DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
OF THE GILA RIVER
INDIAN COMMUNITY, ARIZONA
APPROVED MARCH 17, 1960
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF GILA RIVIER
INDIAN COMMUNITY OF ARIZONA
We, the People of, the Gila River Indian Reservation, in order to show our gratitude to Almighty God, and to preserve in ourselves the rights of self government and to provide a means for the orderly transaction of community business and the free exprression of the community establish this Constitution and Bylaws for the government of the people of this reservations henceforth to be known as the Gila River Indian Community.
SECTION I. For the convenience of brevity and unless otherwise specified, the following terms will be construed to have the meanings set forth in this paragraph:
(a) Community-Gila River Indian Community.SEC. 2. The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise. Any restrictions on or limitations of rights or powers shall not restrict or limit rights or powers conveyed to the incorporated Community in its Charter of Incorporation unless specifically stated.
(b) Council-Gila River Indian Community Council.
(c) Reservation-Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona.
(d) 'I'he Secretary of the Interior-The Secretary of the Interior of the United States, or his duly authorized representative.
(e) Superintendent-The Superintendent of the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs under which the Reservation is placed for administrative purposes, or his successor in office.
(f) Governor-Governor of the Gila River Indian Community.
(g) Lieutenant Governor-Lieutenant Governor of the Gila River Indian Community.
(h) Treasurer-Treasurer of the Gila River Indian Commmunity.
(i) Secretary-Secretary of the Gila River Indian Community Council.
(j) Councilman-Male or female member of the Gila River Indian Community Council.
(k) He-He or she; wherever used the masculine shall include the feminine.
The jurisdiction of the Community shall extend to all lands now comprised within the Reservation and to such other lands as may hereafter be acquired for the use and benefit of the Community and be added thereto.
SECTION 1. The membership of the Community shall be determined as follows:
(a) All persons of Indian blood whose names appear, or rightfully should appear, on the official allotment roll of the Gila River Reservation or are members or should be members under the Constitution and Bylaws (Constitution and Bylaws of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona) approved May 14, 1936.SEC. 2. A census for the purpose of establishing a current and complete roll of the members of the Community shall be taken within three years from the date of the adoption of this Constitution and thereafter every ten (10) years as coincides with the general Census of the United States.
(b) All children of members wherever born shall be entitled to membership in the Community if they are of at least one-fourth Indian blood.
ARTICLE IV-RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
All political power is inherent in the people. Governments
derive their powers from the consent of the governed, and are established
to protect and maintain individual rights.
A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free government:
1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
2. The right of petition and of the people peaceably to assemble shall never be abridged.
3. Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.
4. No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.
5. Justice in all cases shall be administered openly, and without unnecessary delay.
6. All elections shall be free and equal, and no power shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.
7. Freedom of religion or conscience shall not be abridged.
The enumeration in this Constitution of the foregoing rights shall not be construed as denying or disparaging other fundamental rights of the people.
ARTICLE V--GOVERNING BODY
SECTION 1. The governing body of the Community shall
be known as the Gila River Indian Community Council and shall consist of
seventeen (17) members, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of
their respective districts.
SEC. 2. Each district of the Reservation shall be represented by one councilman, plus one councilman for each additional three hundred (300) members in excess of one hundred fifty-one (151) members residing in the district. In the event that, on the basis prescribed, the number of councilmen so determined should exceed or be less than seventeen (17), the unit of apportionment for representatives in excess of one shall be increased, or decreased, by ten (10) or such multiple of ten (10) as will maintain the number of councilmen at seventeen (17).
SEC. 3. Nine (9) members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
SEC. 4. The Governor, or in his absence the Lieutenant Governor, will be the presiding officer of the Council. He shall be permitted to participate in discussion and shall be permitted to vote only in the case of a tie. His functions at Council meetings shall be in conformance with Bylaws or Ordinances of the Community.
In the absence of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor the Council shall elect an acting chairman from among its own members.
ARTICLE VI-QUALIFICATIONS OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1. No person shall be elected or hold office
as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Chief Judge, Associate Judges, or Councilmen
unless he (1) is a member of the Community; (2) has reached the age of
twenty-five (25) years; (3) has been living in the particular district
he is to represent for at least sixty (60) days immediately preceding the
election; (4) has been living on the Reservation for at least one year
immediately preceding the election. Additional qualifications may be prescribed
SEC. 2. No person who, within the year preceding the election, has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude shall be eligible to hold office in the Community.
