Constitution . . .
OF THE TE-MOAK TRIBE OF
WESTERN SHOSHONE INDIANS
We, the Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada, located at Elko, Battle Mountain and South Fork; in order to improve the governing structure initially established by the Constitution and Bylaws adopted by the adult Indians residing on the reservation at Elko, Nevada, on May 3, 1938, pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (48 Stat. 984), and approved on August 24, 1938; to provide an opportunity for other Te-Moak Communities of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada to become part of this Tribe; to conserve our Tribal property; to develop our resources; to administer justice; to promote the welfare of ourselves and our descendants, and to otherwise govern the affairs of this Tribe, do ordain and establish this Constitution pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, as amended.
ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Tribal Membership shall include:
(a) All persons of at least one-quarter (1/4) degree Shoshone Indian blood whose names appear on the official census roll of the Elko Indian Colony as of January 1, 1937, hereafter called Base Roll 1.Sec. 2. Loss of Membership
(a) The Tribal Council shall cancel the membership of any adult person who relinquishes in writing his membership in the Tribe. The legal guardian of any non compos mentis adult may act in his stead.Sec. 3. Appeal of refusal of membership. Any person refused membership by the Tribal Council shall have the right to appeal in accordance with tribal ordinances.
Sec. 4. Future membership. The Tribal Council shall have power to enact ordinances governing adoption, loss of membership, and future membership in accordance with the standards stated herein; and shall maintain a current membership roll of the Tribe listed by constituent Band.
ARTICLE 2 - TERRITORY AND JURISDICTION
The territory and jurisdiction of the Tribe shall extend to all reservation lands which include all lands within the exterior boundaries of the Elko Colony, Battle Mountain Colony, South Fork Reservation (including Odgers Ranch and Ruby Valley Reservation), and all other sites held in trust for or owned by the Tribe or any of its constituent Bands, or other trust lands occupied by members of the Tribe which may be made subject to the jurisdiction of the Tribe by majority vote of the Indians residing thereon and any other lands heretofore or hereafter acquired by the United States, the Tribe or any of its constituent Bands and held by the United States as trustee. In line with applicable Federal Law, persons and property within the the territory of the Tribe shall be subject to Tribal jurisdiction.
ARTICLE 3 - CONSTITUENT BANDS
Section 1. Present Bands. Those groups of tribal members affiliated with Battle Mountain Colony, Elko Colony and South Fork Reservation (including Odgers Ranch and Ruby Valley) shall be constituent Bands of the Tribe.
Sec. 2. Additional Bands.
(a) Each group of at least fifty (50) Indians, who are members of the Tribe, may be recognized as a distinct Band of the Tribe with all the powers granted to Tribal Bands by this Constitution upon organization of itself for local self-government and approval of the Tribal Council.
Section 1. Governing Bodies.
The executive and legislative powers of the Tribe shall be vested in a
Tribal Council known as the Tribal Council of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western
Shoshone Indians of Nevada, and in Band Councils, one Band Council for
Sec. 2. Composition of Tribal Council.
(a) The initial composition of the Tribal Council shall consist of eight (8) members; four (4) from Elko, two (2) from Battle Mountain and two (2) from South Fork selected from and by the membership of each of the respective Band Councils.Sec. 3. Powers of the Tribal Council. The Tribal Council shall exercise, in addition to all other powers lawfully granted to it, the powers listed in this Section; provided, that the exercise of such powers shall not conflict with Federal Law or terms of this Constitution:
(a) To negotiate, consult, and contract with Federal, State, local and Tribal Governments, private enterprises, individuals and other organizations;
Sec. 5. Duties of Tribal Officers.
(a) Tribal Chairperson. The Tribal Chairperson shall have the following duties, powers, and restrictions:(1) Shall be the primary representative of the Tribe;(b) Tribal Vice Chairperson. The Tribal Vice Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson and in the absence of the Chairperson shall assume the duties and powers of the Chairperson.
(c) Tribal Secretary. The Tribal Secretary shall preserve all ordinances, resolutions and minutes of the Tribal Council and make the same available to all Tribal members during regular business hours.
