The Native History Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the significance of Native American history and it's value as part of the heritage of Planet Earth.
We're based in Nashville, Tennessee and have just begun our efforts - August 1, 2012 was our first full day of operations. We'll be focusing our energy mainly on Middle Tennessee at first and plan on expanding as we grow. Indian Country is a big place - two entire continents - so who knows where this road might take us?
Our mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of Native American history. We plan to accomplish that by:
All of our public programs will be offered free of charge in order to reach the widest possible audience. We'll be depending on donations, grants, the sale of promotional items such as T-shirts and caps, and other fundraising efforts to support our work. Click here to donate.
Our Staff - Click name to read bio
President and board member Patrick "Pat" Cummins
A Cherokee descendent, Pat lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a degree in Mortuary Science from Kansas City Kansas, Community College where he graduated with honors in 1988. Pat served as President of the non-profit "Alliance for Native American Indian Rights" from 1998 to 2009. A passion for history and historic research led him to study Anthropology at Middle Tennessee State University, and he has worked as a professional archaeologist and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology. (While working on a restoration project in the Nashville City Cemetery in 2007, Pat discovered a rare Spanish coin - "8 Reales," or pieces of eight. NPR interviewed Pat about the find. Click here to listen to the interview.) He was recently employed at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as a guide and historical interpreter. Pat was a Men's Northern Traditional Dancer for many years and remains actively involved with a number of regional Native American Powwows and other cultural events as a drummer and educator. Pat has served on Tennessee's "Governors Archaeological Advisory Council" since 2004, and was appointed to Nashville's Metropolitan Historical Commission in 2015.
Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and board member Toye E. Heape
Toye lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a degree in Electronics Technology, graduating with honors from Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi in 1980. An Information Technology professional, he is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and holds numerous other IT certifications. He has a strong avocational interest in computer programming, video game design and educational software development. He co-founded the web site Native Nashville in 2000 and has been its Webmaster since that time. Toye served on the Board of Directors, as Vice-President, and President of the Alliance for Native American Indian Rights in 1995, 1996, and 1997-98, respectively, and was Executive Director for the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs from 1998 to 2001. Toye serves on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Ancient Sites Conservancy and was appointed to the Tennessee Historical Commission in 2014.
Board member Joseph Cummins
Joseph has been a well-recognized figure in the Native American community of Tennessee from childhood. At the age of 5 he began dancing as a powwow and educational exhibition dancer for area grade schools and he soon developed his own unique style which would earn him several class championships as a Traditional Dancer. Beginning at the age of 7 Joseph joined his father in drumming with several local indigenous drum groups. Joseph has volunteered his time and effort to a number of very noteworthy causes on behalf of the Alliance for Native American Indian Rights, the Tennessee Native Veterans Society, the Tennessee Eagle Awards, the Tennessee Trail of Tears Association, and many other ceremonial, charitable, and multi-cultural events. He is a 2010 Graduate of McGavock High School in Nashville, Tennessee, and in December of 2014 earned a Bachelor's degree in History with a Minor degree in Native American Studies from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Joseph currently lives in Nashville, where his passion for drumming and singing continues, as does his work with the Native History Association.