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Giving Native History The Recognition It Deserves


The Native History Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Nashville, Tennessee. 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

Pat recently moved from Nashville to East 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 the Tennessee Governor's Archaeological Advisory Council since 2004, and was a member of Nashville's Metropolitan Historical Commission from 2015 to 2017. He is an enrolled member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia.

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 the Friends of Aaittafama’ Archaeological Park, and is a member of the Tennessee Historical Commission and the Tennessee Governor's Archaeological Advisory Council.

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.


Mound Bottom

Mississippian Temple Mound At The Mound Bottom Site, Cheatham County, Tennessee