Purposes and Duties of the
Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs

in TCIA Reform Bill HB1617 (2001)

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.

(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.

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.

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.