TCIA Reform history
this sequence dates from the latest (most current) to the earliest (oldest).

19 july 2002 - SB41/HB1617 Vetoed by Governor.

4 july 2002 - Passed House, as amended, Ayes 86, Nays 3

<-- august/september 2001 TNNAC caucuses & Convention held to nominate commissioners --&rt;

7 may 2001 - Passed Senate as amended, Ayes 23, Nays 0

14 february 2001 - House Bill 1617 Filed for introduction

29 january 2001 Nashville - monday, 9am CT
legislative lobbying

28 january 2001 Nashville - sunday, 1pm CT
Legislative Plaza

16 january 2001 - Senate Bill 41 Filed for introduction

complete legislative history

---

next meeting: (March 2003)

7 December 2002, Nashville - text of new legislative bill approved

14 September 2002, Knoxville

1 June 2002, Chattanooga

9 February 2002, Jackson

10 November 2001, Lebanon - Proposed TN Commission of Indian Affairs and TN Indian Affairs Advisory Council formed. (meetings listed above)

---

22 september 2001 - TNNAConvention: Old Stone Fort, Manchester
saturday, 3pm Eastern, 2pm Central

8 september 2001 - TNNAC Coordinating Committee review of caucuses in preparation for the Convention
saturday, in Nashville, Legislative Plaza

25 august 2001 - TNNAC caucuses: saturday, 7pm Eastern, 6pm Central
Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, West TN, Middle TN, East TN

---

21 july 2001 - Tennessee Native American Convention Coordinating Committee
saturday, in Nashville, Legislative Plaza, room 29

14 july 2001 - TNNAC Coordinating Committee local meeting, 1pm (Eastern)
saturday, in Knoxville, UTK University Center

7 july 2001 - Tennessee Native American Convention Coordinating Committee
saturday, in Nashville, Legislative Plaza, room 29

6 july 2001 - Governor Sundquist directs the office of the Commission of Indian Affairs be closed and the locks changed.

1 july 2001 - one-year term of wind-down of Commission's affairs begins.

30 june 2001 - Commission of Indian Affairs terminated after 18 years.

16 june 2001 - TNNAC organizational meeting, saturday, at 1pm (Central)
Nashville, Legislative Plaza, room 29

19 may 2001 - TNNAC organizational meeting 2: saturday, 1pm (Central)
Nashville TN, Legislative Plaza, room 29

12 may 2001 - TNNAC working group meeting 1: saturday, 5pm
Winchester TN, pavilion # 1, Winchester City Park

all of this effort culminated in the creation of the TN Native American Convention (read up):

---

13 january 2001 Memphis - saturday, 1pm CT
Chucalissa Museum

9 december 2000 Chattanooga - saturday, 1pm ET
Chattanooga Indigenous Resource Center & Library (CIRCL)

1 december 2000 Rep.McAfee-appointed Ad Hoc TNCIA Reform Committee
Nashville, Legislative Plaza, friday, 1pm CT
- this meeting synthesized all of the elements of discussion and proposals of the TNCIA Reform Proposal meetings. State legislative attorney Fred Standbrook attended and assisted, and later took the finalized written proposal and crafted it into Senate Bill 41, House Bill 1617. Appointed to this committee were eight people, five of whom attended: Toye Heape, TCIA Executive Director (absent in protest); Clayton Prest, TCIA Acting Chairman (absent in protest); Man Many Trees, chief, Overhill Nation of Cherokee Descendants; Tom Kunesh, chairman, TCIA Reform Proposal; Tammera Hicks, founder, TN Chapter, Trail of Tears Association; Vicky Spitsfire Garland, president, Cherokee of Lawrence County; John Anderson, Chattanooga InterTribal Association (absent due to work), and Ruth Knight Allen, former TCIA commissioner. also present: Dale Mitchell.

