updated 7feb2018
Disclaimer: This is the website about Indian Affairs in Tennessee, est. 2001.
tncia.org was not affiliated with, approved or endorsed by the TN Commission of Indian Affairs although i did serve on the Commission from 2007-2010 and was the primary
author of & lobbyist for the 2003 legislation that re-created it.

TN Federally-Recognized Tribes / First Nations with historical ties to Tennessee

Here's the old link to The Official TCIA website : www.state.tn.us/environment/boards/tcia/.
TCA 4-34-101: the law governing the Commission of Indian Affairs
TNCIA Rule 0785-1: state tribal recognition criteria (repealed)
TNCIA Standing Rules 2008 2010
TN Indian Affairs blog

11,150 MNI
Minimum Number of 'prehistoric' human Individuals' remains
in storage in boxes in academic or government storage in Tennessee
Working Group on
Culturally Unidentified Human Remains

The Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs
1984-2001, 2004-2010

The TNCIA was killed in 2010 by people who claim both
• undemonstrated Native American Indian descent and
• the right to have their culture clubs recognized by
the State as legitimate Native American Indian tribes,
equal or superior to the federally-recognized
historic tribes of Tennessee.

you must not fight . do no harm to anyone . do right always

we are all related

state Sunshine law: formation of public policy & decisions is public business and shall not be conducted in secret. TCA 8-44-101

Tennessee General Assembly • Legislative Watch search this year's legislation
the 6 Fake GOP Tribes of Tennessee last push for Recognition ended in 2015.   

HB 619 by Favors, SB 636 by Gardenhire
Boards and Commissions - replaces reference to requiring notification of former Commission of Indian Affairs with requiring notification of the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee prior to an excavation of a Native American Indian gravesite; substitutes 'historically proven descent' for 'one-fourth blooded' as means of establishing bona fides for the three positions on the archaeological advisory council that are reserved for descendants of Native American Indians. - Amends TCA Title 11, Chapter 6; Section 15-2-106 and Section 68-24-701.

8 february 2017- Introduced
15 march 2017 - Failed in s/c Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee of Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

fiscal note

HB1707 by Hardaway, Democrat, Memphis
SB1745 by Crowe, Republican, Johnson City

"Designates the day after Thanksgiving Day each year as Native American Heritage Day to encourage the people of Tennessee and interested groups and organizations to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities relating to the historical status of Native American tribal governments, the present day status of Native Americans, the cultures, traditions, and languages of Native Americans, and the rich Native American cultural legacy."
then ...

ON APRIL 6, 2016, THE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENT #1 AND PASSED SENATE BILL 1745, AS AMENDED: AMENDMENT #1 replaces "American Indian Day" as a day of special observance on the fourth Monday in September with "Native American Heritage Day" on the day after Thanksgiving.

ON APRIL 20, 2016, THE HOUSE SUBSTITUTED SENATE BILL 1745 FOR HOUSE BILL 1707, ADOPTED AMENDMENT #3, AND RE-REFERRED SENATE BILL 1745 TO COMMITTEE, AS AMENDED: AMENDMENT #3 removes this provisions of Senate Amendment #1 so that there will be [1] an "American Indian Day" as under present and [2] a "Native American Heritage Day" as under this bill. This amendment adds a clause to the preamble that if Congress changes Native American Heritage Day then this state will also change the date to follow federal law.

Filed for intro. 14 jan 2016
Sponsor(s) Added. 14, 19 jan 2016

after failure to justify the bill's support by Native Americans
& subsequent opposition, ...

Sponsors withdrawn 28 jan 2016
Sponsors Added 28 jan 2016
[Passed Senate as amended, Ayes 30, Nays 0 - 6 apr 2016]
Sponsors Added 8 apr 2016
Sponsors added 11 apr 2016
Sponsors withdrawn 12 apr 2016
Held on desk 13 apr 2016
Senate Bill substituted 20 apr 2016
[Senate Re-ref. State Government Committee 20 apr 2016]

no new bills submitted.
12 may: 3 culture clubs filed a lawsuit in Knoxville's US District Court against the former state Attorney General, claiming their civil rights were violated in 2010 by the then Attorney General. The state AG denied the legality of the groups' 'state recognition' by the state Commission of Indian Affairs that non-indians had taken over, and asked for $66.5 million in damages.
the lawsuit was voluntarily terminated by the 3 culture clubs on 23 july 2015.
the suing 3 fake tribes are:

• Lee Vest's "Remnant Yuchi Nation" of Kingsport,
• Alice Gwin Henry's "Tanasi Tribe" (related to "Tanasi Council of Far-Away Cherokee") of Memphis &
• Herstle Cross's "United Eastern Lenape Tribe" (formerly "United Eastern Lenape Nation of Winfield") of Knoxville,

none of which have anything even vaguely resembling a public history prior to 1980.

no new bills submitted.
Joe Harlan 'Sitting Owl' White, age 66, a former leader of the fake "Cherokee of Lawrence County" aka "Central Band of Cherokee", member of the "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes" and founder of "The Cherokee Sacred Synagogue", died february 2014.
websites of "Cherokee Wolf Clan", "Remnant Yuchi Nation", "Chikamaka Cherokee", "Cherokee of Lawrence County", "Native Cultural Circle" & the "American Indian Association of Millington" no longer function.