(d) Tribal Finance Officer. The Tribal Finance Officer:(1) Shall be responsible for the funds of the Tribe;
(5) Shall be bonded as required by law or by the Tribal Council. All Tribal financial records shall be audited annually. Copies of such audit report shall be submitted to the Tribal Council and to the Superintendent.
Sec. 7. Removal and Recall from Tribal Council.
(a) Removal by Tribal Council. Any Tribal Council member, other than the Tribal Chairperson, may be removed from the Tribal Council for improper conduct or gross neglect of duty by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all Tribal Council members except the one being considered for removal. The number of Tribal Council members shall be reduced by one (1) in determining whether there is a two-thirds (2/3) vote for this purpose and the member charged shall not vote on the question of his/her removal. No vote for removal shall be taken until after the member has had a fair hearing at which to reply to all charges. No such hearing shall be held unless the member has been given, at least fifteen (15) days in advance, a written notice of the time and place of the hearing and a written statement of the alleged acts of improper conduct or gross neglect.
(b) Removal by a Band Council. A Band representative to the Tribal Council may be removed from such position by his or her Band Council for any good cause by the -majority vote of all members of that Band Council except when such Band representative is also serving as Tribal Chairperson.
(c) Recall of Band Representative to the Tribal Council. Except when the Band representative is also serving as the Tribal Chairperson, Bands may recall their representatives to the Tribal Council in the manner set forth in this Subsection.
Sec. 8. Recall of Tribal Chairperson.(1) Upon the Band Council's receipt of a valid petition signed by at least one-half (112) of the registered voters of the Band to recall its representative to the Tribal Council, it shall be the duty of the Band Council to direct the Band Election Committee to call and conduct a special election in the Band to determine whether such representative should be recalled from the Tribal Council.
(a) The Tribal Chairperson shall be recalled from the office of Tribal Chairperson only in the manner set forth in this Section. Recall from the office of Tribal Chairperson does not affect that individual's membership on the Tribal Council.Sec. 9. Action on Petitions For Recall.
(a) Recall petitions under Sections 7, 8, and 17 of this Article shall be presented to the appropriate Chairperson or, in the absence of the Chairperson or in the event the Chairperson is the subject of the petition, to the appropriate Vice Chairperson.Sec. 10. Resignation or Recall From Tribal Council. A member of the Tribal Council may resign from the Tribal Council without resigning from the Band Council. Recall from the Tribal Council under Sections 7 or 8 above shall not affect a person's membership on the Band Council.
Sec. 11. Composition of Band Councils.
(a) The voters of each recognized Band shall elect seven (7) of its members who shall constitute a Band Council;Sec. 12. Powers of Band Councils. Consistent with this Constitution, Federal and Tribal law, the Band Councils shall have the power to:
(a) Consult with representatives of Federal, State and local Governments, business, and all other persons on matters of Band interest;
Sec. 14. Band Council Actions Consistent With Law. No action of any Band Council shall be inconsistent with Federal Law, this Constitution, or ordinances and resolutions of the Tribe.
Sec. 15. Duties of Band Officers.
(a) Band Chairperson. The Chairperson of each Band Council:(1) Shall call and preside over meetings of the Band Council and Band membership;(b) Band Vice Chairperson The Band Vice Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson and in the absence of the Chairperson shall assume the duties and powers of the Chairperson.
Sec. 16. Vacancies in Band Council. If any position on the Band Council shall become vacant for any reason other than the expiration of the term of office, the Band Council shall call a special election to fill the vacancy; provided, that in the event the vacancy occurs less than six (6) months from the next regular election, the Band Council shall appoint, by vote of its membership, a person who meets the qualifications of a candidate for that office to fill the unexpired portion of the term.(1) Shall be responsible for all funds of the Band;
Sec. 17. Removal and Recall From Band Council. Except when the Band Council member is also serving as the -Tribal Chairperson, Band Council members may be removed or recalled in the manner set forth in this Section.
