photo of tom kunesh
thomas peter kunesh
Chattanooga TN 37404
423 781 0197

tribal affiliation: Standing Rock Sioux/Lakota
                            (mother enrolled)

Academic background
  • Master of Divinity, Starr King School for the Ministry 1988
         Unitarian Universalism, Liberation Theology, Religious Iconography, Rise & Meaning of Modern Atheism

  • Master of Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1991
         Religious Studies, with a minor in Art History
         thesis: The Pseudo-Zygodactylous Gesture of the Lactating Goddess: Evolution and Migration
         Anthropology of Religion, Philosophy of Religion, Psychology of Religion, Indo-European Religion

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1983
         Spanish Language & Culture, with minors in Religious Studies & Foreign Studies


  • Fundación José Ortega y Gasset, Toledo, Spain 1982
  • Curso de estudios hispánicos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain 1980-81
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) 1978, City Colleges of Chicago, US Naval Base, Rota (Cádiz) Spain
  • Russian Language Course, Defense Language Institute 1976-77, Naval Security Group Detachment, Monterey, California

    Research interests:
  • Multicultural religious atheisms
  • Native American history and religion
  • Religious art (p-z gesture/lactating goddesses, the Eye in Hand)
  • Slot & tab tombs in the Southeast USA & the Middle East

    Other Fields of Interest
  • Liberation a/Theology
  • the Black Irish
  • Native genealogy
  • cemeteries & cemetery preservation
  • cultural identity theft & state-based Native American Indian tribal recognition

  • editor, critical mass: a journal of religious frontiers in Unitarian Universalism, Berkeley CA, 1986-88

  • author, The Shaman Atheist :: the Dao of Atheism critical mass press, Chattanooga TN 1992

  • "Let Bylaws Be Bylaws" [The Principle of Congregational Polity vs. the UUA],
        UU Voice (UU Advance, St Louis MO 5:3, fall 1999)
  • "Mundane Deities: an atheist's gods", Sea of Faith (Britain, september 1999)
  • "Native Americans Weave a New Web" Color|s (Migizi Communications, Minneapolis MN 6:1 1997)
  • biographical entries on Black Hawk, White Cloud/Winnebago Prophet, Dragging Canoe, Going Snake, Seattle,
        (Wallace Mad Bear Anderson, JoAllyn Archambault, Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal, Arlinda Faye Locklear)
        in Notable Native Americans, edited by Sharon Malinowski (Gale Research, Detroit MI 1995)

    Professional Experience
  • 1998-current   Home Parent
  • 2010-current   Eastside Precinct Election Judge, Hamilton County Election Commission, Chattanooga
  • 2005   Adjunct Faculty, Continuing Education, Cemetery Studies, Chattanooga State Community College
  • 2004-05   Adjunct Faculty, Spanish, Chattanooga State Community College
  • 2004   Adjunct Faculty, Native American Religions, Department of Anthropology Middle Tennessee State University
  • 2003-08   Spanish Instructor, The Montessori School, Chattanooga
  • 2000-02   Adjunct Faculty, Spanish, Department of Foreign Languages, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • 1999   Adjunct Faculty, Native American Religions (Anthropology & Religious Studies), University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • 2000-01   Adjunct Faculty, Native American Religions (Humanities, Chattanooga State Technical Community College
  • 2000-01   Director, Language Laboratory, Department of Foreign Languages, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • 1999-current   Freelance Web Consultant
  • 1996-99   Webmaster, Chattanooga Online
  • 1995-96   Artistic Director/Graphic Designer, Corporate Relations Inc.
  • 1995   Total digital conversion of Composition, Production, Typesetting & Design, Quality Shopper
  • 1993-94   Editor and Publisher, City Beat Magazine news weekly
  • 1991-94   Owner/Operator, Dakota DeskTop Publishing: typesetting & design
  • 1987   Manager, Desktop Publishing Section, Krishna Copies, Berkeley, California
  • 1985-87   Macintosh Computer Consultant, Inter-Racial Cross-Cultural Education Program, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
  • 1986-87   Assistant Serials Librarian, Graduate Theological Union Library, Berkeley, California

