Section 8A. There shall be in the department of housing and community development a commission on Indian affairs, consisting of seven members who shall be appointed by the governor. All of the members shall be of American Indian descent and shall represent the major tribes of American Indian population located within the commonwealth. In the year nineteen hundred and ninety-three, three members shall be appointed for a term of three years, two members shall be appointed for a term of two years and two members shall be appointed for a term of one year. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for a three-year term.
Said commission shall meet at least four times annually, but may meet as often as it deems necessary for the proper conduct of its affairs, and shall elect from its membership a chairman and such other officers as may be required, each to serve for a term of one year.
Said commission shall investigate problems common to American Indians and persons of American Indian descent who are residents of the commonwealth. It shall assist tribal councils, Indian organizations and individuals in their relationship with agencies of state and local government, assist with social services, education, employment opportunities, health, housing problems, civil rights, legal aid, treaties, taking of a census of American Indian residents, and any other rights or services concerning American Indian residents of the commonwealth.
Said commission may make recommendations to the director of housing and community development concerning programs and policies that will best serve the interest of the American Indian residents of the commonwealth. It shall make an annual report of its activities to said director and shall file a copy thereof with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives on or before the last Wednesday in January of each year.
Said commission shall provide for the burial expenses, up to three hundred dollars, for the remains of any person whose previously unknown grave has been disturbed, forcing its relocation, and whose identity has been determined by the state archaeologist to be that of an American Indian.