CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
of the Flathead Reservation, as Amended
We, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation,
Montana, in order to establish a more responsible organization, promote
our general welfare, conserve and develop our lands and resources, and
secure to ourselves and our posterity the power to exercise certain rights
of self-government not inconsistent with Federal, State, and local laws,
do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederated Tribes of
the Flathead Reservation.
The jurisdiction of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Indians
shall extend to the territory within the original confines of the Flathead
Reservation as defined in the Treaty of July 16, 1855, and to such other
lands without such boundaries, as may here-after be added thereto under
any law of the United States, except as otherwise provided by law.
Section l. Confirmation of Rolls. The membership of the
Confederated Tribes of the Flathead Reservation is confirmed in accordance
with the per capita rolls as from time to time prepared.
Section 2. Present Membership. Membership in the Tribes
on and after the date of the adoption of this amendment shall consist of
all living persons whose names appear on the per capita roll of the Confederated
Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Montana, as prepared
for the per capita distribution as shown on the per capita roll paid in
February 1959 together with all children of such members, born too late
to be included on such per capita roll and prior to the effective date
of this section who possess one-fourth (1/4) or more Salish or Kootenai
Blood or both and are born to a member of the Confederated Tribes of the
Flathead Indian Reservation. subject to review by the Secretary of the
Interior, the Tribal Council shall make any necessary corrections in this
1959 membership roll so that no one eligible for membership under prior
constitutional provisions shall be excluded therefrom.
Section 3. Future Membership. Future membership may be
regulated from time to time by ordinance of the Confederated Tribes subject
to review by the Secretary of the Interior. Until and unless an ordinance
is adopted any person shall be enrolled as a member who shall (a) apply,
or have application made on his behalf, establishing eligibility under
this provision; (b) show that he is a natural child of a member of the
Confederated Tribes; (c) that he possesses one-quarter (1/4) degree or
more blood of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes or both, of the Flathead Indian
Reservation, Montana; (d) is not enrolled on some other reservation.
Section 4. Adoption. The Tribal Council shall have the
power to enact and promulgate ordinances, subject to review by the Secretary
of the Interior, governing the adoption of persons as members of the Confederated
Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Section 5. Loss of Membership. Membership in the Confederated
Tribes may be lost (1) by resignation in writing to the Tribal Council;
(2) by enrollment of the member with another Indian tribe; (3) by establishing
a legal residence in a foreign country; (4) upon proof of lack of eligibility
for enrollment, or fraud in obtaining enrollment, with due notice and opportunity
to be heard and defend before the Tribal Council, subject to appeal to
the Secretary of the Interior, whose decision shall be confined to the
record made in such proceeding which, if supported by substantial evidence,
shall be binding.
Section 6. Definitions. Wherever the term "Indian Blood"
shall have been used herein or in tribal ordinances, unless the context
shall require a different meaning, it shall be determined to mean the blood
of either or both the Kootenai or the Salish Tribes of the Flathead Reservation.
Section 7. Current Membership Roll. The membership roll
of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation
shall be kept current by striking therefrom the names of persons who have
died or have lost membership pursuant to this Constitution and adding thereto
the names of persons who shall have established eligibility or been adopted.
The roll so prepared shall be the basis for determining the right of persons
whose names appear thereon to share in annual per capita distribution of
funds or in any other tribal property, subject to Secretarial approval.
Section 8. Rules of Procedure. The Tribal Council shall
have the authority to prescribe rules to be followed in compiling a membership
roll in accordance with the provisions of this article, the completed roll
to be approved by the Tribal Council of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai
Tribes. In case of distribution of tribal assets, the roll shall be submitted
to the Secretary of the Interior for final approval as may be provided
Section 9. Rights of Membership are Prospective. No person
shall be entitled to receive a per capita payment or share in any other
tribal assets which were distributed prior to the date of his actual enrollment.
The Tribal Council
Section 1. The governing body of the Confederated Salish
and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation shall be the Tribal Council.
Section 2. The Council shall consist of ten councilmen
to be elected from the districts as set forth hereafter, and Chiefs Martin
Charlo and Eneas Paul Koostahtah.
Section 3. Representation from the districts hereby designated
shall be as follows: Jocko Valley and Mission Districts, two councilmen
each; Ronan, Pablo, Polson, Elmo-Dayton, Hot Springs-Camas Prairie, and
Dixon, one councilman each.
Section 4. The Tribal Council shall have the power to
change the districts and the representation from each district, based on
community organization or otherwise, as deemed advisable, such change to
be made by ordinance, but the total number of delegates shall not be changed
as provided for in section 2 of article III of this Constitution.
