KY Tribes Looking for State Recognition

Frankfort, KY – Native Americans in Kentucky say state recognition of their tribes could enhance their lives, and help them take advantage of their unique heritage. Dave Fallis of the Southern Cherokee Nation proudly wears a beaded, leather medicine bag hand sewn by a member of his tribe.

"She is the deer clan mother and she handmade this. She cannot put Made by Native American, because there's no such thing as a recognized Native American in the state of Kentucky. We are one of eight states that don't recognize what a Native American is, and yet Kentucky is an Indian word."

Legislation sponsored by Louisville Rep. Reginald Meeks defines "Native American," and provides strict guidelines tribes could follow to obtain official state recognition. The bill, which cleared a House committee, still has a long way to go. Similar legislation has won House approval before, only to die in the Senate. Rep. Meeks hopes that won't be the case this year.