DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
OF THE GILA RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA
INDIAN COMMUNITY, ARIZONA
APPROVED MAY 14,1936
GOVERNIffENT PRINTING OFFICE
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE GILA RIVER
PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY OF ARIZONA
We, the Indians of the Gila River Reservation, in order to show our gratefulness to Almighty God, and to improve ourselves in the arts of civilization and provide a means for the orderly transaction of tribal business and the free expression of the tribal will, do ordain and establish this constitution for the government of the Pima and Maricopa Tribes, henceforward to be known as the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
The jurisdiction of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community shall extend to all lands now recognized within the Gila River Indian Reservation and to any lands that may in the future be added thereto.
The membership of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian
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 shall be members of the community.
(b) A member who remains away from the reservation continuously for a period of 20 years shall automatically forfeit his membership. But if he returns to the reservation he may be reinstated as a member by a majority vote of the council of the community with the consent of the district in which he proposes to take up his residence.
(c) All descendants of members shall be entitled to membership in the community if they are of at least one-quarter degree of Indian blood, but any such descendant having less than this degree of Indian blood may be admitted to membership by a majority vote of the council of the community.
(d) Persons of Indian blood marrying members of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community may be adopted into the community by a three-fourths vote of the council of the community.
(e) No persons other than those enumerated in this article may be adopted as members of the community.
ARTICLE III.-GOVERNING BODY
SECTION 1. Council.-The government of the
Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community shall be vested in a council
elected by the members of the community.
SEC. 2. Basis of representation.-Each district of the reservation shall be represented on the council by 1 member for each 300 people (or a remainder exceeding 150) residing within the district.
SEC. 3. First election-The first election of members of the council shall be called by the Secretary of the Interior as soon as possible after the adoption and ratification of this constitution.
SEC. 4. Rotation of Office. The council members then elected shall agree among themselves or draw lots so as to provide that one-third of the members shall serve for 1 year, one-third for 2 years, and one-third for 3 years.
SEC. 5. Tenure of office.-Thereafter members of the council shall serve for 3 years and one-third of the membership shall be elected each year on the day and month fixed for the first election or if such date falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, then on the following day.
SEC. 6. Election of officers.-The council shall at its first meeting elect from within or without its own membership a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary, and treasurer and such other officials or boards as may he advisable. Persons so elected to office shall not have a vote in the council unless they have been regularly elected to membership therein, but the presiding officer shall in any event have the right to vote in case of a tie.
ARTICLE IV.-DISTRICT ORGANIZATION
SECTION 1. District boundaries.-For purposes
of representation and administration the Gila River Reservation shall be
divided into districts as follows:
District no. 1 shall consist of all that portion of the reservation included in secs. 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 34; 35, and 36, T. 4 S., R. 7 E., secs. 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 15, and 22, T. 5 S., R. 7 E., and T. 4 and 5 S., R. 8 E. (North and South Blackwater).
District no. 2 shall consist of all that portion of the reservation included in secs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, T. 4 S., R. 7 E., and secs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21, T. 5 S., R. 7 E. (Sacaton Flats).
District no. 3 shall consist of all that portion of the reservation lying south of the Gila River and included in Tps. 4 and 5 S., R. 6E. (Cottonwood, Sacaton, and Progressive Colony).
District no. 4 shall consist of all that portion of the reservation lying north of the Gila River in Tps. 2, 3, and 4 S., R. 4, 5, and 6 E. (Santan, Lower Santan, Stotonic,and Snaketown).
District no. 5 shall consist of all that portion of the reservation lying south of the Gila River in Tps. 3, 4, and 5 S., R. 4 and 5 E. (Sweetwater, Bapchule, Vah-ki, Wetcamp, and Sacate).
District no. 6 shall consist of all that portion of the reservation included in Tps. 1, 2, 3, and 4 S., R. 2 and 3E. (Santa Cruz, Gila Crossing, and Co-op.).
District no. 7 shall consist of all that portion of the reservation included in T. 1 N. and Tps. 1 and 2 S., R. 1 E (Maricopa district).
SEC. 2. District council elections.-Each district shall elect a district council in conformity with ordinances passed by the council of the community regulating such elections
SEC. 3. Jurisdiction of district council.-Such district councils shall have no power to pass ordinances but shall make appropriate recommendations to the council of the community and shall perform such local administrative duties as may be assigned to them by the council of the community.
