Proposed Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs
December 7, 2002, Nashville, Tennessee

The Tennessee Native American Advisory Council and The (Proposed) Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs met in a joint session on Saturday, December 7, 2002 in the Brookhaven Cumberland Presbyterian Fellowship Hall in Nashville, Tennessee. Present were five (5) members of the Advisory Council: tom kunesh, Sandi Perry, Pat Girard, John Hedgecoth, and Tommy Veal; six (6) proposed
commissioners: Teri Ellenwood, John Anderson, David Teat, Mike Mangrum, Cubert Bell, Jr., and Van Lynch; twelve (12) delegates, and approximately fourteen (14) visitors.

A color guard, Doug Kirby, Tommy Veal, John Hedgecoth, Darren and Cindy Cook carried in the flags. David Teat opened the meeting with prayer.

Teri Ellenwood, Co-Chairperson of the Advisory Council, presided over the meeting. Ms. Ellenwood, tom kunesh, and Attorney Fred Standbrook have been charged with rewriting the legislation to reinstate the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs, which will be presented to the House of Representatives and the Senate in January, 2003. Rep. Mike Kernell and Sen. Thelma Harper have agreed to again sponsor the new bill. The entire meeting was focused on the new draft, making changes, and clarifying the language. For viewing the entire text with the proposed changes, please refer to the website:

A motion was made to excuse Trudy Austin from the September 14, 2002 quarterly meeting at Knoxville.

Lunch was catered by Ron Anderson, Jackson Academy, Dickson, TN, where Mike Mangrum is employed. During lunch, a representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spoke and answered questions regarding possession of eagle feathers and other laws of interest to Indians.

Grady Jones, NAMA nominee, and Arvel Byrd, NAMA winner, provided their usual beautiful music with flute and fiddle.

Announcements included:

  • Sandi Perry requested prayers on behalf of a friend, Alex Carpenter, who is unjustly incarcerated in the state of Virginia.
  • Van Lynch announced plans for the Convention to be held at Pinson Mounds on September 27-28, 2003, which will be hosted by the West Tennessee region. Registration forms are available and will be given out at regional meet and greets or other events as well as on the website. As more accommodations are located, the website registration form will be updated. Food will be served for all meals and numbers of people attending are needed by the hosts.

    The next quarterly meeting is set for March 8 in Chattanooga. See website ( for meeting place.

    Submitted by: Van Lynch, Secretary

  • text of Senate Bill 41 / House Bill 1617 under consideration
      - current status of HB1617 re. the TCIA:
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