DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
NISQUALLY INDIAN COMMUNITY OF THE
APPROVED SEPTEMBER 9, 1946
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1951
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE NISQUALLY INDIAN COMMUNITY
OF THE NISQUALLY RESERVATION, WASHINGTON
We, the members of the Nisqually Reservation in order to establish a community organization and secure certain privileges and powers offered to us by the Indian Reorganization Act, do ordain and establish this Constitution and By-laws for the Nisqually Indian Community.
The jurisdiction of the Nisqually Indian Community shall extend to the territory within the confines of the Nisqually Reservation as established by the Treaty of Medicine Creek, December 26,1854 (10 Stat. 1132) and by Executive Order January 20, 1857, and such other lands as may hereafter be added thereto under any law of the United States, except as otherwise provided by law.
SECTION 1. The membership of the Nisqually Indian Community shill consist of
(a) All persons of Indian blood whose names appear on the official census roll of the Nisqually Reservation as of July 1, 1945, provided that such roll may be corrected by the Community Council with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.SEC. 2. The governing body shall have the power to promulgate ordinances subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior, governing future membership and the adoption of new members when the resources of the Community make such adoptions feasible.
(b) All children born to any member who is a resident of the Nisqually Indian Community at the time of birth of said children and who are 1/4 degree of Indian blood or more.
ARTICLE III-THE GOVERNING BODY
SECTION 1. The governing body of the Nisqually Indian Community shall be the Community Council, which shall be composed of all qualified voters of the Nisqually Indians. Twenty-five percent of the eligible voters shall constitute a quorum.
SEC. 2. The Community Council shall elect from its own members by secret ballot (a) a chairman, (b) a vice-chairman, (c) a secretary, (d) a treasurer, and (e) such other officers and committees as may be deemed necessary.
SEC. 3. The Community Council shall meet on the first Monday of January and July. If the first Monday should fall on a legal holiday the meeting shall be held on the Tuesday following the regular meeting.
SEC. 4. Within sixty days after the ratification and approval of this Constitution and Bylaws, the Community Council shall be called for the purpose of electing the officers named herein, and it may transact such other business as may be necessary. The officers elected at this meeting shall serve until the January meeting 1947 at which time their successors shall be chosen. Thereafter, officials shall be chosen every two years at the January meeting.
SEC. 5. The Chairman, or 10 percent of the qualified voters, may by written notice, call special meetings of the Community Council.
SEC. 6. The Business Committee shall consist of the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer of the Community Council, and shall perform such duties as may be authorized by that Council.
ARTICLE IV-VACANCIES AND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
SECTION 1. If an officer of the Community Council shall die, permanently leave the Community, or shall be found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor involving dishonesty in any Indian, State, or Federal Court, the Community Council shall declare the position vacant and shall appoint a new member to serve until the next regular election when a successor shall be elected.
SEC. 2. Upon receipt of a petition signed by one-third (1/3) of the eligible voters demanding the recall of any officer of the Community Council, it shall be the duty of the Community Council to call an election on such recall petition. No member may be recalled in any such election unless at least 30 percent of the qualified voters shall vote in the election.
SEC. 3. The Community Council may by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of its members expel any officer for neglect of duty or gross misconduct provided that the accused officer 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 officer shall be given a written statement of the charges against him at least 5 days before the meeting at which he is to appear.
ARTICLE V-POWERS OF THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
SECTION 1. Enumerated Powers.-The Community Council of the Nisqually Indian Community shall exercise the following powers, subject to any limitations imposed by the Statutes or the Constitution of the United States:
(a) To negotiate with the Federal, State, and local governments;SEC. 2. Future Powers.-The Community Council may exercise such further powers as may in the future be delegated to it by the Secretary of the Interior, or any other duly authorized official or agency of the State or Federal Government.
(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 veto any sale, disposition, lease or encumbrance of tribal lands, interests in lands or other tribal assets;
(d) To advise the Secretary of the Interior with regard to all appropriation estimates or Federal projects for the benefit of the Community prior to submission of such estimates to the Bureau of the Budget and to Congress;
(e) To manage all economic affairs and enterprises of the Nisqually Indian Community in accordance with the terms of a charter that may be issued to the Community by the Secretary of the Interior;
(f) To promulgate and enforce ordinances which shall be subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior governing the conduct of members of the Nisqually Indian Community; providing for the manner of making, holding, and revoking assignments of tribal land or interests therein; providing for the levying of taxes and the appropriation of available funds of the Community for public purposes; providing for the licensing of non-members coming upon the reservation for purposes of hunting, fishing, trading, or other business, and for the exclusion from the territory of the Community of persons not so licensed and establishing proper for the enforcement of such ordinances upon the reservation;
(g) To provide for the appointment of guardians for minors and mental incompetents by ordinance or resolution, subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior;
(h) To charter subordinate organizations for economic purposes, and to delegate to such organizations, or to any subordinate boards or officials of the Community, any of the foregoing powers, reserving the right to review any action taken by virtue of such delegated power;
(i) To adopt resolutions not inconsistent with this Constitution and attached Bylaws regulating the procedure of the Community Council and of other Community organizations of the Nisqually Indian Community.