ARTICLE V.-POWERS OF THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
SECTION 1. Powers not subject to review.-The
council of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community shall exercise
the following powers, subject to any limitations imposed by the statutes
or by the Constitution of the United States and subject further to
all expressed restrictions upon such powers contained in this constitution.
(a) To negotiate with the Federal, State, and local Governments on behalf of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
(b) To employ legal counsel, the choice of counsel and fixing of fees to be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
(c) To prevent the sale, disposition, lease, or encumbrance of tribal lands, interests in lands, or other tribal assets without the consent of the tribe.
(d) To advise the Secretary of the Interior and Congress of its wishes with regard to Federal projects or appropriation for the benefit of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
(e) To appoint subordinate boards and officers and to prescribe their duties and powers.
(f) To provide for the manner of conducting elections.
(g) To regulate its own procedure.
(h) To regulate the domestic relations of members of the community.
(i) To protect the public health and morals and to provide for the public welfare.
(j) To pass ordinances necessary or incidental to the exercise of any of the foregoing powers.
SEC. 2. Powers subject to review.-The council of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community shall likewise exercise the following powers subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior.
(a) To appropriate money out of available community funds for salaries of community officials and for other expenses of public business and to recommend the appropriation of tribal and other funds within the control of Congress or of the Secretary of the Interior.
(b) To provide for the appointment of guardians for minors and mental incompetents.
(c) To prescribe rules of inheritance except for allotted lands.
(d) To levy dues, fees, and taxes on members of the community and on nonmembers residing within the reservation, and to require members of the community to contribute labor for public works and enterprises.
(e) To remove or exclude from the territory of the community nonmembers whose presence may be injurious to the peace, health, or welfare of the community.
(f) To administer all tribal lands and property.
(g) To regulate the use and disposition of the property of members of the community, insofar as such use and disposition affects the welfare of the community at large.
(h) To establish and regulate subordinate organizations for business purposes.
(i) To purchase lands of members of the community for public purposes under condemnation proceedings in courts of competent jurisdiction.
(j) To provide for the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice by establishing a tribal court and police force and defining the powers and duties of same; and to lay down criminal and civil codes or ordinances governing the conduct of members of the community and nonmember Indians of the community.
SEC. 3. Manner of review.-Any resolution or ordinance which by the terms of this constitution, is subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior, shall be presented to the superintendent of the reservation,who shall, within 10 days thereafter, approve or disapprove the same.
If the superintendent shall approve any ordinance or resolution, it shall thereupon become effective, but the superintendent shall transmit a copy of the same bearing his endorsement to the Secretary of the Interior, who may, within 90 days from the date of enactment, rescind the said ordinance or resolution for any cause, by notifying the tribal council of such rescission.
If the superintendent shall refuse to approve any resolution or ordinance submitted to him, within 10 days after its enactment, he shall advise the tribal council of his reasons therefor. If these reasons appear to the tribal council insufficient, it may, by a majority vote refer the ordinance or resolution to the Secretary of the Interior, who may, within 90 days from the date of its enactment, approve the same in writing, whereupon the said ordinance or resolution shall become effective.
SEC. 4. Future powers.-The council of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community may exercise such further powers as may in the future be delegated to the community by the Secretary of the Interior, or by any other duly authorized official or agency of the Government.
SEC. 5. Reserved powers.-Any rights and powers heretofore vested in the tribes or bands of the Gila River Indian Reservation but not expressly referred to in this constitution shall not be abridged by this article but may be exercised by the people of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community through the adoption of appropriate bylaws and constitutional amendments.
SECTION 1. Right of suffrage.-All adult members
of the community, male or female, who have attained the age of 21 years
and have resided on the Gila River Reservation for a period of 1 year and
in the district for a period of 60 days immediately preceding the election
shall have the right to vote in any election held under this constitution.
SEC. 2. Manner of making nominations.-The manner of making nominations and holding elections shall be determined by appropriate ordinances or bylaws.
ARTICLE VII.-SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE
SECTION 1. Suspension from office.-Any public official of the
Pima-Maricopa Indian Community who is indicted in a Federal or State court
or convicted in an Indian court of bribery or any other serious offense,
shall automatically be suspended from office. The members, or remaining
members, of the council shall investigate and judge whether the crime is
serious enough to justify impeachment proceedings.
