sábado, 14 de junio de 2008

Rule 0785-1, again

Today I am re-submitting Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs' Rule 0785-1 Recognition Criteria for Native American Indian Nations, Tribes or Communities in Tennessee as an agenda item for review and passage, once again, by the state Commission of Indian Affairs. In 2005 the Commission submitted the proposed Rule for community review, received its approval, and in March 2006 the Commission gave the Rule its final approval. In the summer of 2006 the Commission was advised that the Rule would not pass legislative committee review, and in hopes of extending the Commission's sunset date, the Commission voted to repeal the rule. Now, less than a year later, the Commission has its summer meeting in Knoxville where I hope the Commission will once again initiate the state rulemaking process for state tribal recognition criteria.

Actual Native American Indian communities that survived the racial cleansing of the 1800s should be recognized as this land's indigenous people. At the same time, the state needs objective and rigorous criteria by which to determine the validity of groups claiming to indigenous tribes. In the Rule's absence, opportunistic groups submitted their own self-serving legislative proposal which never made it out of committee. In their defense, it is the legal Power and Duty of the state Commission of Indian Affairs to "Establish appropriate procedures to provide for legal recognition by the state of presently unrecognized tribes, nations, groups, communities or individuals, and to provide for official state recognition by the commission of such" (TCA 4-34-103.6). If and when the state Commission of Indian Affairs fails to exercise its legal responsibility, however, it becomes the power and duty of the public to promote its own "recognition" agenda. Both the Commission and the groups seeking state tribal recognition failed to obtain rule or law. We need to keep trying with the same near-unanimous support with which we all approved Rule 0785 the first time.

The term of the state Commission of Indian Affairs has been extended another year. In this short time the Commission needs to educate the legislature and the public about the need and benefits of objective tribal recognition criteria based on accurate historical data and existing federal procedures for establishing that an American Indian group exists as an Indian tribe (25 CFR 83), approve the Rule 0785 again, and oversee its implementation. We did it before. We can do it again, smarter, better. I hope we'll again have your support.

Chapter 0785-1 - Recognition Criteria for Native American Indians
0785-1-.01 General
0785-1-.02 Recognition Criteria For Native American Indian Nations, Tribes or Communities
0785-1-.03 Procedures For Petitioning For Recognition
0785-1-.04 Changes In Membership
Administrative History

tom kunesh
member, Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs

11 june 2008 20:46

1 comentario:

ozuyewakan dijo...

based on conversations i and others have had with several state legislators, this issue is dead. and more than dead, any issues related to 'recognition' of Native American Indians in the state is the responsibility of the state agency charged with it - the Commission of Indian Affairs. ... no need to beat a dead horse.