy and when he does work he overdoes it.He thinks he is above, better, smarter, wiser, than others.His communication is the transfer of bad medicine (i.e. jealousy, revenge, hatred, ignoring others, etc.), and he tells people what they want to hear, instead of the truth.



    iktomi & other names were bestowed. those names then used to mock.

    and so what has been ur track record of working for indian people in tn? you're busy pointing but what have U done? what have U worked on while satan was busy brainwashing so many people as u claim? all those real indians with enrollment cards and blood quantums who worked with satan, ur claiming r stupid & can;t think 4 themselves? why weren't U working harder to teach them and protect them from the satan? ur words sound like U r the 1 with a problem more than satan.

    Re: A question

    "iktomi & other names were bestowed. those names then used to mock."

    ozuyewakan or the holy warrior was a name bestowed upon him. Iktomi is a name he chose for himself.May be he chose it because it was befitting of him or because it had the name Tom spelled out with in itself.

    In the commission early stages a meeting was held at the Weslyan Center. Those folks were gracious enough to us use their meeting room and kitchen facilities. I believe John Anderson arrange that because he lived there when he was attending UTC. I agreed to cook for all those attending. The Weslyan Center is a Methodist Dorm for students attending UTC.

    Many of us got there early to start setting up tables and preparing food to be cooked. About 10 or 12 people were there to witness what going to unknowly take place. Tom came in anad sat down, opened his note book. going over his notes or what ever. He looked at the far wall. There in the middle of the room was a cross. As Tom does at times when he gets upset. He starts shivering like someone would out side in sub zero weather. He gets up and takes the cross off the wall and walks quickly with it over to the patio doors like its burning his hands and puts it in the corner. Then tries to cover it with the
    curtain. The look on the faces of those who watched this happened was one of awe and dis-belief. Mouths dropped open, and eyes wide,looking at each other and Tom. Tom just sat back down like nothing had happened. Is that the kind of respect those people deserved after lending the use of thier fascilities. And NO he didn't bother to put the cross back on the wall when the meeting ended. He just walked out the door.

    Needless to say there were many people who saw Tom in a new light and never attended another meeting that had anything to do with TNNAC or the Commission

    It was after that he tried to get a resolution adopted so no further meeting could be held in churchs or religious centers.

    This not the kind of person to let be involved in sacred sites.

    Re: A question

    I wasn't there and I don't read minds, but from what I read as you posted I would consider that an appropriate move.

    Why you ask?

    What did the christian religion, priests and church do to our people for hundreds of years? A native american meeting should not be subject to a white man's decision of what is appropriate spiritually. The symbols of christianity are an insult to many. Therefore, I applaud the actions of one who, by the way, has been proven to be ndn by those of his mother's tribe. Enrollment be ****ed in this case.

    Nuff said.

    Re: A question

    I wasn't there and I don't read minds, but from what I read as you posted I would consider that an appropriate move.

    Why you ask?

    What did the Christian religion, priests and church do to our people for hundreds of years? A native american meeting should not be subject to a white man's decision of what is appropriate spiritually. The symbols of Christianity are an insult to many. Therefore, I applaud the actions of one who, by the way, has been proven to be ndn by those of his mother's tribe. Enrollment be ****ed in this case.

    "A native american meeting should not be subject to a white man's decision of what is appropriate spiritually. "
    I agree with that statement. But it should also read" what is inappropriate spiritually"

    "The symbols of Christianity are an insult to many. "

    Those same symbols are sacred to others. It all depends who and the religion of that person. May be you have never noticed. But commission meeting were opened and closed with a prayer. And so were TNNAC meeting. I couldn't say if prayers at ACTIA meeting opened or closed the same way. I never attended one. But with out a doubt there is a lot of Christian folks who attended those meetings and commissioners who are believers of of Christ.

    Tom was never asked nor did he volunteer to open or close a meeting with a prayer .Most knew that he was know as a Christian athiest.So they saved him the embarrassment. In other words they did not attempt to impose their religious beliefs upon him. But taking a cross down off the wall was just just plain. wrong,disrespectful and inconsiderate of the people who were there and the people who were kind enough to give the use of the facilities.

    If Tom is one of those people who is offended by Christianity and symbols representing. Why this


    http://www.tngenweb.org/darkside/facing-east.html

    The reason for the east facing position is offered by tom kunesh:


    Note that in Christianity, the star (of the Jewish astronomers from Iraq [Babylon]) comes from the east. Then there is Matthew 24:27 (NKJ): “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be ...” thus for the Christian believer in the resurrection of the dead, placing the body facing east will allow the dead to see the Second Coming of Jesus.