ARTICLE VII-APPOINTED OFFICIALS AND COMMITTEEMEN
SECTION 1. The Secretary shall be appointed by the
Council from within or without its own membership. He shall be a member
of the Community.
SEC. 2. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Council from within or without the membership of the Community.
SEC. 3. Standing Committees and Boards shall be appointed by the Council from within or without its own membership.
SEC. 4. Special Committees shall be appointed by the Governor, from within or without the membership of the Community, when such committees are authorized by the Council.
ARTICLE VIII-TENURE OF OFFICE
SECTION 1. Councilmen shall be elected from their
respective districts for a term of three (3) years. They shall take office
at the first regular Council meeting in June following their election and
shall serve until their respective successors have been duly elected and
SEC. 2. The Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Chief Judge and Associate Judges shall be elected from the Community-at-large for a term of three (3) years. They shall take office the first day of January following their election and shall serve until their respective successors have been duly elected and qualified. The incumbent Governor and Lieutenant Governor, whose terms would normally expire October 1960, and the incumbent Chief Judge and Associate Judges shall serve until January 1, 1961, in order to permit orderly establishment of the tenure provided in this Constitution.
SEC. 3. The Secretary shall be appointed by the Council at its first regular meeting in June for a period of one year beginning July lst.
SEC. 4. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Council at its first regular meeting every third June beginning June 1960 for a period of three (3) years beginning the succeeding July 1st.
SEC. 5. Standing Committeemen or Board members shall be appointed for periods of three (3) years, unless otherwise ordered by the council.
SEC. 6. Special Committeemen are appointed for a specific purpose and when their assignment is completed the committee shall automatically be dissolved.
SEC. 7. Should it become necessary, because of vacancies, to make appointments other than at the first regular Council meeting in June, that fraction of a year in which the appointment is made shall constitute a full year toward the term of appointment, but compensation shall be based upon the time actually served.
SEC. 8. Elected or appointed officials may he elected or appointed for successive terms.
SEC. 9. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Chief Judge, Associate Judges, Councilmen, and officials duly appointed or elected to office prior to the adoption of this Constitution shall serve until their respective successors have been duly elected or appointed and qualified.
SECTION 1. During the absence or inability of the
Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall have all powers, privileges and
duties of the Governor.
SEC. 2. The Council shall declare that a vacancy exists when a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Chief Judge, Associate Judge, or Councilman is removed for cause, resigns, moves from the Reservation, or when a Councilman moves from the district he represents.
SEC. 3. Should a vacancy exist from any cause whatsoever in the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall immediately succeed to the Office of Governor, and the office of Lieutenant Governor shall thereupon be vacant.
SEC. 4. Should a vacancy exist from any cause whatsoever in the office of Lieutenant Governor, Chief Judge, Associate Judge, or Councilman, a successor shall be elected at a special election called by the Council within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs. The successor shall hold office until the expiration of the regular term of his predecessor. Should a vacancy occur within six (6) months or less of the regularly scheduled election, the Council may waive the special election and allow the vacancy to exist until the successor is elected at the regularly scheduled election.
SECTION 1. The election of the Governor, the Lieutenant
Governor, the Chief Judge and the Associate Judges shall be held triennially
on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, beginning November
SEC. 2. The election of Councilmen shall be held annually on the first Tuesday in May, beginning May 1960, for Councilmen whose terms expire the following June.
SEC. 3. All adult members of the Community, male or female, who have attained the age of twenty-one years shall, unless non compos mentis, have the right to vote in any election.
SEC. 4. The manner of making nominations and holding elections shall be in conformity with appropriate ordinances enacted by the Council.
SEC. 5. The Council shall be the final judge of all elections.
SECTION 1. For purposes of representation and administration
the Reservation shall be divided into seven (7) districts, as follows:
District 1 shall consist of all of that portion of the Reservation included in Sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 34, 35, and 36, Township 4 South, Range 7 East; Sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12,15 and 22, Township 5 South, Range 7 East; and all of Townships 4 and 5 South, Range 8 East (North and South Blackwater).
District 2 shall consist of all of that portion of the Reservation included in Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, Township 4 South, Range 7 East; and Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21, Township 5 South, Range 7 East (Sacaton Flats).
District 3 shall consist of all of that portion of the Reservation lying south of the Gila River and included in Townships 4 and 5 South, Range 6 East (Cottonwood, Sacaton and Progressive Colony).
