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CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
TURTLE MOUNTAIN BAND OF CHIPPEWA INDIANS
(INCLUDING 1962, 1975, 1990, 1992, 1995 AND 1997
We, the people of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indian of Belcourt, North Dakota, in order to develop and enjoy the advantages of democratic processes and opportunities to promote our general welfare, education, and prosperity, to promote good and law-abiding citizens, do ordain and establish this constitution and Bylaws for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
ARTICLE I - NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
ARTICLE II - JURISDICTION
Section 1. The jurisdiction of this organization shall extend to all land on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in the State of North Dakota and to such other lands as may be acquired by or in behalf of said Tribe and be added thereto under the laws of the United States.
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The membership in the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians shall consist of:
1940 (54 Stat.219), and approved by the Secretary of the Interior on March 15,1943.
b) All descendants of persons whose names appear on the roll defined in Section 1(a) of this Article, provided that such descendants possess one-fourth or more Indian blood, and provided further that such descendants are not domiciled in Canada.
Section 3. Definition. The word "domicile" as used in this Article means a permanent residence.
ARTICLE IV - GOVERNING BODY
Section 1. The governing body shall be the Tribal Council and shall consist of nine (9) members, eight (8) of whom shall be district representatives and one (1) shall be Chairman elected by the tribe as a whole, regardless of the districts.
Section 2. The Tribal Council shall have the authority to regulate its own procedure, except as specified in Article VI, to appoint a Vice-Chairman from its membership, to act in the absence or disability of the Chairman, to appoint subordinate committees, delegates, and employees not otherwise provided for in the constitution, and to provide tenure and duties; provided that any delegation of authority described in this Constitution shall be granted only by written resolution or ordinance and shall be withdrawn in the same manner. (Amendment XIV, Approved February 3, 1995)
Section 3. The Turtle Mountain Tribal Council shall establish a Code of Ethics that will govern all elected officials and tribal personnel to become effective May 1, 1993. (Amendment XV, Approved November 3, 1992)
Section 4. Voting on Council actions shall be by roII caIl. (Amendment XV (b) Approved November 3, 1992)
ARTICLE V - NOMINATION AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot. The candidate or issue receiving the greatest number of votes cast shall prevail. In the event more than one representative is required to be elected for a district, the positions shall be filled by the candidates receiving the most votes in descending order. (Amendment XX, Approved February 5,1997).
b) All eligible resident voters shall register in the district of their residence as provided by tribal ordinance. All eligible nonresident voters shall register with the district of their former residence or affiliation.
b) Eligible candidates shall file their notice of intent to run for office with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Tribal Council, identifying the office for which he is a candidate at least fifteen (15) days before the election date. The Secretary-Treasurer shall post a list of eligible candidates at least twelve (12) days before the election in each voting district.
Section 6. The Reservation shall consist of four (4) district. The districts are described as follows:
a) District 1 - Fishlake Road East to the town of Rolla and open North and South. Two (2) representatives.
c) District 3 - Rolette Road West to Suckerlake Road or Morin Road, and open North and South. Two (2) representatives.
d) District 4 - Suckedake Road or Morin Road West to St. PauI Butte, and open North and South. Two (2) representatives.