SB 489/HB 618 - Campfield, Shipley
General Assembly, Directed Studies - relative to recognition of Indian tribes in Tennessee. Creates an 8-person task force, appointed by the Speakers and bill sponsors, to study and recommend criteria for state recognition of Indian tribes, bands and groups, to report back by February 2015. (pdf)
Taken off notice for calendar in State Government Subcommittee 13mar2013 [dead]

(both Campfield from Knoxville and Shipley from Kingsport lost their Republican primary elections and were replaced the following year.)

SB 2177/HB 2284 - Campfield, Shipley
State Government - establishes standards for
state recognition of Native American Indian tribes;
designates the Tennessee Native American Council [TNNAC]
to review groups which seek state tribal recognition;
recognizes 3 culture clubs as tribes.

Passed Senate State&Local Government committee 5-4-1,
died in House committee.

SB 120/HB 509 - Campfield, Hardaway
Sunset Laws - As introduced, creates sunrise provision for commission of Indian affairs, 30 June 2012.

HB 2055/SB 1802 - Campfield, Hardaway
Grants state tribal recognition to 6 culture clubs; appoints the previously defunct "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes" as the means for other wannabe groups to receive state recognition as tribes.

SB 140/HB 660 - Watson, Cobb
Sunset Laws - As introduced, deletes references to defunct commission of Indian affairs.
Passed House 93-0-1,
died in Senate committee.

SB 1978/HB 1692 - Ramsey, Mumpower
Minority Affairs - Grants state recognition to certain Indian tribes, bands, and groups; provides means for other Indian tribes, bands, and groups to receive state recognition.
Died in committee.

SB 3033/HB 3307 - Faulk, Mumpower
State Government - Establishes federal standards for federal recognition of Native American Indian tribes as the state standards for state recognition of Native American Indian tribes.
Died in committee.

State of Tennessee
Commission of Indian Affairs
terminated 30 june 2010 by statute.

SB 1015/HB 1078 - Johnson, Lynn
Sunset Laws - Extends commission on Indian affairs to 30 June 2010.
Died in committee.

State of Tennessee
Commission of Indian Affairs
expired 30 june 2009 by statute.
had 1 year to shut down.

HB 186/SB 136 - Casada, Ketron
Holidays and Days of Special Observance -
redesignates the 2nd Monday in September each year as American Indian Day instead of the 4th Monday in September each year.

Caption bill, held on desk
pending amendment.

SB 1733/HB 239 - Ramsey, Mumpower
State Government - Grants state recognition to certain Indian tribes, bands, and groups [the "Confederation of TN Native Tribes"); provides means for other Indian tribes, bands, and groups to receive state recognition" through them.
*essentially the same as HB3299 last year* Died in House committee,
withdrawn in Senate committee.

SB 1735/HB 333 - Ramsey, Mumpower
Naming and Designating - Extends state Native American Indian recognition with full legal rights and protections to the Remnant Yuchi Nation in the counties of Sullivan, Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Unicoi, Johnson, and Washington.
Died in committee.


HB3299/SB 3123 - Vaughn, Burchett
Grants state Indian tribal recognition
to 6 groups; appoints "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes" to review other groups to receive state Indian recognition.

Failed in Senate State & Local Gov't Cte
2-2-3; amendment never submitted.

SB2477/HB 3564 - Harper, Kernell
Repeals commission of Indian affairs
& eliminates statutory authority.

Amended to SB3450 to extend
termination date to 30 June 2009
Passed Senate & House as amended, signed by Gov.

SB3450/HB 3539 - Marrero, Kernell
Extends commission on Indian affairs
termination date to 30 June 2009

(Passed as SB2477.) Died in committee.

SJR 2 - Jackson
Urges the TNCIA and the BIA to
recognize the Cherokee Wolf Clan
as Native American Indians

SB 162/HB 133 - Bunch, Bell
Prohibits state agencies from prohibiting use of American Indian symbols, names, and mascots - anti-anti-mascot bill.
- State Government - Specifies that state agencies may not require, prohibit, or impair the right of any public or private institution to continue to honor certain persons or cultures through the use of symbols, names, and mascots. - Amends TCA Title 1, Chapter 4 and Title 49.
Passed: Pub. Ch. 371.

SB1681 - Herron
Authorizes TDEC to issue recognition to
certain Indian tribes; grants recognition
to Cherokee Wolf Clan
No House bill. Died in committee.

SB 1371/HB 1303 - Haynes, West
Exempts bona fide Indian organizations
from payment of $50 charitable
solicitations registration fee
Passed: Pub. Ch. 474.

SB 1307/HB 570 - Watson, McCormick
Authorizes issuance of Native American
cultural license plates
Held in House subcommittee.