11 november 2000 Knoxville - saturday, 1pm ET
UTK University Center

19 october 2000 - Nashville - thursday, 10.30am CT
2nd & last Sunset Review Hearing of the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs (TCIA)
before the Agriculture and Natural Resources Joint Sub-committee of the
Tennessee State Legislature's Government Operations Committee.
Legislative Plaza, Room 14
appointed an ad hoc committee "to work with [legislative] attorney Standbrook ... in determining some things that will be, in my mind and in the way I think, better for all Native Americans in the state."
No evaluation of the TCIA was ever made, thus effectively terminating the TCIA without any legislator needing to actually vote for termination.

7 october 2000 - Lawrence County, saturday 1pm CT
Center Point Community Center and Fire Hall

30 september 2000 - Murfreesboro, saturday 1pm CT
St Rose of Lima Catholic Church

9 september 2000 - Manchester, saturday 1pm CT
Old Stone Fort State Park
first meeting, called by tom kunesh
attendees: Monica Armstrong, Edna Fay, tom kunesh (the three critics of the existing commission), April Tramell/Weller, Sandi Perry, Rhetta S? (supporters of the existing commission), Ray Emanuel, Mark Caldwell, ... Toye Heape waited outside for us and offered some good advice afterwards.

Nashville - wednesday, 23 august 2000 10.30am CT
1st Sunset Review Hearing of the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs
before the Agriculture and Natural Resources Joint Sub-committee of the
Tennessee State Legislature's Government Operations Committee.
Legislative Plaza, Room 14

---

February 1, 2000 -- State Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the lower court decisions re. the Kelly Site (40WM10).

June 17, 1999 -- Court held in order that all 17 Native Americans were interested persons as well as the Commission and Toye Heape. The court also held that the AG had a conflict of interest and that a hearing would be set to deal with the conflict.

June 14, 1999 -- Court heard 17 witnesses who testified that any disturbance of the burial ground would deeply offend their religious beliefs.

June 11, 1999 -- state Attorney General denied the Commission's request.

June 2, 1999 -- Hearing held and case continued. Judge orders the Attorney General's office (AG) to notify 50 or more Native American individuals, groups, or organizations.

Toye Heape (Executive Director, Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs) requested the AG to hire outside counsel to represent the Commission so that it could assert that the Commission was an interested party, and argue that the statute was unconstitutional as applied to Native American burial grounds.

May 4, 1999 -- Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) filed Termination of Use action in Chancery Court of Williamson County.


Indian Commission


Meetings to Discuss TCIA Reform

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Joint Sub-committee of the Government Operations Committee will meet on Thursday, October 19, 2000 at 9:00 A.M. in Room 14 of the Legislative Plaza, for review of the following entity: Commission of Indian Affairs

meeting information posted on the TN Indian Affairs list and NativeNashville.com message board.

Manchestersaturday, 9 september 20001pm CTOld Stone Fort State Park
Murfreesborosaturday, 30 september 20001pm CTSt Rose of Lima Catholic Church
Leoma, Lawrence Countysunday, 8 october 20002pm CTCenter Point Community Center and Fire Hall
Knoxvillesaturday, 11 november 20001pm ETUTK University Center
Chattanoogasaturday, 9 december 20001pm ETCIRCL
Memphissaturday, 13 january 20011pm CTChucalissa Museum
Nashville sunday, 28 january 20011pm CT Legislative Plaza
Nashville monday, 29 january 20019am CT legislative lobbying




for more information, contact April Tramel <april-weller@home.com> 615. 365.9044

Support the Future of the TN Commission of Indian Affairs
and Send the Governor and Legislators a Direct Message!

 


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TCIA Reform Proposal v. 6.1 (Ad Hoc Cte 1dec00/Standbrook)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AN ACT
to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, Chapter 29 and Title 4, Chapter 34,
relative to the Tennessee commission of Indian affairs.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, Chapter 34, Part 1, is
amended by deleting such Part in its entirety and by substituting instead
Sections 2 through 12 as new Part 1.

SECTION 2. (a) There is hereby created and established the Tennessee
commission of Indian affairs.
(b) The commission shall be attached to the department of environment and
conservation for administrative purposes only.