SEC. 3. Reserved Powers.-Any rights and powers heretofore vested in the Nisqually Indians but not expressly referred to in this Constitution, shall not be abridged by this Article, but may be exercised by the members of the Nisqually Indian Community through the adoption of appropriate bylaws and constitutional amendments.
SEC. 4. Manner of Review.-Any resolution or ordinance, which by the terms of this constitution shall be subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior, shall be presented to the Superintendent in charge of the reservation, who shall, within ten days after its enactment, 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 ninety days from the date of enactment, rescind the said ordinance or resolution for any cause, by notifying the Community Council of such decision.
If the Superintendent shall refuse to approve any ordinance or resolution submitted to him within ten days after its enactment, he shall advise the Community Council of his reasons therefor. If these reasons appear to the Council insufficient, it may, by majority vote, refer the ordinance or resolution to the Secretary of the Interior, who may, within ninety days from the date of its enactment, approve the same in writing, whereupon the said ordinance or resolution shall become effective.
ARTICLE VI-BILL OF RIGHTS
SECTION 1. Suffrage.-All members of the Nisqually Indian Community over the age of twenty-one (21) years shall have the right to vote in all Community elections.
SEC. 2. Economic Rights.-All members of the Community shall be accorded equal opportunities to participate in the economic resources and activities of the Community.
SEC. 3. Civil Liberties.-All members of the Community shall enjoy without hindrance, freedom of worship, conscience, speech, press, assembly, and association.
SECTION 1. This Constitution and Bylaws be amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Community, voting at an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior: Provided, That at least 30 percent of those entitled to vote shall vote in such election, but no amendment shall become effective until it shall have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior.
SEC. 2. At any regular or special Community Council meeting, amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws may be proposed to be acted upon at the next semiannual Community Council meeting. If approved by a majority vote at such meeting, the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior, who shall thereupon call an election upon the proposed amendment.
BY-LAWS OF THE NISQUALLY INDIAN COMMUNITY
It shall be the duty of the Chairman to preside over all meetings of the Community Council and carry out all orders of the Council. All members of the Council and all subordinate officers shall assist the chairman in all proper ways to carry out the orders of the Council.
The Community Council Secretary shall keep a full report of all proceedings of each regular and special meeting of the Community Council and of the Business Committee, and shall perform such other duties of like nature as the Community Council shall from time to time by resolution provide, and shall transient copies of the minutes of each meeting to the Superintendent in charge of the reservation and to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
The Community Council Treasurer shall be the custodian of all moneys which may come under the jurisdiction or into the control of the Community Council. He shall pay out money in accordance with the orders and resolutions of the Community Council. He shall keep account of all receipts and disbursements, and shall report the same to the Community Council at each regular meeting. He shall be bonded in such an amount as the Community Council may by resolution, approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, provide. The books of the Council treasurer shall be subject to audit or inspection at the direction of the Community Council or the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Until the treasurer is bonded, the Business Committee may make such provision for the custody and disbursement of funds as shall guarantee their safe and proper disbursement and use.
The subordinate officers of the Community Council shall perform such duties as the Community Council may from time to time provide by resolution.
It shall be the duty of the Community Council and each member thereof to promote the general welfare of members of the Community, and to carry out the provisions and purposes of this Constitution and By-laws.
Each 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 By-laws:
Oath: "I, --------------------------------, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies; that I will carry out faithfully and impartially the duties of my office to the best of my ability; that I will cooperate, promote, and protect the best interests of my people, in accordance with this Constitution and By-laws."
The order of business at any regular or special meeting of the Community Council shall be as follows:
1. Call to order by the chairman;
2. Roll call;
3. Reading of minutes of previous meeting;
4. Reports of committees;
5. Report of the treasurer;
6. Reading of the communications;
7. Unfinished business;
8. New business;
The Community Council shall have the power to elect delegates to sit in a Central General Council of Northwest Indians.
Ratification of Constitution and By-laws.- This Constitution and By-laws, when adopted by a majority vote of the voters of the Nisqually Indians 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.
CERTIFICATION OF ADOPTION
Pursuant to an order approved May 29, 1946, by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, the attached Constitution and By-laws was submitted for ratification to the members of the Nisqually Indian Community of the Nisqually Reservation, Washington, and was on July 27, 1946, duly adopted by a vote of 17 for, and 0 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 June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended by the Act of June 15, 1935 (49 Stat. 378).
Approved: August 1, 1946.
GEORGE P. LAVATTA,
Superintendent, Taholah Agency.
I, C. Girard Davidson, the 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. 948), as amended, do hereby approve the attached Constitution and By-laws of the Nisqually Indian Community of the Nisqually Reservation, Washington.
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 By-laws are hereby declared inapplicable to the members of the Nisqually Indian Community of the Nisqually Reservation, Washington.
All officers and employees of the Interior Department are ordered to abide by the provisions of the said Constitution and By-laws.
Approval recommended: August 22, 1946.
JOHN H. PROVINSE,
Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
[SEAL] C. GIRARD DAVIDSON,
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 9, 1946.