SB 2121 - Harper, Kernell
Extends TNCIA to 2011.
Amended to 2008.
Passed: Pub. Ch. 516

HB2644/SB2732 - Hensley, Henry
Pat Cummins AAC
Expands criminal offense of abuse of a corpse to include offering sale or purchase of buried human skeletal remains without legal authority to do so; clarifies that colleges and universities may import or export human remains for education or research purposes; increases fine amount for grave robbing. Amends TCA 11-6-118 & 39-17-312. Passed, Pub. Ch. 896

HJR 877 - Hensley
To urge the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs and the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs to take action regarding applications to be recognized as a Native American tribe filed by the Cherokee of Lawrence County. -->
Died in committee.

"the evidence located by its [the Cherokee of Lawrence County] own researchers demonstrates that there is no evidence in the record to link any of the group's members or their ancestors to a Cherokee Indian tribe or any other historical Indian entity. The evidence, in fact, demonstrates clearly that the member's ancestors were not Cherokee and were not Indians; rather they were non-Indian settlers moving into Tennessee in the early and mid-1800s from disparate places and at different times."
- Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs, Prepared in Response to the Petition Submitted by "The Central Band of Cherokee" (Petitioner #227) for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe 6 august 2010

SJR0008 - Fowler
to recognize and welcome The Lord Alderdice, member of the House of Lords and former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

legislators never once mentioned the actual reason why John Alderdice of Northern Ireland was visiting Tennessee in the first place:
to thank the Choctaw for their financial aid in 1847 for irish famine relief.

WHEREAS, the members of this General Assembly are pleased to specially recognize those dynamic leaders of foreign lands who travel to our great state to foster understanding, share cultural expressions and develop common bonds of fellowship and good will; and
WHEREAS, such an internationally acclaimed dignitary is The Lord Alderdice, a member of the House of Lords and the former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, who is leading a delegation of goodwill ambassadors to be hosted by the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs, the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee and Peregrini International;

Signed by Governor. 01/19/2005
Transmitted to Gov. for action. 01/13/2005
Signed by H. Speaker 01/13/2005
Signed by S. Speaker 01/13/2005
Enrolled and ready for signatures 01/13/2005
Concurred, Ayes 95, Nays 0 01/13/2005
SJR placed on H. consent cal. for 1/13/05 01/12/2005
R/S Adopted v.v. 01/12/2005
Filed for intro. 01/12/2005

SJR 657 - McLeary
To recognize the Cherokee Wolf Clan as an official Native American Indian body in the State of Tennessee.

Representative Tony Shipley R-Kingsport
Rep. Tony Shipley

crazy claims. no proof.

Sen. Stacey Campfield
Senator Stacey Campfield R-Knoxville

2012 Tennessee Legislators' Lies

HB 2284 by Rep. Shipley & SB 2177 by Sen. Campfield

  1. "Two tribes have previously been recognized by the
    state of Tennessee as Native American organizations ..."

    fact & proof: One defunct culture club, the "Etowah Cherokee Nation" was recognized by Governor Ray Blanton in 1978, but this recognition was declared invalid in 1991 by the State (TDEC) who said the governor lacked the power and authority to do so, and the group no longer exists.

    There is no record of a second group obtaining state recognition by any means, and no existing historical Native American Indian tribe has ever been recognized in or by Tennessee since the Cherokee Nation was forcibly removed in 1838.

    Six culture clubs, including the three referenced in these bills, temporarily, fraudulently and illegally obtained recognition from the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs* on 19 June 2010, declared invalid by the Tennessee Attorney General (27 August 2010) and Davidson County Chancery Court (7 September 2010), and affirmed on appeal by the Supreme Court of Tennessee (16 February 2012).
        *all members of federally- and state-recognized tribes and descendants had been
         replaced by persons with no proven Native American Indian heritage.

    Calling a culture club of unrelated people created in the 21st century a "tribe" or "nation" is not only a mistake but identity theft -- it steals the identity of legitimate historical Native American Indian tribes who were forced out of Tennessee, and gives the name to actors who have no actual tribal identity.

    Several organizations in Tennessee, including the Alliance for Native American Indian Rights (Nashville) and the Chattanooga InterTribal Association (Chattanooga) were recognized by the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs in 1993 as Native American Indian organizations. The "United Eastern Lenape Nation of Winfield, Tennessee" in this bill, calling itself a "nation", was recognized differently as an "Indian-related Organization in Tennessee" -- not as an organization of Native American Indians, and not as a nation or as a tribe (31 July 1993).