SECTION 3. The purposes of the commission are to:
(1) Deal fairly and effectively with Indian affairs;
(2) Bring local, state and federal resources into focus for the
implementation or continuation of meaningful programs for Indian citizens
of the state of Tennessee;
(3) Provide aid and protection for Indians as needs are demonstrated;
(4) Prevent undue hardships;
(5) Assist Indian communities in social and economic development;
(6) Promote recognition of, and the right of Indians to pursue, cultural
and religious traditions considered by them to be sacred and meaningful to
Native Americans; and
(7) Communicate with Tennessee's Indian communities and solicit
communications from such Indian communities.

SECTION 4. It is the duty of the commission to:
(1) Study, consider, accumulate, compile, assemble and disseminate
information on any aspect of Indian affairs;
(2) Investigate relief needs of Indians of Tennessee and to provide
technical assistance in the preparation of plans for the alleviation of
such needs;
(3) Confer with appropriate officials of local, state and federal
governments and agencies of these governments, and with such congressional
committees that may be concerned with Indian affairs;
(4) Encourage and implement coordination of applicable resources to meet
the needs of Indians in Tennessee;
(5) Cooperate with and secure the assistance of the local, state and
federal governments or any agencies thereof in formulating any such
programs;
(6) Coordinate such programs with any programs regarding Indian affairs
adopted or planned by the federal government to the end that the commission
secure the full benefit of such programs;
(7) Review all proposed or pending state legislation and amendments to
existing state legislation affecting Indians in Tennessee;
(8) Conduct public hearings on matters relating to Indian affairs and to
subpoena any information or documents deemed necessary by the commission;
(9) Study the existing status of recognition of all Indian groups, tribes
and communities presently existing in the state of Tennessee; and
(10) Establish appropriate procedures to provide for legal recognition by
the state of presently unrecognized groups and to provide for official
state recognition by the commission of such groups.

SECTION 5. (a) The Tennessee commission of Indian affairs shall consist of
seven (7) members as follows:
One (1) member from each of the four (4) regions described in subsection
(h); and
One (1) member from each of the three (3) grand divisions of the state.
(b) The Tennessee Native American Convention shall prepare a list of four
(4) nominees for each position as a member on the commission. Each list of
nominees shall include biographical information on the nominees, tribal
affiliation, if applicable, and a statement of each nominee's experience
and involvement in Native American affairs.
(c) The Tennessee Native American Convention shall submit to the speaker of
the house and the speaker of the senate a list of nominees pursuant to
subsection (b) for each vacancy, including initial vacancies, on the
commission. The speakers shall jointly appoint a member to the commission
from each list of nominees.
(d) Members shall serve for three-year terms, except for the initial
appointments. Three of the members appointed initially shall serve for
one (1) year; two (2) of the members appointed initially shall serve terms
for two (2) years; and two (2) of the members appointed initially shall
serve terms of three (3) years. Upon expiration of a member's term such
member shall continue to serve until a successor member is appointed.
(e) Any member appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the
remainder of the term of the member causing the vacancy.
(f) The members of the commission shall elect a chair, a vice-chair, and a
secretary from its members. Officers shall serve terms of one (1) year.
(g) Commission members shall not receive per diem but shall be compensated
for their actual travel expenses in accordance with the comprehensive state
travel regulations as promulgated by the commissioner of finance and
administration and approved by the attorney general and reporter.
(h)(1) The east geographical region shall consist of the following counties:

SECTION 6. (a) Commission meetings shall be held on Saturdays. The
locations of commission meetings shall rotate among the cities of Memphis,
Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.
(b) Prior to a commission meeting, at least ten (10) days' notice shall be
given in writing to all Native American organizations in Tennessee that
have requested such notification. Notice shall be given by mail and by
e-mail, if available. The commission shall also place notice of its
meeting times and places on the website of the Tennessee commission of
Indian affairs.
(c) The minutes of all commission meetings shall be placed on the website
of the Tennessee commission of Indian affairs within thirty (30) days of
their approval. Minutes of all prior commission meetings shall be
accessible on the commission's website.
(d) Annual reports of the commission shall be placed on the website of the
Tennessee commission of Indian affairs within forty-five (45) days of their
approval. All prior annual reports shall be accessible on the commission's
website.
(e) Four (4) commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the conducting of
business of the commission.
(f) Agendas for commission meetings shall be delivered to each member of
the commission at least one (1) week prior to the commission meeting.
(g) Minutes of all commission meetings shall be mailed to all commission
members.
(h) Roberts' Rules of Order shall govern meetings of the commission when
not in conflict with specific bylaws or other rules as may be adopted by
the board.
(i) The term of any member who misses two (2) consecutive meetings of the
commission without good cause may be terminated by a majority vote of the
remaining members of the commission.
(j) Commission meetings shall include opportunities for public comments.
Commission meetings shall not be adjourned until members of the public
attending such meeting have had an opportunity to address the commission.
Comments made by members of the public attending such meetings shall be
entered into the minutes of the commission.
(k) The chair shall appoint three (3) members of the commission to
establish a rules committee. The rules committee shall develop procedural
and operating rules for the commission. The commission shall approve of
all proposed rules by a majority vote before such rules take effect.

SECTION 7. No member or employee of the Tennessee commission on Indian
affairs shall, in such person's capacity as a member or employee of the
commission, enter into any litigation without the approval of the
commission by a majority vote of the commission. Such approval shall be
part of the minutes of the meeting in which such approval is granted.
Nothing in this act shall prohibit a member or employee of the commission
from entering into any litigation in such person's individual capacity.

SECTION 8. (a) Fiscal records shall be kept by the commissioner of
environment and conservation and will be subject to audit as authorized by
 8-4-109 or a certified public accountant.
(b) The audit report will become a part of the annual report and will be
submitted in accordance with the regulations governing preparation and
submission of the annual report.

SECTION 9. (a) The commission may, subject to legislative or other funds
that would accrue to the commission, employ an executive director to carry
out the day-to-day responsibilities and business of the commission. The
executive director is subject to dismissal by the commission for cause.
(b) The executive director, also subject to legislative or other funds
that would accrue to the commission, may hire additional staff and
consultants to assist in the discharge of the executive director's
responsibilities, as determined by the commission.
The executive director shall not be a member of the commission, and shall
be of Indian descent.

SECTION 10. There is hereby created a Tennessee Native American
convention. The convention shall select persons to be presented to the
speaker of the senate and the speaker of the house as nominees to the
commission. The convention shall also collate and prioritize the issues,
goals and objectives of greatest significance to Native Americans in
Tennessee.

SECTION 11. (a) The convention shall be held biennially on the Saturday
immediately preceding American Indian Day as set out in Section 15-2-106.
(b) The convention shall, whenever practicable, take place outdoors at a
historical Native American site.
(c) The convention shall rotate between the three (3) grand divisions of
the state.
(d) The convention shall select initially four (4) groups of four (4)
nominees from each region as described in Section 5(h) of this act.
(e) The convention shall select initially three (3) groups of four (4)
nominees from each grand division of the state.
(f) After initial nominees for the commission have been chosen, nominees
shall be chosen as necessary for vacancies occurring on the commission.

SECTION 12. Delegates to the Tennessee Native American convention shall be
elected at regional caucuses to be held in each of the four (4) most
populous cities of the state. Regional caucuses shall be held not less
than two (2) weeks before the convention. Each regional caucus shall
nominate not less than ten (10) no more than fifteen (15) candidates to the
convention. Each caucus shall set the time and location of the subsequent
caucus for such region. Members of the convention shall elect a chair,
vice-chair and secretary for such convention. Members of the convention
shall not receive compensation for their service on the convention.

SECTION 13. (a) Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-29-222(a), is amended
by deleting item (9) in its entirety.
(b) Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 4-29-226(a), is amended by adding a
new item thereto, as follows:
( ) Commission of Indian affairs, created by Section 4-34-101;

SECTION 14. Sections 10 through 12 of this act, inclusive, shall take
effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. All other
sections of this act shall take effect January 1, 2002, the public welfare
requiring.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
TCIA Reform Proposal v. 5.2
-------------------------------------------------------------------

I. Appointments/Representation


The Indian Affairs commission shall be composed of seven (7) members as follows:

(1) (a) Four (4) members with one (1) member from each of the state's four (4) Regions: Northeast, Southeast, Central, and West.
These members shall include only federally- or state-recognized Indians whose Indian blood quantum is 25% or more.