District 4 shall, consist of all of that portion of the Reservation lying north of the Gila River in Townships 2, 3, and 4 South, Ranges.4, 5, and 6 East (Santan, Lower Santan, Stotonic, Snaketown and Goodyear).
District 5 shall consist of all of that portion of the Reservation lying south of the Gila River in Townships 3, 4 and 5 South, Ranges 4 and 5 East (Sweetwater, Bapchule, Vah-ki, Wetcamp and Sacate).
District 6 shall consist of all of that portion of the Reservation included in Townships 1, 2, 3, and 4 South, Range 2 and 3 East (Santa Cruz, Gila Crossing and Co-op).
District 7 shall consist of all of that portion of the Reservation included in Township 1 North and Townships 1 and 2 South, Range 1 East (Maricopa District).
SEC. 2. The Council from time to time may by ordinance change the foregoing number and area of Districts according to the change in population.
SEC. 3. Each district may elect a District Council made up of a representative from each of the villages or settlements within the district, in conformity with ordinances which may be enacted by the Council. A District Council shall serve as an. advisory board and shall perform such other local administrative duties as may be assigned to it by the Council. The District Councils shall not have power to adopt or enact regulatory measures.
ARTICLE XII-REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
SECTION 1. Any official of the Community who is finally
convicted in a Federal, State or Indian Court of any offense involving
moral turpitude shall automatically be removed from office.
SEC. 2. Any elected official of the Community who is found by the Council to be guilty of improper conduct or gross neglect of duty or to have failed to perform the duties of his office for a period of sixty (60) days unless excused therefrom by the Council, may be expelled by the affirmative vote of not less than twelve (12) of the Council members favoring such expulsion, provided that the accused official shall first be given full and fair opportunity to reply to any and all charges at a designated Council meeting.
A written statement of the charges against such charged official shall be mailed postage prepaid or delivered to his last known place of abode at least ten (10) days before the meeting at which he is to appear. All witnesses requested by such official shall be subpoenaed by the Council. When the Council is sitting for impeachment purposes, all witnesses shall testify under oath or affirmation. The decision of the Council shall be final.
SEC. 3. The Council shall enact ordinances which will define what constitutes (1) improper conduct; (2) a crime involving moral turpitude, and (3) gross neglect of duty.
SEC. 4. Every elected official of the Community is subject to recall by voters of the district or districts from which he was elected as follows:
(a) A recall may be initiated by a recall petition signed by a number of qualified voters exceeding twenty percent (20%) of the vote cast for the position at the last election. Petition shall be filed with the Secretary who shall, within five (5) days, serve notice on the official by mailing notice to the official's last known address.
(b) Every recall petition must contain a statement, in not more than two hundred (200) words, of the grounds of such demand and must be filed at the office of the Council. Each signer of such recall petition must add to his signature, the date of his signing said petition and his place of residence. The mark of a person unable to write his name must be witnessed by two persons who shall sign as witnesses. The person circulating such petition must make and subscribe an oath on each sheet that the signatures thereon are genuine.
(c) If said official offers his resignation it shall be automatically accepted. If he does not resign within ten (10) days after recall petition is filed, an election shall be ordered by the Council to be held not less than twenty (20) nor more than thirty (30) days after such order to determine whether such official shall be recalled. Such recall may be held at a special election called for that purpose or may be held at the same time as and concurrent with any other election. Not less than ten (10) days prior to the election the official may file with the Council a statement of justification containing not more than two hundred (200) words. On the ballot of such election shall be printed the reason for recall as set forth in the petition, and such justification as has been filed by the official. He shall continue to hold office until the result of said election shall be officially declared.
(d) No recall petition shall be circulated against any official until he shall have held his office for a period of one (1) year. After one recall petition and election, no further recall petitions shall be filed against the same official within one (1) year from said recall election. No recall election shall be held if an election for the office is scheduled within ninety (90) days after the filing of the recall petition.
SEC. 5. Any official, committee member or board member appointed by the Council may be removed or discharged by a majority vote of the Council
A referendum on any enacted or proposed ordinance or resolution or other action of the Council shall be called by a petition of ten percent (10%) or more of the qualified voters of the Community or by resolution of the Council. Such referendum may be held at a special election called for that purpose or may he held at the same time as and concurrent with any other election. The result of such referendum shall be immediately noted in the Council minutes by the Secretary and shall be conclusive and binding upon the Council.
SECTION 1. The people of the Community reserve unto
themselves the power to propose ordinances, resolutions, or other actions
independently of the Council.