    • 1984-85   Secretary-General, Minnesota International Student Association (MISA)
      University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
    • 1984-85   Religious Studies Adviser, Religious Studies Program
      University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
    • 1984   Teaching Assistant to Professor Robert Ross: the Holocaust
      Department of Jewish Studies, University of Minnesota
      Teaching Assistant to Professor Robert Tapp: Introduction to Christianity
      Religious Studies Program, University of Minnesota
    • 1981-82   Undergraduate Peer Adviser, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
      University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

  • 1976-80   US Navy Cryptologic Technician-Interpretive branch, Third Class Petty Officer
      Russian and Farsi naval linguist and radio traffic analyst
      stations: primary: NSGA, US Naval Base, Rota (Cádiz) Spain; secondary: Persian Gulf

    Community Activities
  • 2010-current   care, clean-up & maintenance of Chickamauga Mound
  • 2010-current   member, Native American Indian Association of Tennessee, Nashville
  • 2012-13   Vice President for Religious Growth Ministries, Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga TN
  • 2012-13   Landscape Committee chairman, Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga TN
  • 2007-10 commissioner & secretary, Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs
    developed Resolution for the Discontinuation of Native American Indian mascots in the State of Tennessee, and state tribal recognition policy with ACTIA
  • 2001-current   founding member, Advisory Council on Tennessee Indian Affairs (ACTIA)
      secretary 2011-current
      (formerly Tennessee Indian Affairs Advisory Council); chairman 2001-03
  • 2001-13   founding member, Tennessee Native American Convention (TNNAC)
    Coordinating Committee; chairman 2001-04
  • 2001-current   webmaster & blogger of A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs
  • 2000-01 chairman, Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs Ad Hoc Reform Committee
      to re-form the TCIA into a larger, representative, democratically-elected organization that works for indians
      (not the state), makes use of the community's human resources, and is organized to achieve results
  • 1999-current   member, Advisory Board, Chattanooga Indigenous Resource Center & Library (CIRCL)
  • 1997-2005   founding member, Environmental City Task Force (ECTF), Chattanooga
  • 1995-96   Board Member, Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park
  • 1993-current   founding member, Chattanooga InterTribal Association (CITA)
      working to save Moccasin Bend, Rattlesnake Springs, Little Cedar Mountain from development;
      got UTC to change its "Chief Moccanooga" mascot
      clean-up & maintenance of Moccasin Bend & Chickamauga Mounds
  • 1989-93 Instructor, Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI), Roanoke and Blacksburg, Virginia
      Religious literacy, History by heresy, Religious atheisms, Comparative
      religious polity, The meaning of the breast and breast-milk in religious art
  • 1988-90 Member and Vice President (1990), Council of Religious Advisers (CRA)
      Professional Association of Campus Ministers, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1987-93 Founding Member, Society for the Larger Ministry, Berkeley, California
  • 1987-89 Convener/Treasurer, Finance Working Group, Ministry and Service Working Group
      Continental Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network (UUYAN)
  • 1987 Instructor, Ancient female imagery
      Starr King School for Religious Leadership, Berkeley, California
      Coordinator, Seminar in Unitarian Universalist history
      Starr King School for Religious Leadership, Berkeley, California
  • 1985-87 Member, Task Force on Young Adult Ministry
      Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1987 Chair, Pacific Central District Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network
      (PCD-UUYAN) Berkeley, California
  • 1984-85 Secretary-General, Minnesota International Student Association (MISA)
      University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 1984-85 Member, Board of Directors, Minnesota International Center, Minneapolis
  • 1972- Member, American Indian Movement, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    1976-80 Cryptologic Technician - Interpretive branch (CTI), U.S. Navy
    • Russian Linguist/radio traffic analyst in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean,
      and NavSecGruDet, Rota, Spain, 1977-80
    • Farsi Support Linguist in the Persian Gulf, 1978-80 (USS La Salle AGF-3)
    • Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal 1979, USS Blandy DD-943, Persian Gulf
    • Letter of Commendation 1979, USS Peterson DD-969, Persian Gulf
    • Honorable Discharge, 1980: Third Class Petty Officer

  •  USA, Canada, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy,
      Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Pakistan, Egypt, Djibouti, Kenya
  • tpkunesh's homepage | | tom @ kunesh .net

    Last updated: march 2013