ADVISORY COUNCIL OF TENNESSEE INDIAN AFFAIRS

Saturday 15 May 2004

The quarterly meeting of ACTIA was held on Saturday, May 15, 2004 at MTSU in Murfreesboro. At 10:00 a.m., Chairperson Edna Fay called the meeting to order. She welcomed all present and opened the meeting with a prayer in Choctaw.

In attendance:

Edna Fay - Nashville
David Teat - Middle Tennessee
Donna Bivens - West Tennessee
Lee Vest - East Tennessee
tom kunesh - Chattanooga
Dale Mitchell - Middle Tennessee
Anita Prevatte - Middle Tennessee
Melba Checote Eads - Middle Tennessee
John Smith - Memphis

Also present were John Hedgecoth, Commissioner from East Tennessee, Tommy Bivens from West Tennessee, Sally Wells from Middle Tennessee (NAIA), Tim Meeks from Middle Tennessee.

The agenda was reviewed and approved.

A report of the activities of TNNAC was given by tom kunesh. TNNAC had held a public forum concerning TNNAC policy and procedures. There were approximately 10 people who attended, none of whom were among the individuals who had expressed displeasure with the procedures. Nonetheless, the issues that were of concern were discussed and solutions were offered. A suggestion was made that ACTIA study the voting age issue and present a recommendation on their findings at a future TNNAC meeting.

It was decided that the voting age issue and the separation of election of Commission and ACTIA Board members be placed on the next ACTIA quarterly meeting agenda for discussion. tom suggested that ACTIA members come to the next TNNAC meeting on July 17th to participate in discussions on these issues.

Commissioner John Hedgecoth spoke to the members concerning applying for grants to benefit the Native American community. He requested that each committee identify specific goals that they wanted to attain and the steps that needed to be taken to reach these goals and to identify some resources of grants. Commissioner Hedgecoth stated that it would be advantageous for TNNAC, ACTIA and the Commission to work together to apply for a strategic planning grant for the state with an outside agency acting as fiscal agent for administration. Sally Wells expressed the NAIA's openness to discussing the possibility of such a joint venture. Information was distributed concerning recent burial sites which had been identified. Disposition of burial sites, past and present, was discussed. A joint discussion group of several state organizations and the Archaeological Committee was proposed. The question was raised "What will ACTIA's role be in dealing with burial sites which have no known cultural affiliation?" It was determined that the Archaeology Committee would be charged with that responsibility and report back to the Board. Commissioner Hedgecoth also brought up the fact that there was at least one group which had submitted a request for tribal recognition and would like input from the Tribal Recognition Committee concerning a mechanism to deal with such requests. He requested recommendations on how to process requests for recognition. The Tribal Recognition Committee was charged to compile recommendations and present them to the Board.

The financial report showed a balance of $50.90 for general use and $100 in restricted funds. A donation of $25 was made to print brochures at the MTSU Powwow. A checking account has been opened with AmSouth Bank. A collection was taken of $120.75.

Committee Reports

The Tribal Recognition Committee has not met as yet. The first meeting will be scheduled in the near future.

The Education Committee proposed that there will be a Cherokee genealogy classsponsored by ACTIA, the Jackson Madison County Library and the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society on August 7th. This is a pilot program with more classes occurring across the state in the future. There will be a fee for the class and, if there is enough interest generated, there is a possibility of making a small amount of money from the classes. The proposal was approved. Steps have also been taken to place a member of the Education Committee, Mrs. Van Lynch, on the Tennessee Textbook Committee. A position will be open in the year 2007 and the present Board was very interested in having someone of Native descent sit on this Committee. The Textbook Committee has asked Mrs. Lynch to speak at their annual symposium in March.

Due to the way the genealogy class was proposed, it was decided that there would be a discussion concerning formation of a standing rule regarding any projects undertaken by the various committees. This item will be placed on the agenda for the next quarterly meeting.

The Health Care Committee has not met as yet.

The Legal Defense Committee has not met as yet.

The Social, Public Relations and Staff and Support Committee has not met as yet. David Teat reported that he planned to contact members for a meeting within the next few weeks.

The Native Tourism and Native History Committee has not met as yet. Dale Mitchell handed out information that he had compiled on goals and ideas that will be expanded on in the future.