SEC. 2. Impeachment.-Any public official of the Pima-Maricopa Indian Community who is proven guilty of improper conduct or gross neglect of duty may be expelled by the council by a two-thirds vote of the membership of the council voting in favor of such expulsion, provided that the accused member shall be given full and fair opportunity to reply to any and all charges at a designated council meeting. It is further stipulated that any such member shall be given a written statement of the charges against him at least 5 days before the meeting at which he is to appear. Where the council is sitting for impeachment purposes, all parties shall be under oath or affirmation.
SEC. 3. Recall.-(a) Every person elected to a tribal office by the Indians of the Gila River Indian Reservation is subject to recall from such office by the qualified electors of the electoral district from which candidates are elected to such office. Such number of said electors as shall equal 40 per centum of the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election may, by petition, which shall be known as a "recall petition", demand his or her recall.
(b) Every recall petition must contain a general statement, in not more than 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 person circulating such petition must make and subscribe an oath on each sheet that the signatures thereon are genuine.
(c) If said officer offers his resignation it shall be accepted. If he shall not resign within 10 days after a recall petition is filed, a special election shall be ordered to be held, not less than 20 or, more than 30 days after such order, to determine whether such officer be recalled. On the ballots at said election shall be printed the reasons as set forth in the petition, and, in the same number of words, the officer's justification of his course in office. 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 1 year. After one recall petition and special election no further recall petitions shall be filed against the same officer within 1 year from said recall special election.
SEC. 4. Removal of appointed officials.-Any officer or board appointed by the council may be removed or discharged by a majority vote, unless otherwise provided in the bylaws.
At least 15 percent of the qualified electors of the community on petition shall have the right to demand a referendum on any enacted or proposed ordinance or resolution of the community council, the vote of the majority of the qualified voters in such relerendum to be conclusive and binding on the council of the community.
SECTION 1. Unalloted lands.-The unallotted
lands of the Gila River Reservation and all lands which may be hereafter
acquired by or for the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community,
shall be held as community lands forever.
SEC. 2. Assignments.-Community lands may be assigned to members of the community in conformity with the following provisions:
(a) Assignments of land shall be held for life, but may revert to the community if the person holding the assignment fails to make proper use of the land.
(b) At the death of an assignee his requests shall be given due consideration in the reassignment of the land.
(c) Every member of the community who is the head of a family that does not hold any land under the Allotment Act, or agrees to surrender all such lands (including interests in land in heirship status) to the community, shall be entitled to receive an assignment of new land.
(d) The amount of land included in each assignment shall be based upon the amount of land available and the number of applications for land. It shall further be based upon the number of people in the family making application, and how much land they can actually cultivate.
(e) Where an individual now owns allotted land comprising a larger acreage than he would be entitled to receive under the preceding paragraph, he may convey his title to the community in exchange for an assignment of the same land or land of equal value.
(f) Assignments may be made either of specific tracts of land, or of shares in larger tracts, to be used for grazing or other purposes by several families in common.
SEC. 3. Unassigned community lands.-Community land which is not assigned may be used for communal pasture or gardens by the various districts or for public purposes of any sort. Such land may also be leased by the community council, to members of the community, and all proceeds of such leases shall accrue to the community treasury, to be used for the support of the helpless or for any other public purposes of the community.
SEC. 4. Private Ownership.-No owner of allotted lands shall be compelled to relinquish his land except for irrigation canals, roads, public works, or like public purposes, and in such cases the landowner shall receive in return for his land fair and just compensation.
SEC. 5. Specific procedure.-The community council shall prepare and shall submit to popular vote a set of bylaws governing the conditions under which assignments shall be made, the amounts of land to be assigned, the form of agreement signed by the assignee, and the manner of proceeding in the acceptance of relinquishments, and the awarding of assignments.
This constitution and bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of' the community, voting in an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior provided that at least 80 pacent of those entitled to vote shll 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 500 eligible voters, members of the community.
BYLAWS OF THE GILA RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY
ARTICLE I.-DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1. Governor.-The governor of the Gila
River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community shall preside at council meetings,
shall be permitted to participate in debate and shall be entitled to vote
only in case of a tie and shall perform such other duties as the community
SEC. 2. Secretary.- The secretary of the community council shall be the recording and corresponding secretary and shall keep an accurate record of all matters transacted at council meetings.