Votes for candidates for district representatives shall be cast at large. Eligible voters may vote for two (2) representatives from each of the four (4) districts for a combined total of eight (8) votes cast. (Approved February 3, 1995)
Section 7. District representatives to the Tribal Council shall be elected in even numbered years commencing in the year 1962 and shall hold office for two (2) years and each district shall be entitled toelect two (2) representatives. (Amendment III, Approved April 26, 1962)
ARTICLE VI - OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
Section 1. There shall be the following Tribal Officers: A Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and a Secretary-Treasurer. The Chairman shall be elected on a reservation wide or at large basis for a term of two (2) years or until a successor shall have been elected and qualified. The Vice-Chairman shall be elected from within the Tribal Council and his only duty shall be to serve as presiding officer of the Council in the absence of the Chairman. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be selected by vote of the Tribal Council and the Chairman shall vote on same also if his vote is necessary to break a tie. (Amendment V, Approved April 26, 1962)
Section 2. Chairman. He shall preside at all regular and special meetings. He shall vote only in the case of a tie. He may veto any resolution and ordinance that is passed by the Tribal Council members, however, he must provide a written rationale for the veto. Such vetoed resolution or ordinance must then be presented for a reconsideration vote of the Tribal Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting, but no later than thirty (30) days after the veto. Should the resolution or ordinance fail to pass with at least five (5) affirmative votes or in the event the Tribal Council fails to reconsider the vote within the required thirty (30) daytime period, such resolution or ordinance shall be deemed vetoed and may not be reconsidered for ninety (90) days. The Chairman shall see that all resolutions and ordinances of the Tribal Council are carried into effect. He shall exercise general supervision of all other officers and employees and see that their respective duties are performed. He shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Tribe. (Amendment XVI, Approved February 3, 1995)
Section 3. Secretary-Treasurer. He shall keep the minutes at the principal office of the Tribal Council of all meetings of the Tribal Council. He shall keep the tribal roll, showing all changes therein as required by this Constitution or ordinance duly approved by the Tribal Council. He shall attend to all correspondence, distribution of tribal information or other duties incidental to his office including the reproduction of minutes, resolutions and ordinances and see to their distribution within the deadlines, if there be deadlines. He shall keep and maintain adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the Tribal Council. He shall have care and custody of the funds and valuables of the Tribal Council and deposit same in the name of and to the credit of the Band with such depositors as the Tribal Council may direct and which are acceptable to the Area Director. Disburse funds of the Tribal Council as may be ordered by the Tribal Council, taking proper signed invoices, vouchers or other recordable data. Render to the Tribal Council a monthly statement and report of all his transactions as Treasurer and render also an annual financial statement in the form and with the detail required by the Tribal Council.
ARTICLE VII- TRIBAL COUNCIL PROCEDURES
Section 1. All TribaI Council meetings shall be open to the public and held in a publicly accessible place. A published agenda will be noticed to the Tribal membership at least three (3) days prior to the meeting time. A 30 day comment period must be provided prior to the adoption of any ordinances or amendments to the Tribal Code, whether proposed by resolution or otherwise. Adoption must occur through a roll call vote of the Tribal Council at a publicly held meeting. Special closed meetings of the Tribal Council may be held without public attendance for matters regarding protected personnel privacy considerations and governmental contract concerns that require confidentiality. The Chairman or any three (3) members of the Tribal Council may call special meetings. (Amendment XV, Approved February 3, 1995)
Section 2. A quorum shall consist of five (5) members and no business shall be conducted in the absence of a quorum.
Section 3. The Tribal Council shall cause to be installed, maintained and audited, a complete and detailed accounting system.
Section 4. All officers and employees of the tribe responsible for the safety of property and money shall be bonded in an amount sufficient to insure the tribe from loss.
Section 5. The newly elected district representatives (councilmen) and officers shall be installed in office at the first regular meeting of the Tribal Council after certifications of their election have been issued by the Secretary-Treasurer. In no event shall an individual convicted of a felony be installed into office. (Amendment XXI, Approved February 5, 1997).
Section 6. The duties of any and all other officers or employees shall be prescribed by the Tribal Council. At all general or special meetings of the Tribal Council the members of the Tribal Council shall be paid at hourly rates set by resolution of the Tribal Council. All other officers will be paid per month.
ARTICLE VIII - REFERENDUM AND RECALL
Section 1. Upon receipt of a petition by twenty percent (20%) of the resident voters, or by an affirmative vote of five (5) members of the Tribal Council any enacted or proposed resolution or ordinance of the Tribal Council shall within thirty (30) days be submitted to a referendum of the eligible voters of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Tribe. The majority of the votes cast in such referendum shall be conclusive and binding on the Tribal Council and if the resolution or ordinance is rejected by such vote, such resolution or ordinance shall be null and void, as of the date of the referendum, and shall not be reconsidered for a period of at least six (6) months. The Tribal Council shall call such referendum and prescribe the manner of conducting the vote.