(a) Removal. A Band Council member may be removed from the Band Council for improper conduct or gross neglect of duty when at least four (4) Band Council members vote in favor of removal. The member charged shall not vote. No such vote shall be taken until after the member has had a fair hearing at which to reply to all charges. No such hearing shall be held unless the member has been given, at least fifteen (15) days in advance, a written notice of the time and place of the hearing and a written statement of the alleged acts of improper conduct or gross neglect.
Sec. 18. Refusal of Band Council to Act on Recall. If any Band Council shall fail or refuse to act within thirty (30) days of its receipt of a: valid petition for recall, the petitioner's may bring the matter to the Tribal Council which shall act in place of the Band Council in the manner outlined in Section 17 of this Article.(1) Upon receipt of a valid petition by at least one-half (1/2) of the registered voters of the Band to recall a Band Council member, it shall be the duty of the Band Council to call a special election in the Band to determine whether such representative should be recalled from the Band Council.
Sec. 19. Manner of Conducting Business. Both the Tribal Council and the Band Councils shall follow these provisions:
(a) Regular Meetings. Regular public meetings of each Council shall be held monthly on a date set by resolution and at such other times as the Council shall provide.
(d) Items of Business. The meetings of the Council shall cover the following items in appropriate fashion:Sec. 20. Legislative Actions.(1) Call to order;(e) Procedures. This Constitution and any ordinance, resolution or motion consistent with it shall govern the procedures of the meeting.
(a) Ordinances. Tribal Ordinances are the laws of the Tribe and shall govern matters of general applicability. Ordinances shall be collected and published from time to time for the information of interested persons and an official copy of every ordinance shall at all regular business hours be available for inspection at the Tribal office and the Band offices.Sec. 21. Enactment Clause. Every ordinance shall begin with the words: “Be it enacted
by the Tribal Council ... “ Every resolution shall begin with the words: “Be it resolved by
the __________ Council ...”
ARTICLE 5 - REGISTRATION AND VOTING
Section 1. Registration.
(a) All enrolled members of the Tribe who have reached the age of eighteen (18) years may register to vote at the Band where the person resides or the nearest Band if the person resides off trust lands; provided, that persons who are seventeen (17) years of age shall be permitted to register for the forthcoming election if they will be eighteen (18) years old by the date of the election. If a Band shall refuse to register- a person, the person may apply to the Tribal Council for registration. If found eligible, the Tribal Council shall thereupon register the applicant and assign him/her to the appropriate Band.
Sec. 3. Absentee Voting. Absentee Voting shall be provided for under the Tribal Election Ordinance.
ARTICLE 6 - CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE
Section 1. Eligibility of Candidates. To be a candidate for any elective office, a person must:
(a) Be enrolled as a member of the Te-Moak Tribe;Sec. 2. Ruling on Candidacy. It shall be the duty of the Band Election Committee to inform prospective candidates at least fifteen (15) days prior to the election whether they qualify as candidates and to post in a public place the names of all candidates at least ten (10) days before the election.
Sec. 3. Appeal Rights of Rejected Candidates.
Any person who is refused candidacy by the Band Election Committee may petition the Tribal Council to certify the person as a candidate. The Tribal Council shall immediately consider such a petition and shall render a decision at least ten (10) days before the election.
ARTICLE 7 - ELECTIONS
Section 1. Band Council Elections. The first election of Band Council members under this Constitution shall be called by the governing body existing under the 1938 Constitution within sixty (60) days after the effective date of this Constitution, pursuant to Section 2 of Article 12. An election shall be held during the same month each third year thereafter. Members of the Council shall officially take office on the day following certification of the election results.
Sec. 2. Tribal Council Elections. Each Band Council shall select its representatives to the Tribal Council and certify their names to the Tribal Council within fourteen (14) days after the Band Council elections.
Sec. 3. Tribal Chairperson Election. The election for Tribal Chairperson shall be held within twenty-one (21) days after the Band Council elections.
Sec. 4. Day of Election.
(a) The election for Band Council members shall be held on the same day in each Band.Sec. 5. Officially Take Office. The Tribal Chairperson and the members of the Tribal Council shall officially take office on the next work day following certification of the Tribal Chairperson election results.