SEC. 3. Treasurer.-The treasurer of the community having furnished a bond satisfactory to the council and to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, shall have the custody of all moneys belonging to the community. Payment for such bond shall be made out of available funds of the community.
SEC. 4. Lieutenant governor.-The lieutenant governor of the community shall serve as governor during the absence or incapacity of the governor.
ARTICLE II.-QUALIFICATIONS OF OFFICE
SECTION l. General qualifications.-No person shall be elected to the council of the community unless he shall be a member of the community over the age of 25 years and shall have been a resident of the particular district from which he or she is elected for at least l year immediately preceding the election. No member of the council who is affiliated with any organization or individual, not a member of the community, shall vote upon any matter in which such individual or organization has a pecuniary interest, if in the judgment of the council such affiliation shall render him ineapable of openly, freely, and fearlessly working for the best interests and welfare of the Indians of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
SECTION 1. Election procedure.-In case an
election is due in any district, it shall be the duty of the community
council to call the attention of the residents of said district to
such fact at least 30 days prior to the date of such election, naming the
date on which said election is to be held, also naming the place of said
election, which place shall be within the district and at some central
location most convenient to the residents of the district. Ten days after
notification the district shall call a meeting for nomination of candidates.
On the date and place named, the legal voters of the district shall
assemble and the outgoing member representing said district, if present,
shall act as temporary chairman. At once, a permanent chairman shall
be chosen and three tellers who shall be officers and judges of election.
The assembled legal voters of the district shall then proceed to transact
the business for which they have been assembled. Nominations shall
be the thing in order. This having been completed, and the nominations
having been declared closed, the meeting shall be dismissed. The election
shall take place not less than 20 days later; the wishes of the voters
being ascertained by means of a secret ballot. The polls shall close
at 6 p. m. The nominee receiving the majority of all votes cast shall be
declared elected. The newly elected member shall be furnished with
a certificate of his election, to be signed by the permanent chairman and
the three tellers.
SEC. 2. Validity of elections.-The community council shall be the judge of the validity and authenticity of the certificates of election presented to it.
When a councilman is removed for cause, or resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office, the district which he or she represents shall elect a successor at a special election called by the council, to be held within 30 days after the occurrence of the vacancy. The said successor shall hold office until the expiration of the regular term of his predecessor whose place he has taken.
SECTION 1. Regular council meetings.-The regular
meetings of the community council shall be held on the first and third
Wednesday of each month in the district designated by the council at the
SEC. 2. Special council meetings.-Special meetings of the council may be held at the call of the governor or on application of five members, due notice being given to all members at least 2 days before such meeting.
SEC. 3. Quorum.-A majority of the members of the council, one of whom shall be the governor or the lieutenant governor or the secretary shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
ARTICLE VI.-ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
This constitution and the attached bylaws when adopted
by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Pima-Maricopa Tribes
of the Gila River Reservation voting at a special election called by the
Secretary of the Interior in which at least 30 percent of those entitled
to vote shall vote, shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior
for his approval and shall be in force from the date of such approval.
Pursuant to an order approved February 13, 1936, by the Secretary of the Interior, the attached constitution and bylaws was submitted for ratification to the Indians of the Gila River Reservation and was on March 28, 1936, duly ratified by a vote of 753 for and 161 against in an election in which over 30 percent of those entitled to vote cast their ballots, in accordance with section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of June18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended by the act of June 15, 1935 (49 Stat. 378).
Chairman of Election Board.
Secretary of Election Board.
A. E. ROBINSON,
Superintendent in Charge of the Reservation
I, Charles West, Acting 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 constitution and bylaws of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian
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 bylaws are hereby declared inapplicable to the members of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
All officers and employees of the Interior Department are ordered to abide by the provisions of the said constitution and bylaws.
Approval recommended May 9,1936.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Acting Secretary of the Interior.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 14, 1936.
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
of the GILA RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY,
A now article shall be added to the Bylaws of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to read as follows:
ARTICLE VII-BYLAWS ON LAND
SEC. 1. Land Board.-There shall be a Land
Board consisting of one regular member from each district of the reservation
and one advisory member. The governor of the community may select the regular
members from the membership of the council or he may request any district
to select a member to the Land Board. The advisory member of the Land Board
shall be either the Superintendent of the reservation or a person designated
by him. Such advisory member shall be without vote but shall render technical
assistance in all land matters coming before the Board.