    This is part of the research he does on graves and headstones. I would say that he spends a lot of time in church cemeteries And as you can see searching the bible to quote from the scriptures

    Re: A question

    looks like ur trying to find any excuse 2 try & discredit someone u don't like.

    it's not working very well


    why is it such an issue 2 u what he thinks, says, does, doesn't do, doesn't say, doesn't think about religions & religious things? focus instead on what u were taught & worry about if ur doing what U should be doing.

    Re: A question

    "looks like ur trying to find any excuse 2 try & discredit someone u don't like. "

    One could look at it that way. But then again its his own actions and behavior that puts his credibility in question.

    Re: A question

    Two Dogs
    "looks like ur trying to find any excuse 2 try & discredit someone u don't like. "

    One could look at it that way. But then again its his own actions and behavior that puts his credibility in question.


    2 some, not all

    Re: A question

    "Best interests of the state" means what the state's majority White
    Republican population wants. Right now that means Indian tribal
    status for their White groups of local voters. The proof of that
    "best interest" is Republican Lt. Governor/Senator Ron Ramsey and
    Republican House Majority Leader Representative Jason Mumpower
    promoting recognition of their fellow Republicans' Indian culture
    clubs as tribes.

    There are enough federal laws requiring state interaction with
    federally-recognized tribes when NAGPRA gets applied to old
    underground cultural sites that are discovered by TDOT or TVA or private
    contractor digging that the state would just as soon never have any
    interaction with tribes if it can avoid it.

    Essentially it's in the best interests of the non-indian State of
    Tennessee to ignore independent federally-recognized historical tribes
    of the southeast U.S., and instead create a few White tribes of its
    own that owe their political existence and future to the majority
    White state legislature. Fake tribes dependent on the State for their
    Indian status are much more easily manipulated than independent nations.

    Tribal recognition is politics. Whoever owns the politics owns the
    tribal recognition. The State of Tennessee doesn't want a relationship
    with more people telling them what's needed, especially federally-
    recognized tribes butting in who don't owe them squat. And the tribes
    shouldn't be waiting around for an invitation that's never going to
    come. This is their ancestral land. They want to play politics here,
    they're going to have to come back and start organizing here, on their
    own. The CNO's finally getting the picture. We who live here pay to
    play here. It's time the Muscogee-Creek, Chickasaw and Choctaw
    realize that too.

    Re: A mistaken answer

    Two Dogs wrote:
    > "If I am not mistaken there were never more than two
    > federally recognized Indians on the commission at one time.


    you are mistaken.
    the TCIA began with 4 - the majority of the Commission:

    • Teri Rhoades Ellenwood, Cherokee (Knoxville 2003-2005)
    • John Anderson, Iroquois (Chattanooga 2003-2005)
    • Jimmy Reedy, Muscogee (Middle TN 2003-2007)
    • Evangeline Lynch, Choctaw (West TN 2003-2008 )

    Re: A mistaken answer

    Here are the enrollment status(s) of the folks I know of...

    CTNEAL then CNO- Teri Rhoades Ellenwood*, Knoxville 2003-2005

    Iroquois John Anderson*, Chattanooga 2003-2005

    Chickasaw Mike Mangrum, Nashville 2003-2005

    Navajo Niles Aseret*, Nashville 2005-2007

    Muscogee Jimmy Reedy*, Middle TN 2003-2007

    Choctaw Evangeline Lynch*, West TN 2003-2008

    EBCI Jeanie Walkingstick*, Knoxville 2005-2010

    CTNEAL David Teat, Nashville 2007-2008

    Re: A mistaken answer

    Ruth Knight Allen is or was TN state recognized

    Re: A mistaken answer

    OOps... I didn't mean to leave her off.

    Re: A mistaken answer on MM

    Old Tassel
    Here are the enrollment status(s) of the folks I know of...
    CTNEAL then CNO- Teri Rhoades Ellenwood*, Knoxville 2003-2005
    Iroquois John Anderson*, Chattanooga 2003-2005
    Chickasaw Mike Mangrum, Nashville 2003-2005
    Navajo Niles Aseret*, Nashville 2005-2007
    Muscogee Jimmy Reedy*, Middle TN 2003-2007
    Choctaw Evangeline Lynch*, West TN 2003-2008
    EBCI Jeanie Walkingstick*, Knoxville 2005-2010
    CTNEAL David Teat, Nashville 2007-2008
    - when did Mike Mangrum become enrolled & with what tribe?
    2003 TNNAC nomination to the State:
    "Not a member of a federally- or state-recognized tribe."

    Re: A mistaken answer - corrected

    Mike Mangrum claimed Chickasaw descent, but was not enrolled in any recognized tribe; nor did he claim to be.

    Re: A question

    All the words and all of the bullshyt where these so called injuns want to be ***** to get MONEY end of dang story


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