WHEREAS, the Cherokee Indian Nation, one of the most important
confederacies of American Indians living in the Eastern United States,
occupied the states of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North
Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia; and

  WHEREAS, the Cherokee Indians, composed of civilized and hospitable
people, have long been known for their peaceful ways; and

  WHEREAS, the Cherokee who set up the first Indian Republic in
Tennessee left the State of Tennessee a rich Indian history; and

  WHEREAS, the Cherokee people of the Etowah Cherokee Nation continue
to preserve their culture and history in Tennessee; and

  WHEREAS, Principal Chief Alvin O. Langdon, Chief of the Etowah Cherokee
Nation, is a resident of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; and

  WHEREAS, during the week of July 2-8, 1978, at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,
the Etowah Cherokee Nation will celebrate the relighting of the Cherokee
Council Fire that was extinguished in 1838 during the Trail of Tears when
the Cherokee were forcibly moved by the Federal Government to Oklahoma;

  NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ray Blanton, as Governor of the State of Tennessee,
do hereby officially recognize the Etowah Cherokee Nation in the State of
Tennessee as a nation of people.

great seal of Tennessee IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto
set my hand and caused the Great Seal
of the State of Tennessee to be affixed
at Nashville on this the 25th day of
May, 1978.

[signed: Ray Blanton]


[signed: Gentry Crowell]
Secretary of State

great seal of Tennessee

T.E.R.R.A. Building
150 9th Avenue, North
Nashville, Tennessee 37243


DATE: December 5, 1991
TO: Luvenia H. Butler
FROM: John R. White (thru Bill Penny)
SUBJECT:   Governor's Proclamation of May 25, 1978

On May 25, 1978, Governor Blanton issued a proclamation recognizing the Etowah
Cherokee Nation in Tennessee as a "nation of people". You have asked whether
the Tennessee Commission on Indian Affairs must recognize the Etowah Cherokee
as a nation of people pursuant to T.C.A. 4-34-101 et. seq. as a result of
this proclamation.

The governor possesses only those powers granted that office by the state
constitution or by statutes. Richardson v. Young, 125. S.W. 6644, 122 Tenn.
471 (Tenn. 1910). The Legislature has enacted statutes which expressly grant
to the governor the authority to act through the issuance of a proclamation.
For instance, the governor may institute a curfew by proclamation. See T.C.A.

Insofar as the governor's constitutional powers are concerned, Article III,
Section 1 of the Tennessee Constitution vests the "Supreme Executive power" in
the governor. The Attorney General has construed that section to confer upon
the governor the implied power to administer and enforce the law. To do so
the governor may issue executive orders regarding, among other things, state
administrative policies and actions of the executive branch in performing its
duties. (See Op. Atty. Gen. 88-69). This power is restricted to orders and
directives within the executive branch.

Our research did not reveal any statutes existing in 1978 authorizing the
governor to recognize certain Native Americans as a "nation of people."
Further, our research did not reveal any cases, opinions or authority
addressing a general grant of power by the Tennessee Constitution to the
governor to issue proclamations. Absent statutory authority for the
governor's recognition of the Etowah Cherokee as a "nation of people", it
appears that they have not been recognized, as that term is used in T.C.A. 4-
34-101 et. seq., by an official or agency empowered to do so.