SEC. 2. Making of Assigments.-Assignments of commununity land shall be made by the Land Board, with the approval of the community council and the Superintendent of the Gila River Reservation.
SEC. 3. Modification or Revocation of Assignments.-Assignments may be revoked or modified for causes specified in the agreement between the tribe and assignee. Such revocation or cancellation shall be recommended by the Land Board and approved by the community council. An appeal may be taken from the decision of the community council to the Superintendent of the Gila River Reservation, within thirty days after the decision has been rendered. The Superintendent may annul the action of the community council if he finds that it was taken in violation of the rights of the assignee. In case two or more heads of families are combined in any way so as to constitute one family, then all but one assignment of land will be subject to cancellation.
SEC. 4. Forms of Assignments.--The general form of all assignments shall be agreed upon between the community council and the Secretary of the Interior or his duly authorized representative.
SEC 5. Area of Assignments.-The area of land assigned to the head of the household shall be in conformity with the following provisions of the constitution of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community: "The amount of land included in each assignment shall be based upon the amount of land available and the number of applications for land. It shall further be based upon the number of people in, the family making application, and how much land they can actually cultivate.
"Where an individual now owns allotted land comprising a larger acreage then he would be entitled to receive under the preceding paragraph, he may convey his title to the community in exchange for an assignment of the same land or land of equal value." For the present the area of land assigned to a household shall be in conformity with the following rule: "It shall be the rule to assign each head of a family forty (40) acres of land, but more or less than this acreage may be assigned at the discretion of the assignors, under special circumstances and conditions."
Any member of the community may receive an assignment of the land which is now allotted to him and to the members of his household, or he may receive other land of equal value, or if he is landless or if his land is of little value he may receive 40 acres, more or less, in accordance with the rule above set forth depending upon his capacity to work the land and the needs of his household.
SEC. 6. Leasing of Assignments.-Where an assignment has been made, and members of the assignee's household are temporarily unable, by reason of accident or illness, to utilize the land assigned, or where, for any other good cause, a lease of such lands may be justifiable, the council may, upon application of the assignee and upon recommendation of the Land Board, approve a lease of such land to any member of the community, to any association of such members, to any district or to the community itself.
SEC. 7. Exchange of Assignments.-Assignments within the Gila River Reservation may be exchanged between members of the community by mutual agreement, with the approval of the Land Board.
SEC. 8. Procedure of Land Board.-The Land Board before taking any action in assigning land shall post a notice, of the proposed action in the district in which the land is located, and on the land itself, so that anyone claiming prior rights may appear before the Land Board to voice his protest against any improper assignment.
SEC. 9. Unassigned Community Land.-The management of all unassigned land of the community shall be vested in the community council. The council may lease land to members of the community, to associations of such members or to districts of the reservation, for a term of three years or less.
The council may not lease or consent to a lease of any community land to any nonmember of the community but may make contracts of the following kinds, with the approval of the Superintendent of the Gila River Reservation, relative to such lands:
(a) Contracts for the sale of growing crops or pasturage on subjugated community land,
(b) Revocable license for the using of community land by traders,
(c) Revocable permits for beekeeping on community lands,
(d) Permits for airport sites,
(e) Crossing permits for livestock.
SEC. 10. Preference to Members.-Before making any contract with any nonmembers relative to the use of community land, the community council shall allow the members of the community to take up any such contracts upon reasonable terms.
CERTIFICATION OF ADOPTION
Pursuant to an order approved March 2, 1946, by the
Assistant Secretary of the Interior, the foregoing amendment to the Constitution
and Bylaws of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona (Article
IX, Section 5), was submitted for ratification to the qualified voters
of the Gila River Pima,-Maricopa Indian Community, and on May 15, 1946,
was duly ratified by a vote of 745 for, and 107 against, in an election
in which over thirty per cent 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.
DAVID A. JOHNSON,SR.,
A. E. ROBINSON,
Date: August 14,1946.
I, C. Girard Davidson, 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 Amendment I, amending the Constitution and Bylaws of the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona.
Acting Commissioner of
[SEAL] C. GIRARD DAVIDSON,
WASHINGTON, D C., September 9, 1946.