Section 2. The Tribal Council shall enact ordinances which shall prescribe regulations, charges, and reasons for removal or recall of a district representative or officer. The grounds for removal, right of petition, and other factors shall be carefully framed to protect the interest of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Conviction of a felony is grounds for automatic removal of a district representative or other elected official. (Amendment XXIl, Approved February 5, 1997).
Section 3. The Tribal Council by an affirmative vote of the majority shall appoint a replacement to fill any vacancy of a district representative or other elected officer, caused by removal, death, or resignation, provided the term of the replacement shall not extend beyond the next regular election regardless of the length of the unexpired term.
ARTICLE IX - POWERS OF THE TRIBAL COUNCIL
The Tribal Council shall exercise the following powers, subject to any limitations imposed by this Constitution and Bylaws or the laws and regulations of the Federal Government:
(a) Governmental Powers.
Section 1. To represent the Band and to negotiate with the Federal, State, and local governments and with private persons.
Section 2. To employ legal counsel, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, or his duly authorized representative, so long as such approval is required by federal law.
Section 3. To regulate and license where permitted by law all business and professional activities conducted upon the reservation, provided that any assessment upon non-members trading or residing within the jurisdiction of the Band shall be subject to review of the Secretary of the Interior, or his duly authorized representative, where required by law.
Section 4. To enact ordinances to remove from the reservation persons not legally entitled to reside thereon and whose presence may be injurious to the peace, happiness or welfare of the members of the Band, subject to the review of the Secretary of the Interior, or his duly authorized representative.
Section 5. To enact ordinances, subject to the review of the Secretary of the Interior, or his duly authorized representative, governing conduct of the members of the Band and lndians from other tribes on the reservation, providing for the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice by establishing a police force and a tribal court and defining their owers and duties; and regulating the inheritance of property of the members of the Band except trust land.
Section 6. To enact ordinances to provide rules and regulations governing fishing, hunting and trapping on the reservation.
(b) Administrative Powers.
Section 7. To administer any funds within the control of the Band; to make expenditures from available funds for tribal purposes, including salaries and expenses of tribal officials or employees. All expenditures of tribal funds under the control of the Tribal council shall be authorized by resolution duly enacted by the Tribal Council in legal session and the amounts so expended shall be a matter of public record to the members of the Band at all reasonable times.
Section 8. The Tribal Council of the Band shall prepare annual budget requests for advancement to the control of the Band such money as now or may hereafter be deposited to the credit of the Band in the United States Treasury or which may hereafter be appropriated for the use of the Band.
Section 9. To deposit to the credit of the Band of Chippewa lndians tribal funds, without limitation on the amount in any account, in any approved National or State Bank whose deposits are insured by an agency of the Federal Government, or with a bonded disbursing officer of the United States whenever the conditions prescribed by the Secretary of the lnterior, or his authorized representative, in connection with such advances required the advance to be so deposited.
(c) Business Powers.
Section 10. To manage, lease, permit or otherwise deal with Tribal Land, interest in lands and other lands or assets under tribal jurisdiction; and to purchase or otherwise acquire lands, or interest in lands within and outside the Turtle Mountain Reservation, in accordance with law; or dispose of such land, or interest in lands, as authorized by laws. (Amendment X, approved 10/25/90)
Section 11. To engage in any business that will further the economic well-being of the members of the tribe, or to undertake any programs or projects designed for the economic advancement of the people.
Section 12. To borrow money from the Federal Government, or other source, and to direct the use of such funds for productive purposes, or to loan the money thus borrowed to members of the tribe, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, or his authorized representative.
Section 13. To pledge or assign chattel or future income due or to become due, provided such agreement, pledge, assignment or extension thereof shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, or his authorized representative.
Section 14. To make and perform contracts and agreements of every description, not inconsistent with law or the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws, provided that any contract shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, or his authorized representative.
ARTICLE X - FUTURE AND RESERVED POWERS
Section 1. The Tribal Council may exercise such powers as may in the future be granted to the Council by members of the Turtle Mountain Band or the Secretary of the Interior or by any other duly authorized official or agency of the Federal Government, provided such power is accepted by the Tribe by appropriate amendment of this Constitution.
