Author Topic: State Recognized Tribes  (Read 31801 times)

Offline BlackWolf

  • Posts: 504
State Recognized Tribes
« on: March 26, 2009, 05:19:05 am »
I don’t know if the issue of “State Recognized Tribes” has ever been discussed before in debt as a topic.  I know a few State Recognized Tribes have been mentioned, but I want to go into the question of “Are they legitimate or not?”   It kind of ties into the other thread “you aint indian if you get kicked out of your tribe.” These groups ( State Recognized Tribes ) self identify themselves as tribes. What is everyone’s opinion on the word “Tribe?”  We’ve talked a lot about what makes an Indian an Indian, but what makes a Tribe a Tribe?  Or a Nation a Nation?   

And are these groups Tribes, or are only Federally Recognized Tribes considered Tribes?  Some legitimate tribes may have even fallen through the cracks.  But, I think the word State Recognized Tribe has its problems.

Another Question?  Can a group break off from their homeland and form a new Nation?  This also ties into the above mentioned forum.

In a way, State Recognized Tribes have official recognition in the sense that State Governments Recognize them.  I noticed other people say that “if your community recognizes you, then that is all that counts”. And I even said this myself before.   Well, if members of State Recognized Tribes are recognized by their communities (which they are), then would that make them who they say they are?  Who defines what or who is, or is not, a community?  A question that came up in the other forum also.

For example; in regards to enrolled members of  the “Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama”.  ( I’m not signaling them out, just the first one I thought of )   Should they be considered Cherokees?  These people and their tribe are even located in Historic Cherokee Territory in Northeast Alabama.  And they say they are the descendants of those Cherokees that never left.  Also, most if not all of these people would be considered PODIAS ( Both racially and culturally ).

In my tribe, I recognize all my fellow tribal citizens as my people by blood, regardless of their BQ.  However, with that said, in my opinion a Full Blood Traditional Community is the backbone of any tribe.  And, it is where all members of a Tribe come from at one point in time or the other, no matter how far removed a Tribal Citizen may be.  Our Traditional people and Elders are the ones that carry the Traditions and Wisdom of our tribe, and without them, part of us would die.   So they should always be held in the highest regards. 

So this is my other problem with State Recognized Tribes.  Their full blood traditional people and community has been lost to time.   

But by now, many State Recognized Tribes have their own self proclaimed Elders who recognize their fellow Tribal Members as their people.  And whatever we may think about that, both the Elders of that tribe and their tribal members believe strongly in their identity.

And although they do  not have Federal Recognition, it is recognition from an Official State Government.  And even the “Indian Arts and Crafts Act” allows them to sell and label their Craft Work as Indian Made.  I have my problems with these groups for a variety of reasons.  Its not as to whether or not they have Indian blood as I’m sure some of the stories of Cherokee ancestors walking off the trial, or not leaving, or of being adopted by whites, etc. are in fact true stories.  (Not all though).  My contention is that they are not a sovereign People as Federally Recognized Tribal Members are.  Meaning Federally Recognized Tribes have been sovereign since time immemorial and the US Government merely recognizes that.  Descendants of people that lived 200 years ago and who never maintained a Tribal Identity since then, can ‘t just appear all of a sudden, and claim to be a Sovereign people of the Tribe they claim.

I don’t know about all State Recognized Tribes, as I’m sure some really do have Continuous Tribal Governments like a few tribes on the East Coast.  And like I said, some may have even fell though the cracks.

My other problem with them, is that a lot of the State Recognized Tribes require no proof whatsoever of Native American Ancestry, and sometimes all that is needed is a signature from the Governor.  In other words, no one can prove nor disprove these people’s claims.  Also, from what I see, in most cases,  the ways they follow do not accurately portray the Tribes that they claim, as can be seen with the numerous State Recognized  Cherokee Tribes.

Offline koyoteh

  • Posts: 113
  • Yaqui and MesoAmerican
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 07:13:56 am »
so many different ways the words tribes, nations , and clans are used it makes my head spin.

now i'm just sticking to 'my people' or 'our peoples' or 'group' or 'circle'.
over here in L.A. we use the term 'circle' a lot. Its very specific though. No details. but I like that one.