  2. "... and one has a Master Roll, dated March 21, 1857"
    fact & proof: This claim "of Yuchi gathered in Carter County", made by "Remnant Yuchi Nation" "Chief" Lee Vest, was first printed in the Bristol Herald Courier newspaper in June 2011.
    Web searches and historians can't find anything about a Tennessee 1857 Yuchi 'Master Roll' beyond Vest's claim, and there is no known record of Yuchi who stayed & survived the American Watauga settlement of northeast Tennessee in 1772.
    But more importantly -- the 1857 Yuchi Master Roll of Kingsport is referred to in public documents HB 2284 and SB 2177 as proof of the legitimacy of the "Remnant Yuchi Nation", but the public can't access it. Proof denied is not proof at all -- it's fraud. And the public shouldn't accept it from legislators or the constituents whose interests they're presuming to represent.

  3. "three (3) applicants have met the provisions of this act for state [tribal] recognition".
    fact & proof: There is no public documentation that these 3 culture clubs or any existing culture club has "met the provisions of this act for state recognition".
    If they had "met the provisions of this act for state recognition", there would be paper documentation filed with some public office. To date there has been no claim of public documentation or reference to where other legislators or the general public could find such.

    "This bill recognizes, for purposes of state Native American Indian recognition, the following tribes, bands, and groups:
    (1) Remnant Yuchi Nation;
    (2) Tanasi Council; and
    (3) United Eastern Lenape Nation of Winfield."
  4. These are culture clubs, not tribes.
    Real tribes have hundreds of years of history with the US and state governments. They have their own indigenous language (not English), and have an historical record of living in a place for hundreds years before contact with Europeans.
    These Tennessee groups have no history beyond getting together recently and wanting to play indian.
    All of their members speak English. None speak an indigenous language fluently from birth. Contrary to their claims, none of their members are actually indigenous to their area and are only traced to the areas through their European family lines.
    Taking their names, taking their recognition, is identity theft,
    and the Tennessee General Assembly is promoting it.

  5. The "Remnant Yuchi Nation" was created in 2007 from a group called the "Appalachian Confederated Tribes" created in Kingsport in 2006, the brainchild of Lee Vest. From the actual 2007 meeting's minutes:
    "At 6:00 p.m. on April 13, Lee told the tribe that he as Chief had decided for the good of the tribe to change our name from Appalachian Confederated Tribes to REMNANT YUCHI NATION. Lee discussed the connection of Cherokee/Yuchi heritage. He said that if you had Cherokee ancestors, then you also had Yuchi blood. Lee then told the history of the Yuchi in this region. He also told the benefits for the tribe of becoming State recognized. After he gave his reasons for the change, he asked for discussion. Several people spoke in favor of the change. Lee then asked for a show of hands for those who favored the change. 100% of the members present agreed with Lee for the name change. Lee then said that from this forward our tribe would be called the Remnant Yuchi Nation."

    Equating 'Cherokee' to 'Yuchi', then changing the group's name to 'Yuchi', has allowed the fraudulent "Remnant Yuchi Nation" to slip under the fraud-hunting radar of the Cherokee Nation, but not the anti-fraud interests of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and its member, the real Yuchi Tribe.

    Self-proclaimed "Chief" Lee Vest is not Yuchi and not Cherokee either:

    ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
    Subject: Re: Woodland Village site
    From: "Lee Vest" (leevest022@yahoo.com)
    Date: Thu, August 30, 2007 6:53 pm
    To: "Corky Allen" (callen@chattanooga.net)


    I am not Yuchi. I have never claimed Yuchi. My blood line is
    Pamunkey/Monacan with provable paper trail. I only intend to build a
    Yuchi Village, because I believe the Yuchi were in this area. Many of
    the natives here are Yuchi Decendants, as well as Cherokee, Shawnee,
    Monacan etc.


    [fyi, Corky Allen is Yuchi and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Tribe.

  6. The "Tanasi Council" is a new 2010 organization and name for "The Faraway Cherokees Native American Intertribal Association Inc." Tennessee corporation 000137791 created by Alice Henry in 1984 in Memphis, said to be "simply a 501(c)3 business entity" in 2008. The name was changed to "Faraway Cherokee of Memphis" and "Tanasi Council of the Far Away Cherokee" in 2008 by Alice Henry, founding leader, and reduced further to "Tanasi Council" in 2010 in an attempt to avoid using the tribal reference to the Cherokee after the Cherokee Nation listed it as a fraudulent group.
    On 8 july 2015 Alice Gwin Henry wrote "The Faraway Cherokee is a separate entity from the Tanasi "Tennessee" council." According to the Tennessee Secretary of State, "The Faraway Cherokees/Native American Intertribal Association, Inc." was founded in 1984, and its registered agent is Alice Henry of Memphis.
    There is no Tennessee Secretary of State record for "Tanasi Council". zoominfo.com has "Alice Henry, president of the 'Faraway Cherokee' of Memphis Tanasi Council of the Far Away Cherokee", but the website & domain registration of www.farawaycherokeeofmemphis.com is gone. In 2009: "I am Patsy Wade, President of the Faraway Cherokee 501-C3 and Vice Chief of the Tanasi Council of the Faraway Cherokee." So ... am not sure what the distinction is between "The Faraway Cherokee 501-C3" and "the Tanasi Council of the Faraway Cherokee", but will guess that the 501(c)3 non-profit organization is their non-political USA IRS-recognized tax-exempt organization, and the other is their unregistered fake tribe - the same people's political wing that engages in promoting legislation to get themselves & fellow fakes recognized as indian tribes in Tennessee (2008-2012), and files lawsuits against people who don't agree with them (2015).