Section 2. Any right of power heretofore vested in the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, but not expressly referred to in this Constitution, shall remain in the Band, and may be exercised by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa lndians or by the Tribal Council through the adoption of appropriate constitutional amendment if that be the wishes of the people.
ARTICLE XI - MANNER OF REVIEW
Section 1. Any resolution or ordinance which by the terms of this Constitution is subject to review by the Secretary of the lnterior shall within ten (10) days of its enactment be presented to the Superintendent of the Turtle Mountain Agency who shall within ten (10) days after its receipt by him approve or disapprove it.
Section 2. If the Superintendent approves any resolution or ordinance it shall thereupon become effective, but the Superintendent shall transmit the enactment bearing his endorsement to the Secretary of the Interior, who may, within ninety (90) days of the date of its receipt by him rescind the resolution or ordinance for any cause by notifying the Turtle Mountain Tribal Council of his veto.
Section 3. If the Superintendent disapproves any resolution or ordinance, he shall within ten (10) days after its receipt by him advise the Tribal Council of his reasons therefore, and if these reasons appear to the Council insufficient, it may, by vote of the five (5) members, refer the resolution or ordinance to the Secretary of the lnterior, and if approved by him in writing, it shall become effective.
ARTICLE XII - ADOPTION
Section 1. This (revised) Constitution, when adopted by a majority vote of the tribal members voting at a special meeting called by the Secretary of the Interior, shall be submitted by the Secretary of the Interior, and shall be in full force and effect from the date of such approval.
ARTICLE XIII - AMENDMENT
Section 1. This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a majority of the qualified voters of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians at an election called for that purpose; provided that at least twenty percent (20%) of the resident voters of the Tribe 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 lnterior or his delegated representative.
Section 2. It shall be the duty of the Tribal Council to call such election on any proposed amendment upon receipt of a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the qualified resident voters of the Tribe or the Tribal Council may call such an election by an affirmative vote of five (5) members of the Tribal Council.
ARTICLE XIV - SEPARATION OF POWERS
(Amendment XI approved November 3,1992)
Section 1. Purpose:
To provide for a separate branch of government free from political interference and conflicts of interest for the development and enhancement of the fair administration of justice.
Section 2. Establishment:
This section shall create a separate and equal judicial branch of government. All judicial powers of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians shall be vested in the Judicial Branch of government (exhaustion of any applicable administrative remedy requirement is still required) and such branch shall consist of the Turtle Mountain Appellate Court, the Tribal Court, the Judicial Board and the elected officials, appointees and employees of said courts.
Section 3. Powers:
b) The Judicial Branch shall have authority to independently develop its operating budget and independently secure funding for its operations directly from funding sources. Nothing within this section shall prohibit the Tribal Council from providing funds from its general accounts to supplement the budget of the court or assist the court in obtaining needed funding.
Persons who possess the requisite qualifications as developed by the Judicial Board and approved by the Tribal Council, shall file their intention of seeking such office with the Secretary/Treasurer in the manner described in ARTICLE V, Section 4(b) of the Turtle Mountain Constitution. Properly registered candidates for the Office of Chief Judge shall then be subjected to a reservation-wide or at large election. The candidate receiving the most votes, as determined by the vote of the people at a duly held election held in conjunction with the tribal general election, shall then be seated as the Chief Judge of the Turtle Mountain Tribe.
b) The position of Associate Judge shall be filled as follows:
c) The position of Chief Clerk of Court shall be filled as follows: Persons who possess the requisite qualifications as developed by the Judicial Board and approved by the Tribal council, shall file their intention of seeking such office with the Secretary/Treasurer in the manner described in ARTICLE V, Section 4 (b) of the Turtle Mountain Constitution. Properly registered candidates for the office of Chief Clerk of Court shall then be subjected to a reservation -wide or at large election. The candidate receiving the most votes, as determined by the vote of the people at a duly held election held in conjunction with the tribal general election, shall then be seated as the Chief Clerk of the Tribal Court of the Turtle Mountain Tribe. The Chief Clerk of court shall not serve in any judicial capacity.
