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UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE
CHEYENNE-ARAPAHO TRIBES
OF OKLAHOMA
 
 
 

RATIFIED SEPTEMBER 18,1937
 

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON: 1938

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE CHEYENNE-
ARAPAHO TRIBES OF OKLAHOMA

PREAMBLE

    We, the Indians of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, in order to promote more unified tribal economic progress, to better transact our tribal business and industrial affairs, to protect our religious rights, to protect and maintain our allotted lands, to look after our just claims and our rights under treaty stipulations, to borrow money from the Federal Government, such funds to constitute a tribal revolving fund from which sums may be lent to individual members of the Tribes and to groups of members for cooperative enterprises, to participate in the management of tribal lands and property, to assist and advise in the purchase of land which the government may obtain for landless members of the Tribes, to negotiate with the representatives of Federal, State and local Governments in regard to all matters affecting the Tribes now or in the future, and to further the general welfare of ourselves and our posterity, do hereby adopt the following Constitution and By-laws pursuant to the Thomas-Rogers Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936.
 

ARTICLE I - NAME
    The name of this organization shall be the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

ARTICLE II - TERRITORY

    The territory in which this Constitution shall be effective is the lands owned by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians within the boundaries of the Cheyenne and Arapaho territory as defined by the agreement of 1890 (ratified by the Act of March 3, 1891), and tribal lands or land which shall hereafter become tribal property.

ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP

    SECTION 1. The membership of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes shall consist of the following persons:
       (a)  All persons of Indian blood whose names appear on the official tribal census roll as of June 26, 1936.
        (b)  All children born since the date of said roll, both of whose parents are members of the Tribes.
        (c)  Any child born of a marriage between a member of the Tribes and a member of some other Tribe who chooses to affiliate with the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes.
        (d)  Any child born of a marriage between a member of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes and any other person, if such child is admitted to membership by a majority vote of the Business Committee.
    SEC. 2.  The Business Committee shall have the power to make rules and regulations, subject to review of the Secretary of the Interior, governing future membership and the adoption of new members.

ARTICLE  IV - INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND PRESENT SERVICES

    SECTION 1.  Individual rights in allotted and inherited lands shall not be disturbed by anything contained in this Constitution.
    SEC. 2.  The rights of members as citizens of the United States and of the State of Oklahoma shall not be disturbed by anything contained in this Constitution.
    SEC. 3.  Existing aids and services extended to the Tribe, such as health service, education, extension service, etc., shall not be curtailed because of anything contained in this Constitution.
    SEC. 4.  In all recommendations for employment of persons to fill positions on the Cheyenne and Arapaho jurisdiction first preference shall be given to qualified enrolled members of this organization and second preference shall be given to persons married to members of the organization.
    SEC. 5.  All members of the Tribes may enjoy freedom of speech, conscience, worship and assembly.
    SEC. 6.  No treaty rights of the Cheyenne or the Arapaho Tribe shall be in any way affected by any provision of this Constitution.

ARTICLE V - GOVERNING BODY

    SECTION 1.  The governing body of the organization shall be called the Cheyenne-Arapaho Business Committee.
    SEC. 2.  The Cheyenne-Arapaho Business Committee shall consist of 28 members, 14 Cheyennes and 14 Arapahoes, selected in the following manner:
        (a)  The Cheyenne Chiefs and Headmen shall appoint one of their members, a resident of the district he shall represent, from each of the 7 Cheyenne districts. One representative from each of the listed 7 Cheyenne districts shall be elected by popular vote of the eligible voters of the districts: Kingfisher, Calumet-Geary, Watonga, Canton, Thomas, Hammon, Clinton. If no chief or headman resides in a Cheyenne District, two representatives shall be elected from that district by popular vote.
        (b)  The Arapahoes shall be represented on the Business Committee by 14 members, some of whom may be tribal chiefs. They must be residents of the districts from which they are elected ancl shall be chosen by popular vote as follows: 3 representatives from Colony, 4 representatives from Geary, 3 representatives from Greenfield, 4 representatives from Canton.
    SEC. 3.  All members of the Tribes, 21 years of age or older, shall be eligible as candidates for the Business Committee, subject to requirements already cited pertaining to chiefs and headman.
    SEC. 4.  All members of the Tribes, 21 years of age or older, shall be entitled to vote in all elections.
    SEC. 5.  Members of the Business Committee and the Chairman thereof shall hold office for a term of two years from date of election or until their successors are chosen. Cheyenne voters not residing within a Cheyenne District and Arapaho voters not residing within an Arapaho District may affiliate with any district of their own Tribe for purposes of voting and representation.
    SEC. 6.  The first election shall be called by the Superintendent within 60 days after the adoption of this Constitution and regular elections shall be held every second year thereafter.
    SEC. 7.  A meeting of duly elected tribal representatives shall be called by the Superintendent within 30 days after the election at which they are chosen. At this meeting the Business Committee shall select the following officers from its membership: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms.
    SEC. 8.  Subject to the approval of the Business Committee, the Chairman shall appoint committees for the carrying on of business.
    SEC. 9.  Vacancies on the Business Committee shall be filled by a special election held in the district which has lost representation by that vacancy. Where the former member whose place is to be filled had been selected as a Cheyenne Chief or Headman, the Cheyenne Chiefs and Headmen will name his successor. Where the former member of the Business Committee had been chosen by popular vote, the same procedure will apply to the election of his successor.
    SEC. 10. Any member or officer of the Business Committee charged with misconduct or negelet of duty during his term of office may be expelled by a majority vote of the Business Committee after a fair hearing.