  7. The "United Eastern Lenape Nation of Winfield" was first created as the "UELN, Middle Division, Inc.", incorporated in Tennessee in 1983 as a branch of the Ohio UELN, considered a fake and fraudulent group of wannabes, and administratively dissolved in 2011. Its most recent registered agent was "Chief" Bonnie 'Calm Waters' Knuckles, a resident of Corbin, Kentucky, 45 miles north of Winfield which is on the Kentucky line. In 1993 the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs recognized it as a "Native American Indian related organization" because it lacked a majority of Native American Indian membership. Due to lack of investigation and requirements, membership in this fraudulent, tribal-identity-stealing organization has been used to obtain federal minority-owner and SBA 8(a) status for at least one person.

    Without public historical proof for their published claims,
    Tennessee Representative Shipley & Senator Campfield are
    committing fraud in support of theft of Native American Indian identity.

    Our first recommendation was for you to ask your own state Representative and Senator to get you the documentation.
    But no legislator to date has been willing to pursue these fantastic claims.
    Instead, ask your local newspaper state gov't reporter & tv station's investigative reporters, and especially ask your local college's history professors to write their state Representative and Senator. Ask them, "¿¿¿ Where's the proof ???"
    "¿¿¿ Where's the history ???"

Fraudulent Group List, Cherokee Nation 2011

State Government - establishes standards for state recognition of Native American Indian tribes;
designates the Tennessee Native American Council [TNNAC] to review groups which seek
state tribal recognition; recognizes 3 culture clubs as tribes.

107th Tennessee General Assembly - session 1 / 2011 -- none of the following proposals made it out of committee
  SB 120  by Campfield
HB 509  by Hardaway Sunset Laws - As introduced, creates sunrise provision for commission of Indian affairs, June 30, 2012.
HB 2055  by Hardaway
SB 1802   by Campfield   grants state tribal recognition to 6 culture clubs; appoints the previously defunct "Confederation of
Tennessee Native Tribes" as the means for other wannabe groups to receive state recognition as tribes.
SB 140   by Watson
HB 660   by Cobb Sunset Laws - As introduced, deletes references to defunct commission of Indian affairs.

Office of the Attorney General

August 27, 2010

Statement on Mark Greene v. Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs

After reviewing material submitted by its former members and other information, the Attorney General has concluded that the notice of the June 19, 2010, meeting of the now-defunct Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs did not disclose the Commission's intent to deliberate about and approve the applications of the six Indian tribes seeking state recognition. The Attorney General has further concluded that members of the Commission discussed these matters prior to the June meeting. These actions could be found by a court to constitute violations of Tennessee's Open Meetings Act. A copy of the Answer filed today by the Attorney General reflects these conclusions and is available at www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/cases/tcia/tcia.htm

  • one misstatement: they were not "six Indian tribes seeking state recognition".
    they are: six culture clubs seeking state recognition as Native American Indian tribes.

  • 1 july 2009: state Commission of Indian Affairs went into "sunset"
    (year-long wind-down period prior to termination).
  • 10 june 2010: attempts to extend the Commission of Indian Affairs opposed by Native Americans; bill proposals failed; the state General Assembly adjourned.
  • 19 june 2010: the TNCIA held its last legal meeting in Memphis, and violated state laws regarding open meetings, advance notice and fraud.
  • 21 june 2010: Mark Greene, Nashville lobbyist for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (two legislative sessions, 2009 and 2010), filed a complaint in Nashville's Davidson County court against the TNCIA for failing to comply with state regulations governing open meetings of public agencies.
  • The Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs was terminated on 30 June 2010.
  • 27 august 2010: Tennessee Attorney General admitted that the state Commission of Indian Affairs violated the state's Open Meeting law.
  • 7 september 2010: Davidson County Chancery Court Final Agreed Order found that the TNCIA violated the state Open Meetings Act and declared the TNCIA's action of 19 june 2010 "void and of no effect".
  • As of 11 october 2010, leaders of four of the six groups - Lee Vest, James Meeks, Bonnie Knuckles & Alice Henry, including two who were commissioners (JM, AH), had filed five separate motions in Davidson County Chancery Court to Set Aside or Amend Judgment, to Intervene, and to Dismiss the agreement reached by Greene and the Attorney General who represented the State and the Commission as a state agency. A hearing on the motions was postponed indefinitely and the matter dropped.