Sec. 6. Oath of Office. Each member of the
Tribal or Band Council and each officer or subordinate officer, elected
or appointed here under, shall take the following oath of office as administered
by the Chief Judge of the Tribal Court, or in his/her absence, the Chairman
of the Tribal Election Board, prior to assuming the duties thereof:
“I ______________________ do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada; that I will carry out, faithfully and impartially, the duties of my office to the best of my ability; that I will promote and protect -the best interests of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada."
(a) conducting all elections by secret ballot;
(f) the establishment of Band Election Committees and a Tribal Election Board having responsibility to ensure that the respective Band and Tribal elections are conducted objectively and fairly.Sec. 9. Election Committees. Each Band Council shall appoint an impartial Election Committee composed of three (3) or more persons to conduct all Band elections in accordance with this Constitution and the Tribal Election Ordinance, and shall certify the results of such elections to the Band Council within five (5) days after an election.
Sec. 10. The Tribal Election Board shall be composed of one (1) of the members from each of the several Band Election Committees.
ARTICLE 8 - JUDICIAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT
Section 1. Tribal Courts. There shall be a court of general jurisdiction and a Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction.
Sec. 2. Powers of the Courts. All judicial powers of the Tribe shall be vested in the Judicial Branch of Government, including such powers as may in the future be granted to the Tribe by any law of the United States, or other authority.
Sec. 3. Jurisdiction. The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law or equity arising under this Constitution or Tribal enactments. Decisions of the Tribal Courts shall be binding upon all persons and property within the jurisdiction of the Tribe as referenced in Article 2. Jurisdiction of suits against the Tribe or any constituent Band is limited to suits brought by a member, or members, of the Tribe or by one of the Bands- or by the Tribe. The appellate court of the Tribe shall be the final interpreter of this Constitution and tribal laws.
Sec. 4. Term of Office and Qualifications.
(a) Term of Office. The judges of both Tribal Courts shall be appointed by the Tribal Council for six (6) years terms, except for the initial appointments to fill those positions. At the time of the initial appointments, the length of the term for approximately half of the judges on each court shall be for three (3) years in order to establish a system of staggered terms of office.Sec. 5. Compensation. Tribal judges shall receive for their services, compensation which shall not be diminished during their term of office.
Sec. 6. Recall of Judges and Filling of Vacancies.
(a) A judge shall be unseated from office only in the manner set forth in Section 8 of Article 4.
Section 1. Rights of Tribal Members. The Tribe, in exercising powers of self-government, shall not:
(a) 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;
Section 1. Use of Tribal Lands. Tribal lands may be used by Tribal members and nonmembers by lease, permit, assignment, or other appropriate contract, subject to the following rules:
(a) Leases. Tribal lands may be leased by the Tribal Council with the consent of the Band Council concerned. Tribal lands within a Band area may be leased by the Band Council of that Band for periods of twelve (12) -months or less.Sec. 2. Ordinances. The Tribal Council may enact additional regulations which are in harmony with this Constitution governing and use of Tribal lands.
Sec. 3. Fees. Fees, if any, for leases, permits, assignments and other contracts dealing with the use of Tribal lands shall be as determined by the Tribal Council, by resolution or ordinances, and shall be paid to the Tribe or Band whichever is the granting party.
Sec. 4. Approval of Secretary of Interior Necessary. All leases, permits, assignments or contracts of any kind pertaining to Tribal land or Tribal real property are subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, or his authorized representative.
ARTICLE 11 - POPULAR PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT
Section 1. Tribal Initiative. The registered voters of the Tribe shall have the right to propose legislation and vote by secret ballot to determine whether it will be adopted or rejected. Upon receipt of a valid petition signed by at. least thirty percent (30%) of the registered voters, the Secretary of the Tribal Council shall direct the Tribal Election Board to call an election to be conducted pursuant to the election ordinance no later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the valid petition; provided, that if the next regular election is six (6) months or less from the date the petition is filed, the balloting on the initiative shall take place at that election. An affirmative vote by a majority of those who cast ballots shall determine whether the proposal is adopted; provided, that at least thirty percent (30%) of the registered voters cast ballots in such election.