      (b) Three (3) members with one (1) member from each of the state's three (3) Grand Divisions: East, Central and West.
These members shall not include federally- or state-recognized Indians or persons whose Indian blood quantum is twenty-five percent (25%) or more.

(2) (a) The biannual Tennessee Native American Convention (TNAC) shall compose lists of three (3) nominees for each commission position. Each list of nominees shall include background data, tribal affiliation (if any), and a complete statement of the nominee's experience and involvement in Native American affairs.

      (b) TNAC shall submit the seven (7) lists nominees for each position to the Speakers of the House and Senate. One (1) commission member shall be selected from each of the seven lists of nominees.

      (c) The Speaker of the Senate shall appoint two (2) members from the lists of regional nominees, and one (1) member from the lists of grand division nominees.

      (d) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint two (2) members from the lists of regional nominees, and two (2) members from the lists of grand division nominees.

(3) The full seven members shall elect a chairperson, co-chairperson, and a secretary from among its members. These positions shall be held for one (1) year. An elected person may be re-elected for consecutive years.

(4) Commission members shall serve for three-year terms with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.


II. Meetings & Quorum, Agenda, Minutes, Attendance


(1) Commission meetings shall be held on Saturdays and rotate locations between Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

(2) Ten (10) days' notice shall be given in writing to the public prior to the meeting date via the U.S. Postal Service and the internet.

(3) Commission meeting minutes shall be posted within thirty (30) days after their approval at the subsequent meeting and maintained for public access on the TCIA state website.

(4) Annual reports of the commission shall be posted within forty-five (45) days of the following calendar year and maintained for public access on the TCIA state website.

(5) Quorum for Commission meetings shall consist of three (3) of the four (4) commissioners who are federally- or state-recognized and of at least twenty-five percent (25%) Native American blood quantum commissioners, and one (1) of the three (3) commissioners who are of Native American descent but do not belong to a federally- or state-recognized tribe or whose Indian blood quantum is less than twenty-five percent (25%) or has no Native American lineage.

(6) Each Commission member shall receive a copy of the agenda not later than one week in advance of the meeting.

(7) Minutes of all committee and Commission meetings shall be sent to all Commission members.

(8) Where these standing rules are silent, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall apply.

(9) Any member who misses two (2) consecutive meetings may be asked in writing to resign by the Chairperson, with copies of the request to be sent to the Speakers of the General Assembly. Upon receipt of the resignation, the Speakers and Tennessee Native American Convention shall be duly notified of such fact and the Speakers asked to make a new appointment to the Commission.

(10) Commission meetings shall not be adjourned until after the attending public has had ample opportunity to speak. Public comments made at Commission meetings shall be noted and entered into the public record via the meeting's official minutes.

(11) Three (3) members of the commission shall be appointed by the commission to establish a Standing Rules Committee whose purpose shall be to develop commission standing rules. Commission standing rules shall be proposed to and voted on by the full commission.


III. Accountability


All Commissioners shall be held accountable to the state's Native American community. A Commission member may be asked in writing to resign after one (1) year in the position by a "no confidence" petition of at least three hundred (300) state residents' signatures; two-thirds (2/3) of whom must have demonstrable Native American lineage, and one-hundred fifty (150) of said signatories must come from at least two (2) different state regions. Copies of the request shall be sent to the Speakers of the General Assembly. Upon receipt of the resignation, the Chairperson shall notify the Speakers and the Tennessee Native American Convention, and request a new appointment by the Speakers to the Commission.


IV. Implementation


These changes shall take effect by June 30, 2001.


V. Administration


We recommend that the Commission of Indian Affairs remain within the Department of Environment and Conservation for administrative purposes only.