The actions taken by the TCIA at its 19 June 2010 meeting in adopting Standing Rule 14 and in awarding state recognition as an Indian Tribe to the recently created six culture clubs that call themselves:
  • "Remnant Yuchi Nation" aka "Appalachian Confederated Tribes" of Kingsport TN;
  • "United Eastern Lenape Nation" aka "Upper Cumberland Cherokee" of Winfield TN;
  • "Chikamaka Band" aka "Chikamaka-Cherokee Band of the South Cumberland Plateau" of Tracy City TN;
  • "Central Band of Cherokee" aka " Cherokee of Lawrence County" of Lawrenceburg TN;
  • "Cherokee Wolf Clan" of Yuma TN; and
  • "Tanasi Council" aka "Tanasi Council of the Far Away Cherokee" of Memphis TN,
    formerly known collectively as
    "Confederation of Tennessee Native Tribes",
are declared void and of no effect by the Tennessee Attorney General in Davidson County (Nashville) Chancery Court on 7 September 2010, pursuant to the state Open Meetings Act, TCA 8-44-105. Other violations of state law committed by the TCIA, including conspiracy, fraud, and violations of the state Open Meeting, Open Records, and Uniform Administrative Procedures Acts, have not been prosecuted at this time.

Be advised that these groups are similar in legitimacy to the "tribes" of the Mardi Gras Indian Nation.

The six pro-bogus-recognition 2010 TNCIA commissioners (Hicks, Henry, Meeks, Goddard, Lawson, Thigpen) tried to convince the state legislature during its January to June 2010 term to extend the Commission of Indian Affairs for another couple of years AND support several bogus recognition criteria bills. The TNCIA failed to get their bills through a single committee, but succeeded in scaring legislators such that the legislators added a 60-day stay onto the TNCIA's Rule 0785-1 Recognition Criteria For Native American Indian Tribes which would go into effect 17 may july 2010, 17 days after the Commission's expiration date of 30 june 2010. This put the recognition criteria beyond the six commissioners' ability to legally implement the rule and review the applications of the six culture clubs that wanted to be state-defined as tribes. So at their last official meeting on 19 june 2010 in Memphis, the TNCIA created, approved and adopted a new "Standing Rule 14" of recognition criteria specifically designed to bypass the State's statutory rulemaking process, followed immediately by a private review of their own 6 culture clubs' applications in 30 minutes, returned the applications to the applicant culture clubs in order to avoid any state "Open Records" paper trail, then approved their culture clubs as the State of Tennessee's new tribes, and received a standing ovation from their 50+ supporters in attendance. (The link to the state web site that temporarily contained the announcement of the illegal action, www.state.tn.us/environment/boards/tcia/pdf/tcia_recognized_tribes_i.pdf, is now dead.)

new in-state code word: "Tennessee Indigenous Indians" = White Republicans who claim to be 5th-generation descendants of indians who were too afraid to claim their heritage, who "hid out" for the past 172 years, who have no more connection to the original tribe than they do to their european heritage.
A racial prejudice used to distinguish Whites born in Tennessee from Indians born elsewhere.

the final TN Commission of Indian Affairs meetings:
• 13 february 2010 - Chattanooga
Rules Committee (no report yet)

• 20 february 2010 - Nashville
& Recognition Review Committee* - agenda
(incorporated within the meeting itself)              

• 20 march 2010 - Oak Ridge
Zach Wamp Auditorium in the New Hope Center at the
Y-12 National Security Complex

• 24 april 2010 - Chattanooga
State Office Building . 540 McCallie Avenue & Recognition Review Committee*

* can't legally be created without statutory authority that won't exist until
the new recognition Rule 0785-1 becomes effective 17 may july 2010.

22 may 2010 - Nashville
Nashville State Community College S-118 (pdf campus map)
120 White Bridge Pike

19 june - Memphis   (last meeting)
failed statutory meeting notice, failed advance notice of meeting content
approved new Standing Rule 14, "Procedures to provide for legal recognition by
the state of presently unrecognized tribes, nations, groups, communities or
individuals (TCA §4-34-103)"
, in violation of TCA Title 4, Chapter 5 Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.
illegally approved recognition of 6 culture clubs as Tennessee State Recognized Tribes.

24 june - ten former TCIA commissioners denounced TCIA actions of 19 june
former commissioners' denunciation of TCIA illegal tribal recognition

26 june - saturday Oak Ridge 10am
canceled due to lack of quorum.

30 june - Mark Greene (CNO) v. TN Commission of Indian Affairs
filed in Chancery Court, Davidson County (Nashville)
Mark Greene v. TN Commission of Indian Affairs, Chancery Court, Davidson County 30 June 2010 Nashville

            TNNAC Convention            
12 september 2009 - Humboldt : CANCELLED due to T.Hicks v. TNNAC lawsuit
rescheduled & held 5 december 2009 Memphis with only "Confederation" participation
(TNNAC gave Tammera Hicks 'Indian Preference', restraining order lifted. cost to TNNAC $234.50)
next TNNAC meeting: 30 january 2010 - CANCELLED due to weather forecast of snow

Election Fraud by TNNAC
failure to disqualify Tammera Hicks as a candidate based on her invalid and false information.
TNNAC SOP §4.f, p40: Invalid or false information will invalidate a nomination.