SEC. 2. Any proposed initiative measure shall be presented to the Council accompanied by a petition signed by not less than ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters of the Community. Upon receipt of such petition the Council shall within sixty (60) days:
(a) Adopt the initiated measure without alteration, orSEC. 3. The result of such initiative election shall be binding upon the Council.
(b) Set the matter for vote of the qualified voters at an election to be held within one hundred twenty (120) days of the time such petition was presented. Such election may be held at a special election called for that purpose or may be held at the same time as and concurrent with any other election.
ARTICLE XV-POWERS OF THE GILA RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY COUNCIL
SECTION 1. The Council shall exercise the following powers, subject to any limitations imposed by the applicable statutes of the United States and subject further to all expressed restrictions upon such powers contained in this Constitution.
(a) Powers not subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior, except where specifically required by LawSEC. 2. Any resolution or ordinance which, by the terms of this Constitution, is subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior shall be delivered to the Superintendent not later than five (5) days after enactment and the Superintendent shall note the date of receipt on the original and the Council copy. The Superintendent within ten (10) days after receipt of the resolution or ordinance shall either approve or disapprove it in writing. The ordinance or resolution shall be deemed approved if not specifically disapproved within ten (10) day period.(1) To negotiate with the Federal, State and local governments on behalf of the Community(b) Subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior.
(2) To employ legal counsel, the choice of counsel and fixing of fees to be subject to approvalof the Secretary of the Interior, so long as such approval is required by Federal Law.
(3) To prevent, the sale, disposition, lease, use or encumbrance of Community lands, interests in lands, or other Community assets
(4) To advise the Secretary of the lnterior and the Congress of the United States of the wishes of the Community with regard to Federal projects or appropriation for the benefit of the Community.
(5) To appoint subordinate officials, committees and boards, and to prescribe their duties and powers.
(6) To provide for the manner of conducting elections.
(7) To regulate its own procedure.
(8) To regulate the domestic relations of members of the Community.
(9) To promote and protect the health, peace, morals, education, and general welfare of the Community and its members.
(10) To expend money in conformance with an adopted budget.
(11) To expend for any public purpose for any fiscal year an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the anticipated net revenue according to the current budget.
(12) To act for and on behalf of members of the Community at the request of such members.
(13) To administer all Community property.
(14) To transfer or convey tribal assets to the incorporated Community and to contract with the incorporated Community for management of tribal assets.
(15) To recognize any district committees, associations or other organizations open to the members of the Community and to approve such organizations, subject however, to the provision that no such committee, association or organization may assume authorities specifically granted to the Council unless by a proper delegation of authority by the Council.
(16) To levy dues, fees, and taxes on members of the Community.
(17) To provide for the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice by establishing a Community Court and police force and defining the powers and duties thereof.
(18) To do such other acts of governmental or public nature as are not prohibited by specifically applicable Federal laws or by this Constitution.
(19) To pass ordinances necessary or incidental to the exercise of any of the foregoing powers.(1) To provide by ordinance for the appointment of guardians for minors and mental incompetents.
(2) To prescribe rules of inheritance which shall not be in conflict with specifically applicable Federal laws.
(3) To levy dues, fees, and taxes on non-members residing or doing business within the Reservation.
(4) To provide by ordinance for removal or exclusion from the territory of the Community non-members whose presence may be injurious to the peace, health, or welfare of the Conununity.
(5) To regulate the use and disposition of property of members of the Community, insofar as such use and disposition affects the welfare of the Community at large.
(6) To establish and regulate subordinate organizations for business purposes.
(7) To purchase or otherwise acquire property of members of the Community for public purposes and to acquire same under condemnation proceedings in courts of competent jurisdictions.
(8) To enact criminal and civil codes or ordinances governing the conduct of members of the Community and non-members on the Reservation.
(9) To prepare and adopt budgets.
(10) To pass ordinances necessary or incidental to the exercise of any of the foregoing powers.
ARTICLE XVI-LAND AND PROPERTY
SECTION 1. The unallotted lands of the Gila, River
Indian Reservation and all lands which may be acquired hereinafter shall
be Community lands.
SEC. 2. The Council in its discretion may adopt ordinances in conformity with which Community lands may be assigned for beneficial use and occupancy to members of the Community.
SEC. 3. Any owners of allotted lands shall not be compelled to relinquish his land or any part thereof, however, allotted lands or any part thereof may be condemned for Community public works, or like Community public purposes, and in such cases the landowner shall receive in return for the condemned land just and equitable compensation prior to the taking. Condemnation proceedings shall not become effective until approved by the Council.
