The Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission was created for all Native American Indians that reside within the land of the Indians, whether you are recognized by federal status, state status or genealogy. The state of Indiana has no state recognition process along with having no reservation land.
Gov. Frank O'Bannon (D) vetoed the first passing of the bill. He felt ''it would impede the Miami Nation with their own archaeology issues.'' It passed a year later under Gov. Joseph Kernan's (D) administration.
The recent makeup of the commission was on the second try, by the wishes of Gov. Mitch Daniels. Some seats were not filled for differences of ideologies, or in other words, Indian politics.
It was never to be a facilitator to create Indian tribal status, which lies only between the federal and state governments and a tribe, not the commissioners. It was set up to make recommendations on how best to fix the issues that face the uniqueness of the urban Indian. Jobs, housing, education and health somehow were lost along the way by some that refuse to see the bigger picture.
- Sally Tuttle
Chair, Native American Indian Voices of IndianaKokomo, Ind.