"The Tennessee House of Representatives could vote today to give state recognition to local Yuchi Indians who want that validity for their heritage.
For supporters, like Chief Lee Vest, it could be the culmination of years of work to see official recognition by the state. Vest and others have asked Rep. Jason Mumpower, R-Bristol, to carry the bill in the house and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, to support the measure in the state Senate.
But we urge the Legislature to turn this question back to the Tennessee Indian Commission, even though the Tennessee attorney general in 2007 issued an opinion that the Legislature has the authority to recognize Indian tribes. We just don’t believe the AG’s opinion gives state lawmakers expert understanding of Indian affairs and history.
We fear there is a chance that groups that are not aligned with recognized, established tribes could gain state recognition; that would pave the way for federal recognition and associated scholarships, business loans and other funds."
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Editorial: House Could Consider Yuchi Bill Today
(The Bristol Herald Courier 5/26)
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