Though AAIWV does not have formal Federal or State Recognition as an Indian Tribe, we achieved WV State Senate acknowledgement as a tribal group on March 1, 1996 with the passage of Senate Resolution 25. This was followed by an identical resolution ( House Resolution 23 ) passed by the House of Delegates on March 3, 1998.
Membership in Appalachian American Indians of WV does not entitle
members to sell crafts as “Indian Made”.
AAIWV or Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia, Inc. is an intertribal tribe of Native Americans and their mixed blood lineal descendants. Currently we have nearly 5000 members in West Virginia and the surrounding States representing the bloodlines from 84 different Native American Tribes. Consistant with the history of this area, the majority of our members share Cherokee or Shawnee ancestry, although tribes as distant as the Ojibway, Seneca and Apache are also represented. AAIWV is the largest group of Native Americans, Native American descendants and supporters of Native Americans in the State of West Virginia. Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia was organized in 1986 then chartered in 1989 as the Appalachian American Indian Society, a 501(c) 3 corporation registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State with 11 original members.
The goals of AAIWV are to provide a “tribal home” for Native Americans in West Virginia, to save precious pieces of our heritage that are in danger of being lost, and to educate both Native Americans and the general public about the history and culture of Native Americans in this State. We do this through extensive teaching activities throughout the State, by holding free Pow Wows open to the public, and through meetings. In addition to our normal monthly Tribal Council meetings in Beckley, WV, we also publish a monthly newsletter, The Appalachian Indian Voice, which is distributed free to our members. AAIWV also provides assistance to members, with a Food Pantry, as well as assistance with counseling and educational needs. AAIWV is supported solely by the contributions of its members. We charge no fees or membership dues to our members. Our public speaking and educational activities are also performed without charge to the community. No member representing AAIWV may accept speaking fees for public activities.
AAIWV is governed by an elected Tribal Council consisting of a Principle Chief, Chief, Tribal Officer, Tribal Liaison, Secretary, Treasurer, and fourteen elected Tribal Councilors.