A lot of those words like tribes an clans and others came from europe and our european language words specific to their way of life. From what I hear, not that i undestand anymore, the defs are real different.

but stil , useful words to generalize as a point of reference when we speak. We pretty much know what we mean when we use these words.

I wanna say fuck it, but maybe its something important to figure out.

Offline LittleOldMan

  • Posts: 138
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 09:02:45 am »
I did some quick research  copied this from the Alabama Indian affairs web site Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, § 41-9-702.

History: Filed April 5, 1985. Amended: Filed April 5, 1995; effective May 10, 1995.



475-X-3-.03 Criteria For Recognition As A Tribe, Band Or Group.

(1) Petitioner must meet all criteria as specified in this section.

(2) Petitioner must present a list of at least two hundred and fifty (250) members of the tribe, band, or group (list must be inclusive by name and addresses), unless this requirement is waived by an affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the membership of the commission.

(3) Petitioner must present evidence that each of its members is a descendent of individuals recognized as Indian members of an historical Alabama tribe, band, or group found on rolls compiled by the federal government or otherwise identified on other official records or documents. Ancestry charts for each member citing sources of documentation must accompany the petition. Each chart must bear the notarized signature of the individual to whom it pertains. Photocopies of such documentation shall be made available to the commission upon request.

(4) Petitioner must present satisfactory evidence that its members form a kinship group whose Indian ancestors were related by blood and such ancestors were members of a tribe, band or group indigenous to Alabama. This evidence may be the equivalent of the ancestry charts required in Section 3 above.

(5) The petitioner must swear or affirm the following:

(a) No individual holding or eligible for membership in a federally or state recognized tribe, band or group may be accepted for membership in the petitioning group.

NOTE: This requirement is for the protection of members of federally or state recognized tribes who might otherwise forfeit services by becoming members of a non-recognized tribal group.

(b) That the criteria used by the petitioner in determining eligibility of individuals for membership includes but is not limited to the requirement of kinship through Indian ancestors who were members of a tribe indigenous to Alabama.

(6) Evidence must be presented that the petitioning tribe, band or group has been identified with a tribe, band or group from historical times (200 years) until the present as "American Indian" and has a currently functioning governing body based on democratic principles.

(7) Petitioner must include a statement bearing the notarized signatures of the three highest ranking officers of the petitioning tribe, band or group certifying that to the best of their knowledge and belief all information contained therein is true and accurate.

Author: Criteria Committee Draft modified and adopted by Alabama Indian Affairs Commission.

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, § 41-9-702.

History: Filed April 5, 1985. Emergency amendment filed August 28, 1985. Permanent amendment filed November 5, 1985.



475-X-3-.04 Criteria For Recognition As An Indian Association.

(1) To be recognized as an Indian association, the petitioner must show at least a ninety percent of its enrolled members are Indian. The remaining members may be either Indian or non-Indian or members of tribes, bands or groups not recognized by the state or federal government.

(2) Petitioner must present to the commission the association's membership list including the names and addresses of all members and the designated tribal affiliation of its Indian members.

(3) A copy of the bylaws and constitution or purpose clause of the petitioning group must accompany said petition and be received by the commission.

(4) The petitioner must swear or affirm that at least ninety percent of its membership is Indian. No petition shall be granted a hearing where it is shown that the association, its bylaws, or purpose clause is contrary to public policy.

Author: Criteria Committee Draft modified and adopted by Alabama Indian Affairs Commission.

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, § 41-9-702.History: Filed April 5, 1985.  There is only one Fed Tribe in Al the Poarch Creek located in Atmore.  There are several state recognized tribes.  Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw.  From what I have seen first hand some are junk some are no more than heritage clubs and a few do try to follow the right path.  One that I know of interacts with the EB in a regular basis as well as the CNO.  One of their members runs a language imersion school in Ok.  State Tribes some good some not.  In some cases they serve a need but they need to be watched from a cultural basis by authoritive Elders to insure that variences fron correct tradition do not occur. "LittleOldMan"

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Offline bullhead

  • Posts: 30
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 02:24:34 pm »
here is a link where you can look at the complete criteria for alabama state recognition.
http://www.aiac.state.al.us/documents/admincode475-x-3.doc

Offline earthw7

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Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 08:15:55 pm »
I hit the send buttom by mistake.

koyoteh names are important.
Each Nation-Oyate is divided in to different groups
In my nation we call them
the Oyate-Nation/The people
Tiwahe is the immediate nuclear family
mother, father, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousin, inlaws is a family
Tiospaye is many tiwahe-related by families, adoption and friendship
Our Oyate is divided into Bands
Lakota
seven bands
Dakota
Four bands
Nakota
three bands
as would be the Dine when they are divided into their clan systems.

