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UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
 
 
 

CORPORATE CHARTER OF THE

CONFEDERATED SALISH AND KOOTENAI

TRIBES OF THE FLATHEAD RESERVATION

MONTANA
 
 
 

RATIFIED APRIL 25, 1936
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1936
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CORPORATE CHARTER OF THE CONFEDERATED SALISH AND
KOOTENAI TRIBES OF THE FLATHEAD RESERVATION
 
 

A FEDERAL CORPORATION CHARTERED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 18, 1934

    Whereas, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead ]Reservation in Montana constitute a recognized Indian tribe organized under a constitution and bylaws ratified by the tribe on October 4, 1935, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior on October 28, 1935, pursuant to section 16 of the act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended by the act of June 15, 1935 (49 Stat. 378); and

    Whereas, more than one-third of the adult members of the tribe have petitioned that a charter of incorporation be granted to such tribe, subject to ratification by a vote of the adult Indians living on the reservation;

    Now, therefore, I, Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the said act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), do hereby issue and submit this charter of incorporation to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation to be effective from and after such time as it may be ratified by a majority vote of the adult Indians living on the reservation.
 
 
Corporate Existence.
1. In order to further the economic development of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in Montana by conferring upon the said tribe certain corporate rights, powers, privileges, and immunities; to secure for the members of the tribe an assured economic independence; and to provide for the proper exercise by the tribe of various functions heretofore performed by the Department of the Interior, the aforesaid tribe is hereby chartered as a body politic and corporate of the United States of America, under the corporate name "The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation.
Perpetual Succession.
2. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes shall, as a Federal corporation, have perpetual succession.
Membership.
3. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes shall be a membership corporation. Its members shall consist of all persons now or hereafter members of the tribe, as provided by its duly ratified and approved constitution and bylaws.
Management.
4. The tribal council of the Confederated Tribes established in accordance with the said constitution and bylaws of the tribe, shall exercise all the corporate powers hereinafter enumerated.
Corporate Powers.
5. The tribe, subject to any restrictions contained in the Constitution and laws of the United States, or in the constitution and bylaws of the said tribe, shall have the following corporate powers, in addition to all powers already conferred or guaranteed by the tribal constitution and bylaws:
(a) To adopt, use, and alter at its pleasure corporate seal.

(b) To purchase, take by gift, bequest, or otherwise, own, hold, manage, operate, and dispose of property of every description, real and personal, subject to the following limitations:

1. No sale or mortgage, may be made by the tribe of any land, or interests in land, including water power sites, water rights, oil, gas and other mineral rights, now or hereafter held by the tribe within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation.

2. No mortgage may be made by the tribe of any standing timber on any land now or hereafter held by the tribe within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation.

3. No leases, permits (which terms shall not include land assignments to members of the tribe), or timber-sale contracts covering any land or interests in land now or hereafter held by the tribe within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation shall be made by the tribe for a longer term than 10 years, and all such leases, permits, or contracts must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior or by his duly authorized representative; but oil and gas leases, water power leases, or any leases requiring substantial improvements of the land may be made for longer periods when authorized by law.

4. No action shall be taken by or in behalf of the tribe which conflicts with regulations authorized by section 6 of the act of June 18, 1934, or in any way operates to destroy or injure the tribal grazing lands, timber, or other natural resources of the Flathead Reservation.

5. No distribution of corporate property to members shall be made except out of net income.

(c) To issue interests in corporate property in exchange for restricted Indian lands.

(d) To borrow money from the Indian credit fund in accordance with the terms of section 10 of the act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), or from any other governmental agency, or from any member or association of members of the tribe, and to use such funds directly for productive tribal enterprises, or to loan money thus borrowed to individual members or associations of members of the tribe: Provided, That the amount of indebtedness to which the tribe may subject itself shall not exceed $100,000, except with the express approval of the Secretary of the Interior.

(e) To engage in any business that will further the economic well-being of the members of the tribe or to undertake any activity of any nature whatever, not inconsistent with law or with any provisions of this charter.

(f) To make and perform contracts and agreements of every description, not inconsistent with law or with any provisions of this charter, with any person, association, or corporation, with any municipality or any county, or with the United States or the State of Montana, including agreements with the State of Montana for the rendition of public services and including contracts with the United States or the of Montana or any agency of either for the development of water-power sites within the reservation: Provided, That all contracts involving payment of money by the corporation in excess of $5,000 in any one fiscal year, or involving the development of water-power sites within the reservation, shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the interior or his duly authorized representative.

(g) To pledge or assign chattels or future tribal income due or to become due to the tribe under any notes, leases, or other contracts, whether or not such notes, leases, or contracts are in existence at the time: Provided, That such agreements of pledge or assignment shall not extend more than 10 years from the date of execution and shall not cover more than one-half the net tribal income in any 1 year: And provided further, That any such agreement shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior or his duly authorized representative.