d) All Tribal and/or Special judges shall be appointed in the manner as presently provided in Section 1.0506 of the Turtle Mountain Tribal Code.
e) The term of off ice of the Chief Judge of the Turtle Mountain Tribe and all other judges and Chief Clerk of Court shall be four years. Vacancy in the office of Chief Judge by reason of impeachment, illness or incapacity shall be filled by appointment of one of the currently sitting judges of the Judicial Branch by the Judicial Board. This appointment shall be effective only for the remaining term of the duly elected chief judge. Associate Judges, during the first election term of judges pursuant to this amendment, shall serve for a period of two years. Thereafter, all terms of Associate Judge(s) shall be for a four-year term. The effect of this provision to provide continuity to the court by providing staggered terms for the Chief Judge and Associate Judge(s). Vacancy in the Office of Associate Judge(s) shall be filled by appointment in the manner presently provided in Section 1.0506 of the Turtle Mountain Tribal code. This appointment shall be effective only for the remaining term of the duly elected Associate Judge.
g) No justice of the appellate court or judge of the tribal court shall engage in the practice of law before the Turtle Mountain Tribal or Appellate Court nor shall they hold any public office, elective or appointive, not judicial in nature.
h) All other employees of the judicial branch of government shall be deemed staff employees and shall not serve in any judicial capacity.
b) Impeachment proceedings shall be heard before an impeachment judge empowered to hear only impeachment hearings and who shall serve n no other capacity in the Turtle Mountain Judicial Branch of Government.
c) Qualifications of said special Impeachment Judge: This judge must be currently licensed to practice law in any State with previous experience as a tribal, state or federal judge. This position shall be appointed by the Judicial Board and ratified by the Tribal Council. Funding for this position shall be provided by the Tribal Council.
(i) one lay person from each district; and
(ii) one lay person elected at large who shall serve as the Chairperson of the Judicial Board; and
(iii) one member of the Turtle Mountain Tribal Council; and
The following non-voting advisors:
(iv) two attorneys; and
(v) one member of the Turtle Mountain Judicial Branch.
District lay members shall be enrolled members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, residents of the districts they represent (See also Section 6(a) above) and shall be elected by majority vote of eligible voters of each district at the regularly scheduled general election. Candidates for the Judicial Board shall file their candidacy with the Secretary/Treasurer in the manner described in ARTICLE V, Section 4(b) of the Turtle Mountain Constitution. Attorney Positions shall be appointed by the Judicial Branch of government by consensus of the Chief Judge and Associate Judge(s). The Judicial Branch representatives shall be appointed by consensus of all judges, except the impeachment judge, of the judicial branch of government. The Tribal Council representative shall be appointed by the majority vote of the Tribal Council. Terms of office shall be for a two-year period. No member of the Judicial Board may serve more than two consecutive terms but may be reappointed after their absence from the Judicial Board by at least one term.
d) A special election shall be held no later than 45 days after the effective date of ARTICLE XIV for the purpose of selection the lay members of the Judicial Board. Thereafter, the election of lay members shall occur in conjunction with the regularly scheduled general election.
Section 7. Implementation and Saving Clause:
This amendment establishing an independent Judicial Branch of Government shall take effect 30 days after affirmative vote by the voters of the Turtle Mountain Tribe subject to the following limitation: Section 4 (a) Selection of Judges; The Missouri Plan of judicial appointment shall remain in effect until the next regularly scheduled general election at which time all judicial appointments made pursuant to the Missouri Plan, except for trial and/or special judges shall terminate.
Section 8. Reservation of powers by Tribal council and saving provision of the Tribal Constitution:
a) Only those sections and articles of the current Constitution and Tribal Code are repealed that are necessary to give effect to the above provisions. The Turtle Mountain Tribal Council retains any and all power not provided to the Judicial Branch of Government under this Article. Nothing within this amendment is or shall be construed as a waiver of the sovereignty currently enjoyed by the Turtle Mountain Tribe.