Proposed amendment to the proposed 2006 TNCIA Recognition Criteria:
Delete all sections and references to the words "tribes" and "nations".
Purpose: That the Commission NOT take on itself the responsibility of recognizing Native American Indian People within the state of Tennessee to be known as "tribes" or "nations". The meaning of the words "tribe/s" and or "nations" is too broad and in depth for the Commission to effectively and accurately evaluate the people currently presenting themselves. There may be one or two of these communities who have longevity of existence in Tennessee with long- term documentation. For the most part, the groups presenting extensive paperwork to be evaluated could be processed and approved as "Tennessee Acknowledged Native American Organizations" with a name, which does not use the word "tribe", or "nation" within it. The Commission does not have the personnel or financial resources to extensively study and validate the vast amount of documentation that has been, and will be, presented for action by the Commission.
This proposed amendment would delete the following section in its entirety from the Recognition Criteria. Only organizational and individual recognition would be available.
0785-1-.04 RECOGNITION CRITERIA FOR NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN NATIONS, TRIBES, OR BANDS.
(1) Eligibility for recognition is limited to petitioning groups that meet the following criteria:
(A) The petitioning group is headquartered in the state of Tennessee, is indigenous to this state, and has been identified on a substantially continuous basis as Native American Indians throughout the history of the group; and
(B) A majority of the petitioning group inhabits a particular geographic area in Tennessee or lives in a community in Tennessee viewed as Native American Indian and distinct from all other populations in the geographic area, and that its members are descendants of an Indian tribe that has historically inhabited the state of Tennessee; and
(C) The petitioning group has maintained tribal political influence or other authority over its members, or is able to demonstrate their existence as a continuous, distinct cultural entity capable of self-regulation, throughout their history until the present; and
(D) The membership of the group is composed of a majority of persons who are not members of any other North American Indian federally- or state-recognized tribe.
(2) The following information shall be provided to the Commission to review:
(A) A copy of the group's present governing document and/or a statement describing in full the membership criteria and the procedures through which the group governs its affairs and members; and
(B) A list of all known current members of the group and a copy of any available list of former members, based on the tribe's own defined criteria. The membership must consist of individuals who have established certified descendancy from a tribe that existed historically; and
(C) A history of the petitioning group from the time of state creation (1796) to present, written by a professional historian or anthropologist and no longer than two-thousand (2000) words.
(D) Documented traditions, customs, legends, etc., that demonstrate the group's Native American Indian cultural heritage.
(E) Letters, statements, and documents from state or federal authorities, that document a history of tribal-related business and activities that specifically address Native American Indian culture, preservation, and affairs.
(F) Letters, statements, and documents from federally- or state-recognized tribes in and/or outside of Tennessee which attest to the Indian heritage of the group.
Authority: T.C.A. §4-34-103. Administrative History:
Original rule filed July 3, 1990; effective August 17, 1990.
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