(h) To deposit corporate funds, from whatever source derived, in any National or State bank to the extent that such funds are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or secured by a surety bond, or other security, approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or to deposit such funds in the postal savings bank or with a bonded disbursing officer of United States to the credit of the tribe.

(i) To sue and to be sued in courts of competent jurisdiction within the United States; but the grant or exercise of such power to sue and to be sued shall not be deemed a consent by the said tribe or by the United States to the levy of any judgment, lien, or attachment upon the property of the tribe other than income or chattels specially pledged or assigned.

(j) To exercise such further incidental powers, not inconsistent with law, as may be necessary to the conduct of corporate business.

Termination of Supervisory Powers.
6. At any time after 10 years from the effective date of this charter, upon the request of the tribal council of the Confederated Tribes for the termination of any supervisory power reserved to the Secretary of the Interior under sections 5b (3), 5d, 5f, 5g, 5h, and section 8 of this charter, the Secretary of the Interior, if he deems it wise and expedient so to do, shall thereupon submit the question of such termination or grant for ratification by the tribe. If the Secretary of the Interior shall approve such termination, it shall be effective upon ratification by a majority vote of the adult members of the tribe residing on the reservation, at an election in which at least 30 percent of the eligible voters vote. If the Secretary disapprove such termination, or fail to approve or disapprove it within 90 days after its receipt, it may then be submitted by the Secretary or by the tribal council to popular referendum of the adult members of the tribe actually living within the reservation, and if approved by two-thirds of the eligible voters shall be effective.
Corporate Property.
7. No property rights of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, as heretofore constituted, shall be in any way impaired by anything contained in this charter, and the tribal ownership of unallotted lands, whether or not assigned to the use of any particular individuals, is hereby expressly recognized. The individually owned property of members of the tribe shall not be subject to any corporate debts or liabilities, without such owners' consent. Any existing lawful debts of the tribe shall continue in force, except as such debts may be satisfied or cancelled pursuant to law.
Corporate Dividends.
8. The tribe in may issue to each of its members a non-transferable certificate of membership evidencing the equal share of each member in the assets of the tribe and may distribute per capita, among the recognized members of the tribe, all profits of corporate enterprises over and above sums necessary to defray corporate obligations to members of the tribe or to other persons and over and above all sums which may be devoted to the establishment of a reserve fund, the construction of public works, the costs of public enterprises, the expenses of tribal government, the needs of charity, or other corporate purpose. Any such distribution of profits in any 1 year amounting to a per capita cash payment of $100 or more, or amounting to a distribution of more than one-half of the accrued surplus, shall not be made without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
Corporate Accounts.
9. The officers of the tribe shall maintain accurate and complete public accounts of the financial affairs of the tribe, which shall clearly show all credits, debts, pledges, and assignments, and shall furnish an annual balance sheet and report of the financial affairs of the tribe to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The treasurer of the tribe shall be the custodian of all moneys which come under the jurisdiction or control of the tribal council. He shall pay out money in accordance with the orders and resolutions of the council, and no disbursements shall be made without the signature or approval of the treasurer. He shall keep accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall make written reports of same to the tribal council at each regular and special meeting. He shall be bonded in such an amount as the council by resolution shall provide, such bond to be approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The books of the treasurer shall be audited at the direction of the council or of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and shall be open to inspection by members of the tribe or duly authorized representatives of the Government at all reasonable times.
Amendments.
10. This charter shall not be revoked or surrendered except by act of Congress, but amendments may be proposed by resolutions of the council which, if approved by the Secretary of the Interior, to be effective shall be ratified by a majority vote of the adult members living on the reservation at a popular referendum in which at least 30 percent of the eligible voters vote.
Ratification.
11. This charter shall be effective from and after the date of its ratification by a majority vote of the adult members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes living on the Flathead Reservation, provided at least 30 percent of the eligible voters shall vote, such ratification to be formally certified by the superintendent of the Flathead Agency and the chairmanof the tribal council of the Confederated Tribes.

    Submitted by the Secretary of the Interior for ratification by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in a popular referendum to be held on April 25, 1936.

T. A. WALTERS,

Acting Secretary of the Interior.

[SEAL]

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 21, 1936.

CERTIFICATION

    Pursuant to section 17 of the act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), this charter, issued on April 21, 1936, by the Secretary of the Interior to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, was duly submitted for ratification to the adult Indians living on the reservation and was on April 25, 1936, duly ratified by a vote of 425 for and 129 against, in an election in which over 30 percent of those entitled to vote cast their ballots.

EDWIN DUPUIS,

Chairman of the Tribal Council.

L. W. SHOTWELL,

Superintendent, Flathead Agency.