Recognition of six groups in Tennessee declared 'null and void'
Less than three months after gaining state recognition, six groups in Tennessee lost their status as part of a settlement in a lawsuit that was funded by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

The Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs violated the state open meetings act in considering the groups, according to the settlement. The agreement leaves the state without any type of process to recognize tribes.

"This (order) renders null and void what the Commission on Indian Affairs did. Which means, since the commission no longer exists, it's over," attorney Bob Tuke told The Knoxville News. Tuke, who was paid by the Cherokee Nation, represented lobbyist Mark Greene, who was also paid by the tribe.

House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower was sponsoring bills to set up a recognition process and ran into opposition from the tribe. "I still think it's unfortunate we have (American Indians) who have a true heritage, and they have been denied recognition of that heritage by fellow Tennesseans," he told the paper. He said the Cherokees spent "tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars" opposing the effort.

Get the Story:
6 Indian groups lose state recognition (The Knoxville News 9/3)

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