fraudulent 1997 TNCIA individual recognition, fraudulent Cherokee genealogy
anti-indian 'Confederation' has taken over TNNAC & TNCIA
• improperly invalidated 1 August 2009 Memphis caucus results
• unqualified 14 November 2009 Memphis caucus candidates
• failure to follow its own election rules / SOP
• secret & unreported TNNAC Board meetings
now moving to takeover or kill ACTIA

    TN Archaeological Advisory Council - mandated 3 Native American representatives
    Pat Cummins, Middle Tennessee (2004-13)
       Hermitage 37076

    Mark Cantrell, Middle Tennessee (2010-14)
       (unknown tribal affiliation)
       Franklin 37064

    Sandra Ellis, West Tennessee (2012-16)
       *member, Muscogee/Creek Nation
       Jackson 38305

    Michael Lynch, Dyer, West Tennessee (2008-12) member, Choctaw Nation
    Corky Allen, Chattanooga, East Tennessee (2006-10) member, Muscogee/Creek Nation

    TN Historical Commission - mandated inclusion of person/s of Native American ancestry

    Brent Cox, teaches Native American history at UT-Martin (2008-12)
    *member, Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama
    444 Cades Atwood Road, Milan 38358
    o 731. 881.7539, h 731. 723.9994

    TN Title VI Compliance Commission
    John Hedgecoth, former TNCIA member
    descendant, Cherokee
    448 Deep Water Road, Crossville 38571
    931. 277.5452

  • list of NA-related organizations in Tennessee
  • healthcare for Native American Indians in Tennessee
    TN Dept of Health Division of Minority Health and Disparity Elimination
    TN Dept of Human Services Adult and Family Services
    Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department Community Health Services

    1 : 31 january 2004 Nashville
    2 : 10 july 2004 Chattanooga
    3 : 18 september 2004 Knoxville
    3a: 23 october 2004 Nashville: Committee of the Whole: Recognition Criteria
    4 : 4 december 2004 Memphis

    5 : 12 march 2005 Nashville
    5a: 30 april 2005 Nashville: Committee of the Whole: Recognition Procedures
    6 : 4 june 2005 Chattanooga
    7 : 8 october 2005 Knoxville - only 3 commissioners, no quorum
    8 : 3 december 2005 Memphis

    9 : 4 march 2006 Nashville
    9a: 20 may 2006 Nashville: Rulemaking Public Hearing on Rules for Recognition Criteria for Native American Indians
    10: 10 june 2006 Chattanooga - TDEC's Recognition Criteria proposed, adopted 3-1
    11: 5 august 2006 Knoxville - TDEC's Recognition Criteria withdrawn 2-1, ACTIA's Recognition Criteria (tribes only) proposed, adopted 3-0
    11a: 21 october 2006 Nashville: Rulemaking Public Hearing on Rules for Recognition Criteria for Native American Indians
    12: 2 december 2006 Memphis

    13: 17 march 2007 Nashville - ACTIA's Recognition Criteria (tribes only) adopted 5-1, became TNCIA Rule 0785-1
    14: 9 june 2007 Chattanooga
    15: 21 july 2007 Nashville: special: sunset questionnaire response only
    16: 25 august 2007 Knoxville
    16a: 17 november 2007 Nashville: Rulemaking Public Hearing on Rules for Recognition Criteria for Native American Indians
    re. proposed repeal of TNCIA Rule 0785-1 vis-à-vis TCA 4-34-103 §6
    17:1 december 2007 Memphis - no quorum due to Shelley Allen's walkout
    17: 29 december 2007 Memphis - rescheduled from 1 december - TNCIA's Recognition Rule 0785-1 rescinded at legislative Rules Cte's request

    18: 29 march 2008 Nashville
    19:21 june 2008 Knoxville
    20: 13 september 2008 Chattanooga
    22 september 2008 Tennessee American Indian Day
    october 2008 Tennessee American Indian Month
    ? october 2008Tennessee Day of Healing
    20a: 12 october 2008 Committee of the Whole: teleconference / Strategic Planning - no quorum
    21: 8 november 2008 Bartlett (Memphis): cancelled

    21: 17 january 2009 Bartlett (Memphis)

    22: 21 february 2009 Nashville - bills reviewed
    23a: 7 march 2009 administrative teleconference (Knoxville)
    23b: 4 april 2009 Cte of the Whole/strategic planning teleconference (Knoxville)
    23: 16 may 2009 Knoxville - approved state recognition criteria for tribes
    30 june 2009 Commission sunset date
    1 august 2009 TNNAC caucuses
    23a: 8 august 2009 Nashville: Public Rulemaking Hearing on Recognition Criteria for Native American Indian Nations,
    Tribes or Communities
    , re-proposal of former TNCIA Rule 0785-1: vis-à-vis TCA 4-34-103 §6
    24: 10 october 2009 Chattanooga - final approval of Rule 0785-1 State Tribal Recognition Criteria

    25: 23 january 2010 Memphis - final approval of Rule 0785-1 State Tribal Recognition Criteria
    goal: to get as many fake tribes recognized in the state in the next 150 days as possible
    26: 13 february 2010 Chattanooga - Rules Committee
    27: 20 february 2010 Nashville + Recognition Review Cte
    28: 20 march 2010 Oak Ridge
    29: 24 april 2010 Chattanooga + Recognition Review Cte
    30: 22 may 2010 Nashville
    31: 19 june 2010 Memphis - fraudulent recognition of 6 groups as tribes
    XXX 30 june 2010 Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs terminated.
    CNO lawsuit against Commission filed.