There are some State Recoginzed tribes that are legitimate, they were recogized by the States before the Treaty system was started.
There are some tribe that have been removed from their homeland but still are tribal nations such as the people in Oklahoma.

I don't think we can just make a blanket statement about this issues.

There are some who claim to be state reconginzed that has no tribal
background, they have some made up claim to who they are.
There are other who are native who are struggling to get recognization that
are native.

It is one of those subject where one size does not fit all.

We have to sort out which is real and which is not.
 





« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 08:28:14 pm by earthw7 »
In Spirit

Offline BlackWolf

  • Posts: 504
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 09:31:09 pm »
Quote
I don't think we can just make a blanket statement about this issues.

I agree with this.  I am aware of the issues facing certain State Recognized Tribes that are clearly Tribes. 


Also, sometimes tribes can’t adhere to strict BIA standards.  Like for example the Lumbee Tribe in NC.  Are they Indian?  Yeah, they are.  Some of them mixed with blacks and whites, but their still Indian.  And some say they are a mixture of different tribes like the Tuscaroras and Cherokee.   I think they have some kind of recognition from congress but not from the BIA.  So, should they be recognized as a tribe or should they be just Recognized as Indian people.  I think that is the controversial question in that case. 


Quote
There are some who claim to be state recognized that has no tribal
background, they have some made up claim to who they are.
There are other who are native who are struggling to get recognition that
are native.

When a State Recognized Tribe requires no proof of ancestry, its hard to figure out who’s claims are legitimate and whose are not.  And if their ancestors did their best to hide their heritage, then it would be hard for anyone 200 years later to prove it.

But even if a group of people have Tribal background, that does not necessarily mean that they can just go off and form their own tribe somewhere else.  They can form a heritage group, which is basically what some of the State Recognized Cherokee Tribes are. 

It would be like a group of 200 Lakotas moving on their own to New York and their decendents started their own tribe 50 years later.  ( In the case of Oklahoma, whole nations were displaced, and it was a different story.)  In that case the whole Nation and its government were displaced.  In the case of the Cherokee descendants in Alabama.  Their ancestors chose to stay, while the ones that went to Oklahoma chose to stay with their Nation.  Like Koyoteh mentioned before, no one knows the reasons why people do or did what they did.  They were rough times back then.  But sometimes we are held accountable  for our ancestors decisions. 

Offline earthw7

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Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 12:34:48 am »
 heritage group are not native tribes
In Spirit

Offline Rattlebone

  • Posts: 257
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2009, 01:54:09 am »

 I got the feeling that this conversation is going to turn into the same one that was on Indianz.com, when that Guardian woman and a few others who are not educated on the subject were trying to make it seem as if state recognized tribes are all frauds and fakes.

 That is simply not true. There are some groups of frauds and people with very questionable claims to native ancestry running around trying to start up their own tribes. I am hearing that some of those states in the south are sorta recognizing these people, but are in reality recognizing them as  heritage groups like Earth pointed out, which are not tribes by no stretch of the imagination.

 There are however a lot of state recognized tribes with legitimate claims to who they are, that have never received federal recognition. Some of them may never get this recognition because the Feds need to change how they do things.  Still once a state gives recognition there seems to be a much greater chance the feds will as well. Not always, but from what I read and hear, it seems to be that way.

 Just a few days ago the state of Texas officially recognized the Lipan Apache. Anyone who knows anything about those people can tell you that they are a real tribe, and their members are very much the real deal. I have friends in that tribe, and I have met a number of their members over the years. I personally know without doubt that those people are exactly who they say they are.

Offline BlackWolf

  • Posts: 504
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 02:18:44 am »
Quote
There are however a lot of state recognized tribes with legitimate claims to who they are, that have never received federal recognition. Some of them may never get this recognition because the Feds need to change how they do things.  Still once a state gives recognition there seems to be a much greater chance the feds will as well. Not always, but from what I read and hear, it seems to be that way.