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Gila River Indian Community voting in an election called for the purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, provided that at least thirty (30) percent of those entitled to vote shall vote in such election; but no amendment shall become effective until it shall have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to call an election on any proposed amendment at the request of the Council or upon receipt of a petition signed by five hundred (500) eligible voters, members of the Community.
BYLAWS OF THE GILA RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY
SECTION 1. Each elected and each appointed officer
shall have such powers and perform such duties as are prescribed by the
Constitution and Bylaws, the Community ordinances or the Council. Within
ninety (90) days after the adoption of this Constitution and Bylaws, the
Council shall adopt ordinances specifically designating powers and duties
SEC. 2. The Governor shall be the chief executive officer of the community.
SEC. 3. The Lieutenant-Governor shall assist the Governor when called upon to do so.
SEC. 4. The Secretary shall be the official custodian of all files, records, and correspondence of the Community and of the Community seal. He shall prepare all minutes, resolution and ordinances enacted by the Council and transmit required copies to the Superintendent.
SEC. 5. The Treasurer shall accept, receive, give receipt for and safeguard all funds of the Community. As directed by the Council, he shall deposit all funds, without limitation on the amount in any account, in any national or state bank whose deposits are insured by any agency of the Federal Government or deposit funds with bonded disbursing officer of the United States. All deposits shall be made in the name of the Gila River Indian Community. The Council may require deposits in banks to be collateralized. He shall not pay or disburse any funds of the Community except when properly authorized to do so by the Council.
At the second regular Council meeting each month he shall submit a written report of receipts, disbursements, and the balance in each separate account for the peceding calendar month.
He may designate a duly bonde agent to perform any of his duties under his direction. Executed copy of such designation must be filed with the Secretary.
The books and records of the Treasurer shall be audited at least once a year and at such other times as the Council may direct, by a firm of certified public accountants employed by the Council.
The Treasurer and all others handling Community Funds shall be bonded by a corporate surety on the list approved by the United States Treasury Department, in an amount satisfactory to the Council and approved by the Secretary of the Interior. The Council may authorize a blanket bond.
SEC. 6. The duties and jurisdiction of the Chief Judge and Associate Judges will be enumerated and set forth in ordinances of the Council.
SEC. 7. A duly elected Councilman shall not lose his right to vote at Council meetings because of membership on any committee or holding any office other than Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Chief Judge or Associate Judge.
SEC. 8. Each officer, committeeman or other person assigned, or serving in any capacity for the Council shall at the end of his service in office turn over all correspondence, books, records, and documents to the Secretary.
SEC. 9. The regular meetings of the council shall be held on the first and third Wednesday of each month unless otherwise designated by the Council.
SEC. 10. Special Council meetings may be held at such time and place as:
(a) The Council may designateSEC. 11. Each duly elected or appointed officer shall before assuming the duties of his office be given or subscribe to the following oath of office:
(b) The Governor may by call designate
(c) Written application of five or more members of the Council may designate. The Secretary shall give notice of such meeting to the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and and Councilmen.
"I, --------------------, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies; that I will faithfully and impartially carry out the duties of my office to the best of. my ability; that I will promote, and protect the best interest of the Gila River Indian Community in accordance with its Constitution, Bylaws, and Ordinances, so help me God."
Pursuant to on order approved December 4, 1959, by
the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, the foregoing amended Constitution
and Bylaws of the Gila River Indian Community of Arizona was submitted
for ratification to the Indians of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona,
and was on January 22, 1960, duly adopted by a vote of 761 for, and 476
against, in an election in which at least thirty percent of those entitled
to vote cast their ballots in accordance with Section 16 of the Indian
Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended by the Act
of June 15, 1935 (49 Stat. 378).
JAY R. MORAGO, Jr.
Jay R. Morago, Jr., Governor
Gila Riuer Indian Community
FREEMAN P. WALKER
Freeman Walker , Secretary
Gila River Indian Community
MINTON J. NOLAN
Superintendent, Pima Ageney
Date: February 1, 1960,
I, ROGER ERNST, Assistant Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority granted me by the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended, do hereby approve the attached amended Constitution and Bylaws of the Gila River Indian Community of Arizona as adopted by the Indians of the Gila River Indian Community on January 22, 1960.
Approval recommended: March 17,1960
GLENN L. EMMONS
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Assistant Secretary of the Interior
Date: March 17,1960.