ARTICLE VI - POWERS OF BUSINESS COMMITTEE

    The Business Committee shall have power to act for the Tribes in matters pertaining to claims, credit, acquisition of land and any such matters in which the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes may be authorized to act.
    Matters of importance may be referred by 14 members of the Business Committee to a popular referendum of the members of the Tribes, and until such referendum is held action on the matters shall be suspended.

ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS

    Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by a majority vote of the eligible voters at a general meeting, and if approved by the Secretary of the Interior shall be submitted to a referendum vote of the members of the Tribes and shall be effective if approved by a majority vote.

BY-LAWS OF THE CHEYENNE-ARAPAHO TRIBES OF OKLAHOMA

ARTICLE I - DUTIES OF OFFICERS

    SECTION 1.  The Chairman of the Business Committee shall preside over all meetings of the Committee, shall perform all the duties of a chairman and exercise any authority delegated to him by the Business Committee. He shall have the privilege of voting in case of a tie.
    SEC. 2.  The Vice-Chairman of the Business Committee shall call the roll at the opening of each meeting. He shall then read the minutes of the previous meeting. The minutes shall be approved by the Business Committee, after which it shall be the duty of the Secretary to call to the attention of the Business Committee any unfinished business of the previous meeting.  Further, the Secretary shall read to the Committee all communications which have been received during the month by said Committee. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to answer all correspondence after it has been discussed and a decision made by the Business Committee.
    SEC. 3.  The Treasurer of the Business Committee, shall be the custodian of all moneys which come under the jurisdiction or in control of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Business Committee. He shall pay out money in accordance with the orders and resolution of the Business Committee. He shall keep account of all receipts and disbursements and shall report the same to the Business Committee at each regular meeting. He shall be bonded in such an amount as the Business Committee by resolution shall provide, such bond to be satisfactory to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The books of the Treasurer shall be subject to audit or inspection at the discretion of the Business Committee.

ARTICLE II - OATH OF OFFICE

    Each member of the Business Committee and each officer or subordinate officer elected or appointed hereunder, shall take an oath of office prior to assuming the duties thereof  by which oath he shall pledge himself to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and this Constitution and By-laws. The following form of oath of office shall be given: "I, --------------------------, do hereby solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies and will carry out faithfully and impartially, the duties of my office to the best of my ability, and will promote and protect the best interests of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes in accordance with this Constitution and By-laws."

ARTICLE III - MEETINGS OF THE BUSINESS COMMITTEE

    SECTION 1.  Regular meetings of the Business Committee shall be held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency at Concho, Oklahoma, or such other place as is chosen by the Business Committee.
    SEC. 2.  Special meetings of the Business Committee may be called at the discretion of the Chairman, or shall be called by him upon written request of a majority of the members of the Business Committee or upon the written request of 100 members of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes.
    SEC. 3.  A general meeting of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes shall be held on tle first Wednesday of the month of October of each year. The meeting place will be designated by the Business Committee.

ARTICLE IV - QUORUM

SECTION 1.  Fourteen members of the Business Committee, of whom one-half shall be Cheyennes and one-half shall be Arapahoes, shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.

ARTICLE V - RATIFICATION

    This Constitution and By-laws shall be effective when approved by the Secretary of the Interior and ratified by a majority vote of the Indians of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes voting at an election called by the Secretary of the Interior under regulations which he may prescribe pursuant to section 3 of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936.

