Guest Editorial - Kentucky State Recognition of Native Americans - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Guest Editorial - Kentucky State Recognition of Native Americans (6/28/10)

Currently, only State or Federally recognized tribes are afforded freedom of religious expression. Currently, only State and Federally recognized tribal members can sell their work as "Native American." All others must be listed as "Native American"-inspired. Unless an individual is listed as a member of a State or Federally recognized tribe, they are denied their heritage, their culture and their identity of who and what they are.

For over 12,000 years, Kentucky has been the permanent home of many Native groups, and is still the home of thousands of Native Americans. Kentucky has no state-recognized tribe or nation, even though there is evidence of there always being Indian peoples making this land their home. We are denied our heritage, our existence, our culture and our basic rights as American citizens.

For the last five years, a bill recognizing Kentucky's Indian peoples was introduced in the State legislature. Each time it passed the House with ease, only to be sent to committee in the Senate where it died without vote or discussion. Kentucky today is home to many cultures, many ethnicities and many peoples, including American Indian. Each adds to the fabric that makes Kentucky a rich and vital part of what it means to be an American.

Each of these cultures is allowed to practice their religion and their ceremonies, save one: Native American. Our culture -- our heritage -- deserve to be recognized, our people honored like all others.

Please write your Senator and your Congressperson in support of State Recognition for Kentucky's Native American Peoples.

I'm Michael Dunn, and that's my…Point of View

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