Section 5. The Tribal Council so organized shall elect
from within its own number a chairman, and a vice-chairman, and from within
or without its own membership, a secretary, treasurer, sergeant-at-arms,
and such other officers and committees as may be deemed necessary.
Section 6. No person shall be a candidate for membership
in the Tribal Council unless he shall be a member of the Confederated Tribes
of the Flathead Reservation and shall have resided in the district of his
candidacy for a period of one year next preceding the election.
Section 7. The Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Flathead Reservation shall be the sole judge of the qualifications of its members.
Nominations and Elections
Section 1. The first election of a Tribal Council under
this Constitution shall be called and supervised by the present Tribal
Council within 30 days after the ratification and approval of this Constitution,
and thereafter elections shall be held every two years on the third Saturday
prior to the expiration of the terms of office of the members of the Tribal
Council. At the first election, five councilmen shall be elected for a
period of two years and five for a period of four years. The term of office
of a councilman shall be for a period of four years unless otherwise provided
Section 2. The Tribal Council or an election board appointed
by the Council shall determine rules and regulations governing all elections.
Section 3. Any qualified member of the Confederated Tribes
may announce his candidacy for the Council, within the district of his
residence, notifying the Secretary of the Tribal Council in writing of
his candidacy at least 15 days prior to the Election. It shall be the duty
of the Secretary of the Tribal Council to post in each district at least
10 days before the election, the names of all candidates for the Council
who have met those requirements. Where more than two members have filed
for an office a Primary Election shall be held at least 30 days prior to
the General Election. Only the two candidates for each office receiving
the most votes at such Primary Election shall be eligible to run for office
in the General Election. Where no more than two members have filed for
an office, a Primary Election will be unnecessary.
Section 4. The Tribal Council, or a board appointed by
the Council, shall certify to the election of the members of the Council
within 5 days after the election returns.
Section 5. The Tribal Council, or a board appointed by the Tribal Council, shall designate the polling places and appoint all election officials.
Vacancies and Removals
Section 1. If a councilman or official shall die, resign,
permanently leave the reservation, or be removed from office, the Council
shall declare the position vacant and appoint a successor to fill the unexpired
term, provided that the person chosen to fill such vacancy shall be from
the district in which such vacancy occurs.
Section 2. Any councilman who is proven guilty of improper
conduct or gross neglect of duty may be expelled from the Council by a
two-thirds vote of the membership of the Council voting in favor of such
expulsion, and provided further, 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 five days
before the meeting at which he is to appear.
Powers and Duties of the Tribal Council
Section 1. The Tribal Council shall have the power, subject
to any limitations imposed by the Statutes or the constitution of the United
States and subject to all express restrictions upon such powers contained
in this Constitution and attached Bylaws;
(a) To regulate the uses and disposition of tribal property, to protect
and preserve the tribal property, wildlife and natural resources of the
Confederated Tribes, to cultivate Indian arts, crafts, and culture, to
administer charity; to protect the health, security, and general welfare
of the Confederated Tribes.
(b) To employ legal counsel for the protection and advancement of the rights of the Flathead confederated Tribes and their members, the choice of counsel and fixing of fees to be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
(c) To negotiate with the Federal, State, and local governments on behalf
of the confederated Tribes, and to advise and consult with the representatives
of the Departments of the Government of the United States on all matters
affecting the affairs of the Confederated Tribes.
(d) To approve or veto any sale, disposition, lease, or encumbrance
of tribal lands and tribal assets which may be authorized or executed by
the Secretary of the Interior, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, or any
other agency of the Government, provided that no tribal lands shall
be sold or encumbered or leased for a period in excess of five years, except
for Governmental purposes.
(e) To advise with the Secretary of the Interior with regard to all
appropriation estimates or Federal projects for the benefit of the Confederated
Tribes, prior to the submission of such estimates to the Congress.
(f) To manage all economic affairs and enterprises of the Confederated
Tribes in accordance with the terms of a charter to be issued by the Secretary
of the Interior.
(g) To make assignments of tribal lands to members of the Confederated
Tribes in conformity with article VIII of this Constitution.
(h) To appropriate for tribal use of the reservation any available applicable
tribal funds, provided that any such appropriation in excess of $25,000
shall be subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior.
(i) To promulgate and enforce ordinances, subject to review by the Secretary
of the Interior, which would provide for assessments or license fees upon
nonmembers doing business within the reservation, or obtaining special
rights or privileges, and the same may also be applied to members of the
Confederated Tribes, provided such ordinances have been approved by a referendum
of the Confederated Tribes.
(j) To exclude from the restricted lands of the reservation persons
not legally entitled to reside thereon, under ordinances which may be subject
to review by the Secretary of the Interior.
(k) To enact resolutions or ordinances not inconsistent with article
II of this Constitution governing adoptions and abandonment of membership.