The Archaeological Advisory Committee has had several meetings in the eastern part of the state. A report of a privately owned burial site was made. A new road project was being planned across a 6000 year old town site. Lee Vest and other members of the Committee had investigated this area and were keeping an eye on the development around this site. The question was brought up as to what the procedure would be and who should be contacted concerning any suspected new sites in the state. It was suggested that ACTIA begin their own repository of information on sites that they have investigated and entertain the possibility of forming their own preservation society in conjunction with other Native American organizations.

A motion was made and passed that ACTIA set up a meeting with TDOT and invite the Commissioners, ACTIA officers, the Archaeological Advisory Committee and Pat Cummings to consult and discuss the location of projects and road works. It was decided that an initial meeting to let all parties get to know each other be arranged. Edna Fay, chairperson for ACTIA was charged with this project.

A motion was made and passed that ACTIA instruct the Committee chairpersons to disseminate meeting information and recruitment requests to all ACTIA Board members, any Native American message boards and the ACTIA website.

It was discussed and decided that Board members who had missed the last meeting be sent a reminder about the new standing rule for attendance which states "any member who fails to attend two (2) meetings per calendar year without an acceptable reason shall be considered as resigned from the Advisory Council".

There was a lengthy discussion concerning the policy of "open" and "closed" meetings by the Committees. A motion was made and passed that an item be placed on the agenda under New Business that we discuss committee procedures and implement rules regarding committee procedures.

Old Business

A motion was made and passed that ACTIA request design submissions for an ACTIA logo over the next 30 days and that these designs be collected by the Social and Public Relations Committee chaired by David Teat. The Advisory Council Board will vote on line on the design within 60 days.

Requests for design submission will be posted on all Native American message lists. Submissions will be made to David Teat at his home address and email address. Designs MUST make use of the ACTIA name and keep in mind that this is the state of Tennessee and the southeast.

There was a discussion concerning the official mailing address for ACTIA. A motion was made and passed that all 3 of the officer's names appear on the official letterhead. No decision was reached concerning the official mailing address.

David Teat reported that he had contacted Albert Bender and spoke with him about being available for legal consultation for ACTIA. Mr. Bender stated that any time we needed him he would be more than happy to advise or share knowledge with the Board.

New Business

It was suggested that ACTIA request a meeting with the Commission to establish a protocol for communications between ACTIA and TCIA and do this in an official capacity. The motion was made and passed that official communications from ACTIA be delivered through the ACTIA officers and relayed to all seven Commissioners simultaneously.

A motion was made and passed that ACTIA request a place on the agenda of the next TCIA meeting to give a report of the activities in our efforts to work on behalf of the Indian community and in support of the Commission.

A motion was made and passed that ACTIA recommend to the TCIA Rules Committee that a Commission rule be established that "Commission officers shall be elected by an absolute majority and serve at the pleasure of a majority of the Commissioners". This recommendation will be presented to the Commission on the approval of the ACTIA chairperson and reasons/whereas behind the recommendation will be stated in the correspondence.

There ensued a lengthy discussion concerning the protocol governing the committee meetings. The discussion covered whether the meetings should be open to the public or private, the makeup of the committee as far as federally recognized/non-recognized and whether the Advisory Council should be able to approve committee members from the public sector.

A motion was made and passed that all applicants for committee membership who are not current ACTIA Board members be voted on and approved by ACTIA. A motion was made and passed that all committee members serve for one (1) calendar year.

A motion was made and passed that committee chairs serve at the pleasure of the Advisory Council.

A motion was made and passed that committees can invite guest speakers to participate in meetings as needs arise.

A motion was made and passed that Mrs. Van Lynch be accepted as a member of the Tribal Recognition Committee.

Several other people were recommended as possible committee members. The committee chairperson will contact them and assess their interest in serving on the committee and report back to ACTIA. The following names were submitted and approved to serve on the Tribal Recognition Committee if interested: Lloyd Yazee, Becky Yahola, Jo Nicholson, Tim Meeks, Judith Creek Reynolds, Tom Wynn, Niles Aseret, Don Murzlak.

A motion was made and passed that Mrs. Van Lynch be accepted as a member of the Education Committee.

A motion was made and passed that Pat Cummins, Corky Allen, John Hedgecoth and Mack Pritchard be accepted as members of the Archaeology Advisory Committee.

The next quarterly meeting was scheduled on 28 August 2004 in Murfreesboro.

The meeting was closed with a prayer.

These minutes are submitted with the approval of the Advisory Council of Tennessee Indian Affairs on 26 July 2004.

Donna Bivens

Secretary/Treasurer