  • Chairwoman Van Lynch's response to SB 162, 17 april 2007 to prohibit state agencies from prohibiting use of American Indian symbols, names, and mascots.

  • approved Policy Statement regarding Display of Indian Remains 12 march 2005

  • Indian Mascot Removal - adopted (unanimous) 3 december 2005
  • Protection of Pinson Mounds site (1) NA-related state parks need NA-approved mgmt plans - adopted (unanimous), 3 december 2005
  • Protection of Pinson Mounds site (2) legislative proposal - adopted (unanimous) 3 december 2005
  • Protection of Little Cedar Mountain - recommend HJR 84 to legislature - adopted (unanimous) 3 december 2005

  • approved Recognition of the Historic Indian Tribes of Tennessee, 4 march 2006

  • approved Tribal Recognition Criteria rules, 17 march 2007
  • 2003 TCA 4-34-101: Commission of Indian Affairs

    "A Broader Commission"
    5-year, 10-committee plan for the new Proposed Commission
    including the creation of the TN Indian Affairs Advisory Council
    approved by the 2001 TNNAConvention (in .pdf format)

    Tennessee American Indian Heritage Day & Month
    september 27, october & november 2004

    TN Commission of Indian Affairs legislation - signed by governor, 13 june 2003
    Public Chapter 344 .pdf
    Public Chapter 344 .text
    HB1530-SB704 bill history

    TN Indian Affairs past commissioners 2003-2010
    • John Hedgecoth, East TN (Crossville) 2003-2004 resigned
    • Teri Rhoades Ellenwood*, Knoxville 2003-2005 resigned
    • John Anderson*, Chattanooga 2003-2005
    • Mike Mangrum, Nashville (Dickson) 2003-2005
    • Doris Tate Trevino, Chattanooga (Sewanee) 2005-2006 resigned
    • Niles Aseret*, Nashville 2005-2007 resigned
    • Ruth Knight Allen, Memphis 2003-2007 resigned
    • Kippy Vaughn, East TN (Rockwood) 2004-2007 resigned
    • Jimmy Reedy*, Middle TN (McMinnville) 2003-2007
    • Evangeline Lynch*, West TN (Kenton) 2003-2008
    • David Teat, Nashville 2007-2008 resigned
    • Shelley Allen, Memphis 2007-2008 resigned
    Jeanie Walkingstick*, Knoxville 2005-2010
    tom kunesh, Chattanooga 2007-2010
    Bill Wells, Nashville 2008-2010
    • Val Ohle, East Tennessee (Knoxville) 2007-2010

    *members of federally-recognized tribes

    the frauds of 19 June 2010:                                  
    state Sunshine law: formation of public policy & decisions is public
    business and shall not be conducted in secret. TCA 8-44-101

    • Alice Henry^, Memphis 2009-2010 - "Tanasi Council of Far-Away Cherokee"
    • Charles Lawson^, Nashville 2010 - "Chikamaka Band"
    • Christine Goddard^, Knoxville 2010 - "United Eastern Lenape Nation of Winfield"
    • Tammera Hicks, Chattanooga 2010 - bogus "state recognized"
    • James Meeks^, Middle TN (Tracy City) 2007-2010 - "Chikamaka Band"
    • Jimmie Thigpen, West TN (Memphis) 2007-2010

    ^members of self-recognized tribes

    ‘Cherokee of Lawrence County’, Joe ‘Sitting Owl’ White, Lawrenceburg TN (1948-2014)
    ‘Cherokee Wolf Clan’, Joseph ‘Manycoats’ Walters, Yuma TN (1941-2019)

    TN Indian Affairs past commissioners 1983-2001
    • Ray Emanuel, Lumbee, Nashville 1983-89, NAIA
    • John Martin, Knoxville 1988-99
    • Harley Grant, Eastern Band Cherokee, Chattanooga resigned
    • Cubert Bell, Choctaw, Memphis -1998
    Ruth Knight Allen, Cherokee,Choctaw, Memphis 1985-90

    • Don Yahola, Muscogee, Lebanon 1987-89
    • Becky Yahola, Muscogee, Lebanon 1994-97
    • Clayton Prest, Cunningham (1925-2019) 1995-2001
    Commission Directors
    • Luvenia Butler, Nashville - 1987 - 1998
    • Toye Heape, Nashville 1998-2001

    other useful sites:   the Advisory Council on Tenneessee Indian Affairs - ACTIA
    the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee - NAIA
    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee - web message board