(l) To promulgate and enforce ordinances which shall be subject to review
by the Secretary of the Interior, governing the conduct of members of the
Confederated Tribes, and providing for the maintenance of law and order
and the administration of justice by the establishment of an Indian Court,
and defining its powers and duties.
(m) To purchase land of members of the Confederated Tribes for public
purposes under condemnation proceedings in courts of competent jurisdiction.
(n) To promulgate and enforce ordinances which are intended to safeguard
and promote the peace, safety, morals, and general welfare of the Confederated
Tribes by regulating the conduct of trade and the use and disposition of
property upon the reservation, providing that any ordinance directly affecting
nonmembers shall be subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior.
(o) To charter subordinate organizations for economic purposes and to
regulate the activities of all cooperative and other associations which
may be organized under any charter issued under this Constitution.
(p) To regulate the inheritance of real and personal property, other
than allotted lands, within the Flathead Reservation, subject to review
by the Secretary of the Interior.
(q) To regulate the domestic relations of members of the Confederated
(r) To recommend and provide for the appointment of guardians for orphans,
minor members of the Confederated Tribes, and incompetents subject to the
approval of the Secretary of the Interior, and to administer tribal and
other funds or property which may be transferred or entrusted to the Confederated
Tribes or Tribal Council for this purpose.
(s) To create and maintain a tribal fund by accepting grants or donations
from any person, State, or the United States.
(t) To delegate to subordinate boards or to cooperative associations
which are open to all members of the Confederated Tribes, any of the foregoing
powers, reserving the right to review any action taken by virtue of such
(u) To adopt resolutions or ordinances to effectuate any of the foregoing
Section 2. 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 ten days thereafter, approve or disapprove the same, and if such
ordinance or resolution is approved, it shall thereupon become effective,
but the superintendent shall transmit of copy of the same, bearing his
endorsement, to the Secretary of the Interior who may, within 90 days from
the date of enactment, rescind said ordinance or resolution for any cause,
by notifying the council of such action: Provided. That if the Superintendent
shall refuse to approve any resolution or ordinance submitted to him, within
ten days after its enactment, he shall advise the Council of his reasons
therefor, and the Council, if such reasons appear to be insufficient, may
refer it to the Secretary of the Interior, who may pass upon same and either
approve or disapprove it within 90 days from its enactment.
Section 3. The council of the Confederated Tribes may
exercise such further powers as may in the future be delegated to it by
the Federal Government, either through order of the Secretary of the Interior
or by Congress, or by the State Government or by members of the Confederated
Section 4. Any rights and powers heretofore vested in
the confederated Tribes but not expressly referred to in this Constitution
shall not be abridged by this article, but may be exercised by the members
of the Confederated Tribes through the adoption of appropriate bylaws and
Bill of Rights
Section 1. All members of the Confederated Tribes over
the age of 18 years shall have the right to vote in all tribal elections,
subject to any restricts as to residence as set forth in Article IV.
Section 2. All members of the Confederated Tribes shall
be accorded equal opportunities to participate in the economic resources
and activities of the reservation.
Section 3. All members of the Confederated Tribes may
enjoy without hindrance freedom of worship, speech, press, and assembly.
Section 4. Any member of the confederated Tribes accused
of any offense, shall have the right to a prompt, open, and public hearing,
with due notice of the offense charged, and shall be permitted to summon
witnesses in his own behalf and trial be jury shall be accorded, when duly
requested, by any member accused of any offense punishable by more than
30 days' imprisonment, and excessive bail or cruel or unusual punishment
shall not be imposed.
Section 1. Land Transactions. subject to any limitations
imposed by the Constitution and Bylaws, to any applicable Federal statute
and to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, the Tribal Council
(l) Purchase or receive by gift or relinquishment land or any interest
therein, and may lease, exchange (with or without the giving or receipt
of other consideration), encumber, and assign tribal lands or any interest
(2) Adopt ordinances or resolutions governing any or all such transactions.
Section 2. Saving Clause. Nothing herein shall
be held to impair rights heretofore acquired in any allotment or assignment
held by any individual.
Section 1. Upon a petition of at least one-third (1/3)
of the eligible voters of the Confederated Tribes, or upon the request
of a majority of the members of the Tribal Council, any enacted or proposed
ordinance or resolution of the council shall be submitted to a popular
referendum, and the vote of a majority of the qualified voters voting in
such referendum shall be conclusive and binding on the Tribal Council,
provided that at least thirty percent (30%) of the eligible voters shall
vote in such election.
Section 1. This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended
by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Confederated Tribes voting
at an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior,
provided that at least thirty percent (30%) 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 two-thirds of the Council, or upon presentation
of a petition signed by one-third (1/3) of the qualified voters, members
of the Confederated Tribes.