Sec. 2. Tribal Referendum. Upon the request of the majority of the members of the Tribal Council, any enacted or proposed ordinance or resolution of the Tribal Council shall be submitted by the Election Board to a popular referendum of registered voters. The registered voters shall by majority vote, in such referendum, decide whether the ordinance or resolution shall thereafter be in effect; provided, that at least thirty percent (30%) of the registered voters shall vote in such referendum.
Sec. 3. Band Initiative. The registered voters of each Band shall have the right to propose legislation within the scope of Band authorities and vote by secret ballot to determine whether it will be adopted or rejected. Upon receipt of a valid petition by at least thirty percent (30%) of the Band's registered voters, the Band Secretary shall direct the Band Election Committee to call an election to be conducted pursuant to the Tribal election ordinance. The election shall be conducted in the manner set forth in Section I of this Article and the same time periods shall apply.
Sec. 4. Band Referendum. Upon the request of the majority of the members of the Band Council, any enacted or proposed resolution of the Band Council shall be submitted by the Band Election Committee to a popular referendum of the registered voters. The registered voters shall, by majority vote, in such referendum, decide whether the resolution shall thereafter be in effect; provided, that at least thirty percent (30%) of the registered voters shall vote in such referendum.
ARTICLE 12 - ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION
Section 1. Adoption. This Constitution shall become effective when adopted by a majority vote of the qualified voters who cast ballots at an election called and conducted pursuant to regulations of the Secretary of the Interior for the purpose of adopting this Constitution; provided, that at least thirty percent (30%) of those registered to vote, cast their ballots and the Secretary of the Interior shall have approved the same. This Constitution shall become effective on the date of such approval.
Sec. 2. First Election.
(a) Incumbent members of the governing body on the effective date of this Constitution shall continue to serve until replaced in accordance with this Section.Sec. 3. Savings Clause. All ordinances, resolutions and other expressions of policy of the Tribe or the Band Councils of whatever nature predating the effective date of this Constitution are ratified and continued in full force and effect if such are consistent with this Constitution.
Sec. 4. Prior Disharmonious Actions Nullified. All ordinances, resolutions and other expressions of policy of the Tribe or the Band Councils of whatever nature predating the effective date of this Constitution that are not consistent with this Constitution are superseded to the extent they are inconsistent with this Constitution.
Sec. 5. Former Constitution and Bylaws. The Constitution and Bylaws of the Te-Moak Bands of- Western Shoshone Indians, Nevada, approved August 24, 1938, is hereby superseded.
ARTICLE 13 - AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution. This Constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Tribe who cast ballots in an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior and conducted pursuant to his/her regulations; provided, that at least thirty percent (30%) of those duly registered to vote shall cast ballots in such election; but no amendment shall become effective until it is approved by the Secretary of the Interior or his authorized representative.
Sec. 2. Election for Amendments. It shall be the duty, of the Secretary of the Interior to call an election on any proposed amendment upon receipt of a resolution adopted by twothirds (213) of the entire Tribal Council or upon receipt of a petition signed by at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the registered voters of the Tribe.
ARTICLE 14 - CERTIFICATION OF RESULTS OF ELECTION
Pursuant to an order issued on April 30th,
1982, by John W. Fritz, Deputy Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs
(Operations), this constitution of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone
Indians of Nevada, was submitted for adoption to the qualified voters of
the Tribe and was on August 17th, 1982, duly adopted by a vote of
and 43 against, in an election in which at least thirty percent
(30%) of the 193 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).
Date: August 18, 1982 Davis GonzalesWilliam Woods
Election Board Member
ARTICLE 15 - APPROVAL
In that this Constitution was duly adopted as evidenced by Article 14, I, John W. Fritz, Deputy Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs )Operations), by virtue of the authority granted to the Secretary of the Interior by the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended, and delegated to me by 209 DM 8.3, do hereby approve this Constitution of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada. It is effective as of this date; provided, that nothing in this approval shall be construed as authorizing any action under this document that would be contrary to Federal Law.
Washington, D.C.John W. Fritz
Date 26 August 1982
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