I agree with this.  There's the real historic tribes that are State Recognzied and then the ones that just appeared in the last 20 or 30 years, which are labled as State Recognzized Tribes but are really just heritage groups.  I guess some states do it for political reasons or federal dollars, etc.  My problem is with the ones I mentioned above.  Just people that say their ancestors were Cherokee or Indian and they petition their State Legislator or Goveronor for their State Status.  I know the difference, but I do know some people that just lump them all together.  Thats why I talked about the Tribes that fall through the cracks, and real historic Tribes in my first post.  There's even Tribes with neither Federal nor State Recognition like the Independent Seminole Indians of Florida who are cleary a Legit Tribe.   


Offline Rattlebone

  • Posts: 257
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2009, 02:41:30 am »


  My problem is with the ones I mentioned above.  Just people that say their ancestors were Cherokee or Indian and they petition their State Legislator or Goveronor for their State Status.  I know the difference, but I do know some people that just lump them all together.  Thats why I talked about the Tribes that fall through the cracks, and real historic Tribes in my first post.  There's even Tribes with neither Federal nor State Recognition like the Independent Seminole Indians of Florida who are cleary a Legit Tribe.   




 
Quote
My problem is with the ones I mentioned above.  Just people that say their ancestors were Cherokee or Indian and they petition their State Legislator or Goveronor for their State Status.

 Yea and I think they actually hurt the chances of legitimate tribes getting recognition. Non Indians are going to see these fake tribes popping up all over the place, and assume all those fighting for recognition are fake. They already have a lot of NDN people thinking that already.

 
 
Quote
There's even Tribes with neither Federal nor State Recognition like the Independent Seminole Indians of Florida who are clearly a Legit Tribe.   


 I am not aware of those people, but im sure they are much like the numerous ones here in California that have neither state of federal recognition either, but are clearly real tribes. Same sort of case as  the Lipan who recently got recognized by Texas.

Offline BlackWolf

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Offline koyoteh

  • Posts: 113
  • Yaqui and MesoAmerican
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2009, 06:48:08 am »
Hope I didn't come off wrong. I didnt mean to be a dick if thats the way it came out. Over where I'm at these terms get confusing when talking to those who also aren't sure, and to those who do use them for official and legal reasons, and then to those who live them.

I've been in forums also where these terms were explained by others as having been adopted by us, language wise, but that weren't created by us. This part at least makes sense to me cause they are english or some other european people's words. Thats just adds more confusion.

legally yeah its a serious matter. day to day wise, it has been through some debates in some forums by others who it effects.  For me, in my environment, it doesn't apply anymore. We'd like it to , but it really doesn't, at least not at the present time. So I apologize if I was a dick for saying fuck it.



so many different ways the words tribes, nations , and clans are used it makes my head spin.

now i'm just sticking to 'my people' or 'our peoples' or 'group' or 'circle'.
over here in L.A. we use the term 'circle' a lot. Its very specific though. No details. but I like that one.

A lot of those words like tribes an clans and others came from europe and our european language words specific to their way of life. From what I hear, not that i undestand anymore, the defs are real different.

but stil , useful words to generalize as a point of reference when we speak. We pretty much know what we mean when we use these words.

I wanna say fuck it, but maybe its something important to figure out.

Offline koyoteh

  • Posts: 113
  • Yaqui and MesoAmerican
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2009, 07:05:53 am »
Quote
When a State Recognized Tribe requires no proof of ancestry, its hard to figure out who’s claims are legitimate and whose are not.  And if their ancestors did their best to hide their heritage, then it would be hard for anyone 200 years later to prove it.
   But even if a group of people have Tribal background, that does not necessarily mean that they can just go off and form their own tribe somewhere else.  They can form a heritage group, which is basically what some of the State Recognized Cherokee Tribes are. 
This is where the debate or argument comes in. Maybe not for this thread though, you tell me and maybe it can go to another thread what I'm about to say. ....Why can't they just form their own tribe? IF we are supposed to be sovereign in the first place, then why should a foreign govt be able to tell us we CAN"T form our own tribe? What business is it of theirs? "Heritage Group"? Now I really do understand what you mean, but I also understand that this is a perspective that is not a native one. Yes a native may now have adopted this perspective but this perspective is clearly instilled from the legal system of the imposed european govt under which natives have been living in. This is not a matter of hate or anger, its just the truth.
The argument part is where some say " why can't we form our own tribes? " "thats the way we have always done it." we didn't have words like "heritage group". 