VI. Extension


Given the brief amount of time we were allocated the incredible responsibility to contact the Tennessee Native American Community, arrange meetings, address our disagreements and mutual concerns, draft, review and revise our proposals, then re-draft and re-revise them, all in a period of eight (8) weeks, with no budget and no administrative support, all work done by people with other jobs, we respectfully request an additional six weeks -- until the end of November -- to more widely publicize and discuss our reform proposals with the broader Native American community in Tennessee.

<-----------=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=======-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=----------->

Tennessee Native American Convention (TNAC)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

  1. (a) There shall be a Tennessee Native American Convention (TNAC) whose primary purpose shall be to select seven (7) lists of four (4) nominees for each of the state's four (4) Regions and three (3) Grand Divisions.

          (b) Its secondary purpose shall be to collate and prioritize the issues, goals and objectives of greatest significance to Native Americans in Tennessee.

  2. This Convention shall:

          (a) Be held biannually (every other year) on the Saturday immediately prior to Tennessee American Indian Day as described by state law (the fourth monday of September: TN Code 15-2-106).

          (b) Take place outdoors at a historical Native American site.

          (c) Rotate among the four largest metropolitan areas and three grand divisions.

          (d) No sales of vending shall be allowed.

          (e) Elect four (4) slates of four (4) nominees each from persons belonging to a federally- or state-recognized tribe whose Indian blood quantum is 25% or more, one (1) slate from each of the state's four (4) Regions: West, Central, Southeast and Northeast.

          (f) Elect three (3) slates of four (4) nominees each from persons not belonging to a federally- or state-recognized tribe or whose Indian blood quantum is less than 25% or have no Native American lineage, one slate from each of the state's three (3) Grand Divisions: East, Central and West.

  3. (a) Each of the state's four (4) Regions: Northeast, Southeast, Central, and West, shall have a regional TNAC Caucus in the principle city of that region: Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis respectively.
          (b) All TNAC regional caucuses shall be held on the second Saturday of September, two weeks prior to the TNAC, at 2:00 pm Eastern Time and 1:00 pm Central Time.

  4. A maximum of fifteen (15) delegates shall be elected by popular vote at each caucus:
          (a) five (5) persons who are federally- or state-recognized and of at least twenty-five percent (25%) Native American blood quantum;
          (b) five (5) persons who are not federally- or state-recognized or of less than twenty-five percent (25%) Native American blood quantum; and
          (c) five (5) open positions for indians and non-indians alike.
    Not all delegate positions need to be filled.

  5. Only Tennessee residents age eighteen (18) or older may participate at the regional caucus.

  6. (a) Before the regional caucus meeting closes, the elected regional delegates (maximum 15) shall be responsible for selecting the time and site of the next regional caucus in two year's time.
          (b) All TNAC regional caucuses shall be held at public (non-sectarian) and non-commercial locations.

  7. All elected regional delegates (maximum 60) shall attend the Tennessee Native American Convention, deliberate, discuss and vote on the slates of nominees to the Commission of Indian Affairs to be presented to the Speakers of the state legislature for selection.

---------------


Tennesse State Code, Amended to Show TCIA Reform Proposal

STATE GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 34
COMMISSION OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

SECTION.
4-34-101. Creation -- Administration.
4-34-102. Purposes.
4-34-103. Powers and duties.
4-34-104. Members.
4-34-105. Meetings.
4-34-106. Annual report.
4-34-107. Fiscal records -- Audit.
4-34-108. Executive director and staff.

4-34-101. Creation -- Administration. --
(a) There is hereby created and established the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs.
(b) The commission shall be administered under the direction and supervision of the Department of Environment and Conservation.
[Acts 1983, ch. 425, 1; 1986, ch. 678, 1.]

4-34-102. Purposes. -- The purposes of the commission are to:
(1) Deal fairly and effectively with Indian affairs;
(2) Bring local, state and federal resources into focus for the implementation or continuation of meaningful programs for Indian citizens of the state of Tennessee;
(3) Provide aid and protection for Indians as needs are demonstrated;
(4) Prevent undue hardships;
(5) Assist Indian communities in social and economic development; and
(6) Promote recognition of, and the right of Indians to pursue, cultural and religious traditions considered by them to be sacred and meaningful to native Americans. [Acts 1983, ch. 425, 2.]

