This past saturday human bones dating from around 400-900 ce (Mississippian) were discovered northeast of Chattanooga. Most of us locals, i believe, found out third-hand. The Chattanooga Riverwalk, nearing completion, is said to have encountered several burials of which we have never heard. Coolidge Park is said to have a burial right in the middle of it somewhere. Where is our Native American archaeology contact?
The Tennessee Archaeological* Advisory Council is a 10-member governor-appointed group whose meetings are governed by the state sunshine law**, just like the TN Commission of Indian Affairs. There are reserved places for 3 Native American representatives on the Council.
In the past the Tennessee indian community hasn't had much interaction at all with this Council, and the majority of its indian members have been relatively obscure people apart from Don Yahola (Middle TN), Alva Crowe (East TN), and now Pat Cummins (Middle TN). To the best of anyone's knowledge, the West TN representative, Russell E. Baugh, has never been at a Commission of Indian Affairs meeting and is relatively unknown in the indian community. The last meeting the East TN representative, Leela Cross, attended was in Johnson City back around 1998.
IT'S TIME our indian representatives on this Council get back in touch with the indian community by reporting quarterly to the Commission of Indian Affairs, and time that the indian community makes sure that its representatives on this Council know what's happening in archaeology around the state from the indian community perspective, the political impact of the recent AG's opinion, and the sites that are being threatened by development. It's also time that we make sure that the TN Archaeology Advisory Council, which is overseen by TN Department of Environment and Conservation, the same as the Commission of Indian Affairs, complies with the same sunshine law that the Commission of Indian Affairs has to comply with, and that the indian community have the ability to obtain the agenda of the Archaeological Advisory Council the same way that it receives notice of the Commission's meetings - public website and direct email notices.
Archaeological Advisory Council meeting, Ed Jones Auditorium Ellington Agricultural Center, 5105 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, Friday, January 21, 2005 - 2 P.M.
*Tennessee Code reads: "TITLE 11 NATURAL AREAS AND RECREATION : CHAPTER 6 ARCHAEOLOGY : 11-6-103. Archaeological advisory council" but the state's official website for it calls it the "Tennessee Archaeology Advisory Council".
** The Tennessee Sunshine Law, passed by the General Assembly in 1974, requires public notice of meetings of all government bodies whose action can affect public policy, and that all meetings of state, city and county government bodies be open to the public. On the TN Archaeological* Advisory Council's own website it states: For the agenda to this board's next meeting, please visit the Sunshine Notice. No notice of the TN Archaeology Advisory Council's January 2005 is given there. CORRECTION: 13jan05-agenda posted.