Individual recognition as indian is traditionally the responsibility and authority of the indian tribe, not a non-indian state government of the United States.
The principle of tribal sovereignty means that the tribe is sovereign in determining its own affairs, including membership.
For one of the United States to "recognize" indians for no other purpose than to "recognize" them is, in effect, removing the authority of tribes to determine their own members and placing it within the jurisdiction of non-indians.
States have historically recognized tribes, and i see no conflict in the Indian Affairs Commission of Tennessee assuming the same authority that Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and many others have assumed, most often with the blessing and authorization of other tribes. In these state tribal recognitions, the authority of recognizing individual indians has still rested with the tribes. But there is no other state among the other 49 that has assumed authority to determine who is indian, and to me it is a wrongful and dangerous precedent for Tennessee to assume this responsibility, especially in light of the embarrassingly little discussion about the meaning of recognition, and with no guidance from the tribes which should be considered our elders in this policy.
As an alternative, individual recognition as it's written in the 1990 rules being currently proposed for re-adoption should be criteria for tribes and organizations within the state to use and follow.
And it has always been the federal and states' governments' prerogatives to take censuses and create rolls of indian populations at various times -- the individual "recognition" criteria being proposed could be used for the creation of any such census rolls.
Additionally, recognition should be for some practical purpose. If there is no practical purpose, then there is no reason to adopt this policy or procedures.
on proposed state recognition amendments 2000