Offline koyoteh

  • Posts: 113
  • Yaqui and MesoAmerican
Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2009, 07:14:56 am »
Quote
It would be like a group of 200 Lakotas moving on their own to New York and their decendents started their own tribe 50 years later.  ( In the case of Oklahoma, whole nations were displaced, and it was a different story.)  In that case the whole Nation and its government were displaced.  In the case of the Cherokee descendants in Alabama.  Their ancestors chose to stay, while the ones that went to Oklahoma chose to stay with their Nation.  Like Koyoteh mentioned before, no one knows the reasons why people do or did what they did.  They were rough times back then.  But sometimes we are held accountable  for our ancestors decisions. 
  I see no problem with 200 migrating lakota started off new in another place. They may be lucky that they didn't have to fight anyone for a spot, but if they are so lucky, then more power to them. Unless we have 500 eden stories , and each one says we can't move from our original spot by some god law, then there's nothing else that says that natives can't migrate.
   As far as being accountable, yeah i have to kinda agree somewhat there, but only somewhat. Shit we do it all the time. Try to get european descendants to make good on contracts that their ancestors made.
But there's a difference , those were CONTRACTS made by NOT INDIVIDUAL people but LEGAL ENTITIES. Under which is their govt and the govt that we and they live. Not all of us made those contracts either, either as nations or individuals or entitities.
   IF we hold everyone accountable then we also have to hold accountable the ancestors that made bad deals with untrustworthy people.

but i do recognize reality. And I live in it. and so I live by their rules as well. They aren't so bad for the most part.

Offline earthw7

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Re: State Recognized Tribes
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2009, 01:37:39 pm »
Quote
It would be like a group of 200 Lakotas moving on their own to New York and their decendents started their own tribe 50 years later.  ( In the case of Oklahoma, whole nations were displaced, and it was a different story.)  In that case the whole Nation and its government were displaced.  In the case of the Cherokee descendants in Alabama.  Their ancestors chose to stay, while the ones that went to Oklahoma chose to stay with their Nation.  Like Koyoteh mentioned before, no one knows the reasons why people do or did what they did.  They were rough times back then.  But sometimes we are held accountable  for our ancestors decisions. 
  I see no problem with 200 migrating lakota started off new in another place. They may be lucky that they didn't have to fight anyone for a spot, but if they are so lucky, then more power to them. Unless we have 500 eden stories , and each one says we can't move from our original spot by some god law, then there's nothing else that says that natives can't migrate.
   As far as being accountable, yeah i have to kinda agree somewhat there, but only somewhat. Shit we do it all the time. Try to get european descendants to make good on contracts that their ancestors made.
But there's a difference , those were CONTRACTS made by NOT INDIVIDUAL people but LEGAL ENTITIES. Under which is their govt and the govt that we and they live. Not all of us made those contracts either, either as nations or individuals or entitities.
   IF we hold everyone accountable then we also have to hold accountable the ancestors that made bad deals with untrustworthy people.

but i do recognize reality. And I live in it. and so I live by their rules as well. They aren't so bad for the most part.

I see no problem with 200 migrating lakota started off new in another place. They may be lucky that they didn't have to fight anyone for a spot, but if they are so lucky, then more power to them. Unless we have 500 eden stories , and each one says we can't move from our original spot by some god law, then there's nothing else that says that natives can't migrate.

I will try an explain this the best i can as Lakota we can go and take over any people territory because that is what we did in the past. We claim territory so now we claim North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Missesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and three canadan provence.
The difference is "We have to answer to our Lakota-Dakota-Nakota government system". We have had a Tribal government system in place for at least a thousand years now. It must be a census based decision of Itancans and we have always kept in contact with each other with yearly meetings. I guess is something the outside wotrld does not know about us.  our people don't just leave and never go back that is not how our people work.  Family is the most important thing in our society no family no nation.
We have one story for all of us as to there we come from. The land is very important to us that is why we are second largest land owner tribes in the United States.
In Spirit