4-34-103. Powers and duties. -- It is the duty of the commission to:
(1) Study, consider, accumulate, compile, assemble and disseminate information on any aspect of Indian affairs;
(2) Investigate relief needs of Indians of Tennessee and to provide technical assistance in the preparation of plans for the alleviation of such needs;
(3) Confer with appropriate officials of local, state and federal governments and agencies of these governments, and with such congressional committees that may be concerned with Indian affairs;
(4) Encourage and implement coordination of applicable resources to meet the needs of Indians in Tennessee;
(5) Cooperate with and secure the assistance of the local, state and federal governments or any agencies thereof in formulating such programs;
(6) Coordinate such programs with any programs regarding Indian affairs adopted or planned by the federal government to the end that the commission secure the full benefit of such programs;
(7) proposed or pending state legislation and amendments to existing state legislation affecting Indians in Tennessee;
(8) Conduct public hearings on matters relating to Indian affairs and to subpoena any information or documents deemed necessary by the commission;
(9) Study the existing status of recognition of all Indian groups, tribes and communities presently existing in the state of Tennessee; and
(10) Establish appropriate procedures to the provide for legal recognition by the state of presently unrecognized groups and to provide for official state recognition by the commission of such groups. [Acts 1983, ch. 425, 3.]

4-34-104. Members. -- [items (a) through (d) amended]

(a) The Indian Affairs commission shall be composed of seven (7) members as follows:

      (1) Four (4) members with one (1) member from each of the state's four (4) Regions: Northeast, Southeast, Central, and West. These members shall include only federally- or state-recognized Indians whose Indian blood quantum is 25% or more.

      (2) Three (3) members with one (1) member from each of the state's three (3) Grand Divisions: East, Central and West. These members shall not include federally- or state-recognized Indians or persons whose Indian blood quantum is twenty-five percent (25%) or more.

(b) (1) The biannual Tennessee Native American Convention (TNAC) shall compose lists of three (3) nominees for each commission position. Each list of nominees shall include background data, tribal affiliation (if any), and a complete statement of the nominee's experience and involvement in Native American affairs.

      (2) TNAC shall submit the seven (7) lists nominees for each position to the Speakers of the House and Senate. One (1) commission member shall be selected from each of the seven lists of nominees.

      (3) The Speaker of the Senate shall appoint two (2) members from the lists of regional nominees, and one (1) member from the lists of grand division nominees.

      (4) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint two (2) members from the lists of regional nominees, and two (2) members from the lists of grand division nominees.

(c) The full seven members shall elect a chairperson, co-chairperson, and a secretary from among its members. These positions shall be held for one (1) year. An elected person may be re-elected for consecutive years.

(d) Commission members shall serve for three-year terms with a maximum of three consecutive terms.

(e) Commission members shall be compensated in accordance with the comprehensive state travel regulations as promulgated by the commissioner of finance and administration and approved by the attorney general and reporter.

4-34-105. Meetings. --

(a) The commission shall meet quarterly and at any such time that it deems necessary.

(b) Meetings may be called by the chairperson or by a petition signed by a majority of the members of the commission.

(c) Ten (10) days' notice shall be given in writing to such members prior to the meeting date.

(d) Proxy voting will not be permitted.

[items (e) through (o) added.] (e) Commission meetings shall be held on Saturdays and rotate locations between Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

(f) Ten (10) days' notice shall be given in writing to the public prior to the meeting date via the U.S. Postal Service and the internet.

(g) Commission meeting minutes shall be posted within thirty (30) days after their approval at the subsequent meeting and maintained for public access on the TCIA state website.

(h) Quorum for Commission meetings shall consist of three (3) of the four (4) commissioners who are federally- or state-recognized and of at least twenty-five percent (25%) Native American blood quantum commissioners, and one (1) of the three (3) commissioners who are of Native American descent but do not belong to a federally- or state-recognized tribe or whose Indian blood quantum is less than twenty-five percent (25%) or has no Native American lineage.