    I, Oscar L. Chapman, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority granted me by the Act of June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 1967), do hereby approve the attached Constitution and By-laws of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
    All rules and regulations heretofore promulgated by the Interior Department or by the Office of Indian Affairs, so far as they may be incompatible with any of the provisions of the said Constitution and By-laws, are hereby declared inapplicable to the Cheyenne-Aranaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
    All officers and employees of the Interior Department are ordered to abide by the provisions of the said Constitution and By-laws.
    Approval recommended August 11, 1937

        WILLIAM ZIMMERMAN, Jr.,
                Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

                                                                                                                        OSCAR L. CHAPMAN,
                                                                                                            Assitant Secretary of the Interior.
                                                                                                                                    [SEAL]
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 25,1937.

CERTIFICATE OF ADOPTION

    Pursuant to an order, approved August 25, 1937 by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, the attached constitution and by-laws was submitted for ratification to the members of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes and was on September 18, 1937 duly approved by a vote of 542 for, and 417 against, in an election in which over 30 per cent of those entitled to vote cast their ballots, pursuant to section 3 of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 1967).

                                                                                                                                ALFRED WILSON,
                                                                                                                Chairman, Business Committee.
                                                                                                                                JESSE ROWLODGE,
                                                                                                                Secretary, Business Committee.
CHAS. H. BERRY,
        Supertendent, Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency.

AMENDMENT TO CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE
CHEYENNE-ARAPAHO TRIBES OF OKLAHOMA

AMENDMENT 1.
    Article V of the Constitution and By-laws of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma shall be amended as follows:
    1.  Section 2.
    "SEC. 2.  The Cheyenne-Arapaho Business Committee shall consist of fourteen members, seven Cheyennes and seven Arapahoes, elected by popular vote, provided that the present Cheyenne-Arapaho Business Conunittee shall serve until its successors are elected.
    "(a)  The Business Committee shall designate the districts from which its membership shall be elected and shall determine the ratio of representation.
    " (b) Within sixty days after the ratification of this amendment an election shall be held, under rules and regulations prescribed by the Business Committee, and the members so elected shall serve until the next regular election in November 1943, or until their successors are elected. Elections shall be held every second year hereafter."
    2. Section 3.
    "SEC. 3. All members of the Tribes, 21 years of age or older, shall be eligible as candidates for the Business Committee
    3.  Section 6 shall be omitted and the subsequent sections renumbered accordingly.
    4. Section 9 will become Section 8 in accordance with No. 3 above, and shall read:
    "SEC. 8.  Vacancies on the Business Committee shall be filled by a special election held in the district which has lost representation by that vacancy."
    Article VI of the Constitution and By-laws of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma shall be amended as follows:
    In the second paragraph of this Article substitute the number "7" for " 14. "
    Article III of the By-laws shall be amended by adding Section 4, which shall read as follows:
    "SEC. 4. Special meetings of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes may be called at the discretion of the Chairman of the Business Committee, but shall be called by him upon the written request of a majority of the Business Committee or upon the written request of one hundred adult members of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes."
    Article IV of the By-laws, Section I shall be amended as follows:
    "SECTION 1. Eight members of the Business Committee, of whom one half shall be Cheyennes and one half Arapahoes, shall constitute a quorum at any meeting."
    I, Oscar L. Chapman, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority granted me by the Act of June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 1967), do hereby approve the attached Amendment I to the Constitution and By-laws of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
    Approval recommended: November 6, 1941.
    JOHN COLLIFR,
                Commissioner.
                                                                                                                       OSCAR L. CHAPMAN,
                                                                                                                     Assistant Secretary.
                                                                                                                                 [SEAL]

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 11, 1941.

CERTIFICATION

    Pursuant to an order approved December 11, 1941, by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, the attached Amendment I to the Constitution and By-laws of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, was submitted for ratification to the qualified voters of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes, and on February 4 1942, was ratified, by a vote of 193 for, and 161 against, in an election in which more than 30 percent of those entitled to vote cast their ballots in accordance with section 3 of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 1967).
                                                                                                                          JESSE ROWLODGE,
                                                                                                              Chairman, Business Committee.
                                                                                                                          ALFRED WILSON,
                                                                                                                 Secretary, Business Committee.
GUY HOBGOOD,
        Superintendent, Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency.