CITA's Position
on Moccasin Bend

May 1994

The Moccasin Bend Historic Landmark covers 956 acres of publically-owned land that was originally acquired by the U.S. government in the contested treaty of 1819, sold or given to private individuals, then reacquired by the city and county governments for use as a national park, and state government for its hospital facility. The State of Tennessee owns the historical easement on all of the property.

1.a. CITA [Chattanooga InterTribal Association] recommends that the entire historically-recognized portion of Moccasin Bend be returned to Native Americans, as a gift from the State of Tennessee, Hamilton County, and City of Chattanooga to the Native American people in recognition of the land's historical and cultural significance, in commemoration of the past injustices committed on the Native American populace by the U.S. government, in recognition of the initial illegal land acquisition committed by the United States of America government, in memory of the illegal racial cleansing and removal of the Cherokee and other tribes from this land, and in recognition of Chattanooga's historic role and profiteering in the Removal of 1838. Ownership of the Moccasin Bend Historical Area should be transferred back to the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

1.b. If the land is not transferred to the Cherokee, CITA recommends that the Moccasin Bend Land Trust be created, and that it be overseen and managed by a Board of Trustees composed of a majority of representatives from CITA and the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole), along with local Civil War groups, the Tennessee River Gorge Land Trust, the local Sierra Club, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Anthropology Department, and the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County.

2. CITA is primarily concerned that Native American history and culture on Moccasin Bend be preserved in perpetuity, with no further disturbance to the land. CITA foresees the Bend as a natural Native American cultural and spiritual center. We also acknowledge and respect the historical and cultural significance of the sites used by U.S.A. military forces in the War Between the States.

To these ends, CITA proposes that the existing buildings on the historic Moccasin Bend property be converted to use as a Native American Cultural Center, Museum, Genealogical Center, Library, and public education facilities.

3. We also recommend that:
(a) a living Native American village be established on the grounds,
(b) soft trails and markers be maintained to encourage public access to Civil War sites on Stringer's Ridge,
(c) a section of land be established as a grave repository for proper return and interment of Native American remains from museums and other disturbed Native American sites around the continent, and
(d) there be limited access to Native American burial sites.
All areas of the Moccasin Bend Native American Center would be open to the general public, save the specific spiritual and burial sites.

the Chattanooga InterTribal Association (CITA) can be contacted
through CITA's public relations' person,