Indian Civil Rights Act, 25 U.S.C. Section 1302
No Indian tribe in exercising powers of self-government shall--
(1) make or enforce any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion,
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the
people peaceably to assemble and to petition for a redress of grievances;
(2) violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizures, nor issue
warrants, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing
to be seized;
(3) subject any person for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy;
(4) compel any person in any criminal case to be a witness against himself;
(5) take any private property for a public use without just compensation;
(6) deny to any person in a criminal proceeding the right to a speedy
and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation,
to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process
for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and at his own expense to have the
assistance of counsel for his defense;
(7) require excessive bail, impose excessive fines, inflict cruel and
unusual punishments, and in no event impose for conviction of any one offense
any penalty or punishment greater than imprisonment for a term of (one
year) or a fine of ($5000) or both;
(8) deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection
of its laws or deprive any person of liberty or property without due process
(9) pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law; or
(10) deny to any person accused of an offense punishable by imprisonment
the right, upon request, to a trial by jury of not less than six persons.
The Tribal Council
Section 1. The Chairman of the Council shall preside over
all meetings of the Council, perform all duties of chairman, and exercise
any authority detailed to him, and he shall be entitled to vote on all
Section 2. The vice chairman shall assist the chairman
when called on so to do, in the absence of the chairman shall preside,
and when so presiding shall have all the privileges, duties, and responsibilities
of the chairman.
Section 3. The Council secretary shall forward a copy
of the minutes of all meetings to the Superintendent of the Reservation
and to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
Section 4. The duties of all appointed boards or officers
of the organization shall be clearly defined by resolutions of the Council
at the time of their creation or appointment. Such boards and officers
shall report from time to time as required to the Council and their activities
and decisions shall be subject to review by the Council upon petition of
any person aggrieved.
Section 5. Newly elected members who have been duly certified
shall be installed at the first regular meeting of the Tribal Council.
Section 6. Each member of the Tribal Council 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 Bylaws. The following form of oath of
office shall be given: "I, __________________________________, do solemnly
swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the
United States against all enemies, to carry out faithfully and impartially,
the duties of my office to the best of my ability; to cooperate, promote,
and protect the best interests of my Tribe, in accordance with this Constitution
Section 7. Regular meetings of the Tribal Council shall
be held on the first Friday of January, April, July, and October, at 9:00
a.m., at the Flathead Agency.
Section 8. Special meetings may be called by a written
notice signed by the chairman or a majority of the Tribal Council and when
so called the Tribal council shall have power to transact business as in
Section 9. No business shall be transacted unless a quorum
is present which shall consist of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire membership.
Section 10. Order of business:
(a) Call to order by chairman.
(b) Roll call.
(c) Reading of minutes of last meeting.
(d) Unfinished business.
(f) New business.
Section 11. It shall be the duty of each member of the
Tribal Council to make reports to the district from which he is elected,
concerning the proceedings of the Tribal Council.
Section 12. The Tribal council may prescribe such salaries for officers or members of the council as it deems advisable, from such funds as may be available.
Ordinances and Resolutions
Section 1. All final decisions of the Council on matters
of general and permanent interest to the members of the Confederated Tribes
shall be embodied in ordinances. Such ordinances shall be published from
time to time for the information and education of the members of the Confederated
Section 2. All final decisions of the Council on matters
of temporary interest (such as action on the reservation budget for a single
year, or petitions to Congress or the Secretary of the Interior) or relating
especially to particular individuals or officials (such as adoption of
members, instructions for tribal employees or rules of order for the Council)
shall be embodied in resolutions. Such resolutions shall be recorded in
a special book which shall be open to inspection by members of the Confederated
Section 3. All questions of procedure (such as acceptance
of Committee reports or invitations to outsiders to speak) shall be decided
by action of the Council or by ruling of the Chairman, if no objection
is heard. In all ordinances, resolutions or motions the Council may act
by majority vote, but all matters of importance shall be fully discussed
and a reasonable attempt shall be made to secure unanimous agreement.
Section 4. Legislative forms. Every ordinance shall begin
with the words: "Be it enacted by the Council of the Confederated Salish
and Kootenai Tribes--."
Section 5. Every resolution shall begin with the words:
"Be it resolved by the Council of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai
Section 6. Every ordinance or resolution shall contain
a recital of the laws of the United States and the provisions of this Constitution
under which authority for the said ordinance or resolution is found.
Ratification of Constitution and Bylaws
This Constitution and the attached Bylaws, when adopted by a majority
vote of the voters of the Confederated Tribes voting at a special election
called by the Secretary of the Interior, in which at least thirty (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.