Saturday, 15 November 2003

The Tennessee Indian Affairs Advisory Council quarterly meeting was held on November 15, 2003 at MTSU, James Union Building in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by tom kunesh, Chairman.

In attendance:
tom kunesh, Van Lynch, John Hedgecoth, David Teat, Dale Mitchell, Tommy Veal, Edna Fay, Donna Bivens, Ann Shields, Dean Jackson, Kippy Vaughn, Joice Fickenworth. There were also 5 visitors present.

tom kunesh welcomed all new members and introductions were made. The agenda was reviewed and accepted.

Reports were made by caucus. Tommy Veal informed board concerning the requests by various towns for Native American participation in annual Christmas parades. Several groups from the East Tennessee area are again participating this year.

Motion was passed to defer minutes to next meeting (no one had a copy).
Outgoing treasurer's report showed $100 in restricted funds and an unrestricted $25 donation.
Motion passed to defer inquiries concerning gifts to Governor, Harper & Kernell to new Advisory Council.
Motion passed to defer ratification of by-laws to new Advisory Council due to amendment changes.

A review of the past year's work was made by outgoing board officers. Discussion of accomplishments and tentative plans for upcoming year were voiced. A review of the purpose and original intent of "A Broader Commission" was suggested. tom suggested that the new Council review the Commission statement and the Committee purposes to determine how these could work together and be developed into a functioning program.

Motion was passed to adjourn the 2001-03 Advisory Council Board.


The Tennessee Indian Affairs Advisory Council for 2003-05 was called to order.

The first order of business was election of new officers. tom reviewed the positions, duties and terms of office.

Nominations were made, accepted and all new officers were elected by unanimous vote:
Chairperson Edna Fay
Vice-chairperson David Teat
Secretary/Treasurer Donna Bivens

A motion was made to split the Secretary/Treasurer position into two separate offices. After some discussion it was decided that there was no need at the present time. The motion was defeated.

Motion was made and passed for amendments and ratification of proposed bylaws. An updated list of nominees is to be added to Advisory Council and also updated references to commissioner-nominees.

Motion was made and passed to add two additional means to ratifying the bylaws: simple majority of commissioner-nominees -or- 2/3 of commissioner-nominees attending the current meeting.

Motion was made and passed to add "Financial Report" as the second item, following the minutes, in the standard order of business in Article 6. Meetings.

Discussion concerning the confusion of the public with the various abbreviated names of our organizations. Decision was made to change the name of the Advisory Council to "Advisory Council of Tennessee Indian Affairs" (ACTIA) if there was no conflict in obtaining the website. Motion was made and passed to change name of organization to ACTIA if website was available.

Discussion concerning who could chair the 10 Committees. It was decided that chairpersons of these 10 Committees should be Advisory Council Board members. Motion was made and passed to include this requirement.

Motion was made and passed to ratify the By-Laws as amended.

Motion was made and passed to accept By-Laws as amended.

Motion was made and passed for affirmation of elected officers.

Motion was made and passed to defer organization of 10 Committees until the next meeting to give Advisory Council members time to study The Broader Commission and the purpose of Committees. Recommendations for updating the purposes of the Committee will be heard at this time.

Motion was made and passed to offer time for the Commission and TNNAC to report at each Advisory Council meeting, either by a representative or a written report. An offer to submit a report of abbreviated ACTIA minutes or have a representative attend the TNNAC and TCIA meetings will be made.

Motion was made and passed to establish protocols of Advisory Council concerning press releases, public announcements and use of ACTIA titles and authority. These will be included in the Standing Rules.

Motion was made and passed to establish a complaint process and a resignation protocol. These will be included in the Standing Rules.

It was discussed and decided that introduction of potential at-large members will be at one meeting and voted on at the next meeting. Persons must be "elected leaders of a Native American organization in Tennessee that is at least 4 years old". Four year terms of office were recommended. The following were nominated: Melba Checote Eads (to be voted on at next meeting), Pat Cummings, Albert Bender.

Discussion concerning what organizations are recognized as "Indian" organizations. It was decided that the Advisory Council would study and recommend to the Commission on how/who to recognize as an Indian organization. The State does not recognize organizations but the Commission does. The 1990 Indian Preference criteria used by the previous Commission is still used.

Discussion concerning establishing an oversight committee on bylaws at next meeting.

Pamphlets on the Indian Arts and Crafts Act were distributed to Board members and every one was encouraged to learn about the Law. A promise was made to have copies of the laws pertaining to eagle feathers and feathers of birds of prey made and handed out to all Board members at the next quarterly Board meeting.

A collection was taken which netted $72 in donations. Of this amount, $35 was given to tom kunesh to pay for the new ACTIA website.

Discussion concerning whether to hold meetings in Murfreesboro continually or rotate them around the state. It was decided to hold the next meeting in Murfreesboro because of the possibility of bad weather but to open the discussion again at that meeting.

Next meeting scheduled for Saturday, 21 February 2004 at Murfreesboro.

Meeting adjourned.

Submitted with approval of the Advisory Council

Donna Bivens