(i) Each Commission member shall receive a copy of the agenda not later than one week in advance of the meeting.

(j) Minutes of all committee and Commission meetings shall be sent to all Commission members.

(k) Where these standing rules are silent, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall apply.

(l) Any member who misses two (2) consecutive meetings may be asked in writing to resign by the Chairperson, with copies of the request to be sent to the Speakers of the General Assembly. Upon receipt of the resignation, the Speakers and Tennessee Native American Convention shall be duly notified of such fact and the Speakers asked to make a new appointment to the Commission.

(m) Commission meetings shall not be adjourned until after the attending public has had ample opportunity to speak. Public comments made at Commission meetings shall be noted and entered into the public record via the meeting's official minutes.

(n) Three (3) members of the commission shall be appointed by the commission to establish a Standing Rules Committee whose purpose shall be to develop commission standing rules. Commission standing rules shall be proposed to and voted on by the full commission.

(o) All Commissioners shall be held accountable to the state's Native American community. A Commission member may be asked in writing to resign after one (1) year in the position by a "no confidence" petition of at least three hundred (300) state residents' signatures; two-thirds (2/3) of whom must have demonstrable Native American lineage, and one-hundred fifty (150) of said signatories must come from at least two (2) different state regions.
Copies of the request shall be sent to the Speakers of the General Assembly.

Upon receipt of the resignation, the Chairperson shall notify the Speakers and the Tennessee Native American Convention, and request a new appointment by the Speakers to the Commission.

4-34-106. Annual report. --

(a) The commission shall prepare a written annual report giving an account of its proceedings, transactions, findings and recommendations.

(b) This report shall be submitted to the governor and the general assembly.

(c) The report will become a matter of public record and will be maintained in the state archives. It may also be furnished to such other persons or agencies as the commission may deem proper.

(d) Annual reports of the commission shall be posted within forty-five (45) days of the following calendar year and maintained for public access on the TCIA state website.

4-34-107. Fiscal records -- Audit. --

(a) Fiscal records shall be kept by the commissioner of environment and conservation and will be subject to audit as authorized by 8-4-109 or a licensed public accountant.

(b) The audit report will become a part of the annual report and will be submitted in accordance with the regulations governing preparation and submission of the annual report. [Acts 1983, ch. 425, 7; 1986, ch. 678, 1.]

4-34-108. Executive director and staff. --

(a) The commission may, subject to legislative or other funds that would accrue to the commission, employ an executive director to carry out the day-to-day responsibilities and business of the commission.

(b) The executive director, also subject to legislative or other funds that would accrue to the commission, may hire additional staff and consultants to assist in the discharge of the executive director's responsibilities, as determined by the commission.

(c) The executive director shall not be a member of the commission, and shall be of Indian descent. [Acts 1983, ch. 425, 8.]


compare these amended rules to the existing TCIA rules at http://www.chattanooga.net/cita/TCIA.html or
http://www.lexislawpublishing.com/sdCGI-BIN/om_isapi.dll?clientID=2582&hitsperheading=on&infobase=tncode.NFO&record={4339}&softpage=Document


Support the Future of the TN Commission of Indian Affairs
and Send the Governor and Legislators a Direct Message!

Tennessee Code

15-2-106. American Indian Day.

(a) The fourth Monday in September of each year is to be especially observed in Tennessee as "American Indian Day," and that on this day schools, clubs, and civic and religious organizations are encouraged to recognize the contributions of American Indians with suitable ceremony and fellowship designed to promote greater understanding and brotherhood between American Indians and the non-Indian people of the state of Tennessee.

(b) The governor shall, prior to the fourth Monday in September of each year, issue a proclamation inviting and urging the people of the state to observe American Indian Day with suitable ceremony and fellowship.

(c) The department of education and the commission of Indian affairs shall make, within the limits of funds available for such purpose, information available to all people of this state regarding American Indian Day and the observance thereof.

[Acts 1994, ch. 606, 1.]


composed/maintained by friends of the TNCIA
tom kunesh <tom kunesh&rt;