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TIMBISHA SHOSHONE CONSTITUTION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CONSTITUTION OF THE
TIMBISHA SHOSHONE INDIAN TRIBE
Death Valley, California
We, the Timbisha Shoshone Indian Tribe, being a sovereign native people, in order to organize for our common good, to maintain and foster our tribal culture, to protect and conserve our land and natural resources, to promote the social, economic and general welfare of our people, to maintain peace and order, and secure the rights and powers inherent in our sovereign status, guaranteed to us by the laws of the United States, do hereby establish and adopt this document in accordance with the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984) as amended which from this time forward shall govern the Timbisha Shoshone Indian Tribe.
The name of this organization shall be the Timbisha Shoshone Indian Tribe, hereinafter referred to as “the Tribe".
a. All persons who filed as Timbisha Shoshone Indians and were listed on the genealogy roll prepared as of March, 1978 and used to request federal acknowledgment and recognition of the Tribe;
b. All persons who are lineal descendants of any person designated in subsection (a) above and who possess at least one-fourth (1/4) degree Indian blood of which one‑sixteenth (1/16) degree must be Timbisha Shoshone blood;
c. All persons of Indian blood upon whom membership is conferred by adoption.
Any member of the Tribe who is eighteen (18) years old or older shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Tribal Council, provided that not more than one additional immediate family member of any person already serving on the Tribal Council may serve on the Tribal Council. For purposes of this section, "immediate family member" shall mean mother, father, brother, sister, spouse or child.
Section 1. General Council
b. The General Council shall exercise its powers of self government through the initiative, referendum, repeal and recall powers as set forth in this document.
c. The following powers shall be exclusively reserved to the General Council. No exercise of these powers by the Tribal Council or by any other agency or officer of the Tribe shall be effective unless the General Council has given its consent to such action in accordance with Article V of this document:
All powers that are not expressly mentioned in this document or which are not expressly delegated in this document by the General Council to the Tribal Council or any other officer or agency of the Tribe, shall not be abridged but shall be reserved to the General Council.
Section 2. Tribal Council
b. To employ legal counsel of its choice on behalf of the Tribe or for the benefit of tribal members and to fix the fees for such counsel in accordance with federal law;
c. To make recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior or to his authorized representative with regard to all appropriation estimates for all projects which are for the benefit of the members of the Tribe, prior to the submission of such estimates to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress, or to the State of California;
d. To borrow money from public and private sources and to pledge, mortgage or assign tribal assets except as provided in Sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this Article;e. To set aside and to spend tribal funds for tribal purposes;
f. To impose taxes on all persons, property and business activities located or conducted within tribal jurisdiction, provided no tax shall be imposed on real property held in trust by the United States of America;
g. To regulate the use and development of all tribal lands, whether assigned or unassigned, and to manage, lease or otherwise use all unassigned tribal lands. Toward this end the Tribal Council shall, within one year of the effective date of this document, submit for approval to the General Council a land assignment and a land use law;
h. To charter and regulate corporations, cooperatives, associations, special districts, housing authorities, educational and charitable institutions, political subdivisions and other entities;
i. To license and regulate the conduct of all business activities within tribal jurisdiction;
j. To establish business enterprises as branches or agencies of the tribal government and otherwise to engage in business activities and projects which promote the economic well being of the Tribe and its members;
k. To purchase and to acquire in other ways land and other property;
l. To condemn for tribal purposes real property or interest in real property within tribal jurisdiction, provided that the owners of assignments or property condemned by the Tribal Council shall be paid fair market value for the assignment or property and all improvements made thereon by the assignee or owner, and provided further that an assignee of condemned tribal lands shall be assigned alternative tribal lands of comparable condition and value; and provided further that no assignments shall be condemned without the approval of the General Council;
m. To manage, develop, protect and regulate the use of water, minerals and all other natural resources within tribal jurisdiction;
n. To enact laws, statutes and codes governing conduct of individuals and proscribing offenses against the Tribe; to maintain order; to protect the safety and welfare of all persons within tribal jurisdiction; and to provide for the enforcement of the laws and codes of the Tribe;
o. To establish tribal courts or courts of Indian offenses from time to time as may be required, and to provide for the court or courts jurisdiction, procedures and a method for the selection of judges;
p. To prescribe conditions under which non‑members may enter and remain on the reservation and to establish procedures for the exclusion of non‑members from any land within the Tribe's jurisdiction;
q. To assert as a defense to lawsuits against the Tribe, the sovereign immunity of the Tribe, except that no waiver of sovereign immunity can be made by the Tribal Council without prior approval of the General Council;
r. To regulate the domestic relations of members of the Tribe; to provide for the guardianship of minors and incompetent persons within tribal jurisdiction; to provide services for the peace, safety, health, education and general welfare of the members of the Tribe;
s. To regulate the inheritance of all lands within tribal jurisdiction and all property owned by persons within tribal jurisdiction; and to provide for escheat of property to the Tribe, provided that no law, statute, code or ordinance governing the inheritance of property owned by tribal members shall be in violation of federal law;
t. To enact ordinances consistent with this document establishing procedures for the nomination, election, removal and recall of tribal officers;
u. To appoint, direct and set the compensation of a tribal business administrator or manager; and to establish policies and procedures for the employment of tribal personnel;
v. Subject to any limitations contained in this document to delegate any powers vested in the Tribal Council to subordinate tribal officers, tribal employees or other appropriate persons;
w. To take all actions which are necessary and proper for the exercise of the powers enumerated in this document and which are otherwise consistent with, and in furtherance of, tribal customs, traditions and beliefs, and any other powers which may hereafter be vested in the Tribal Council; and
x. Except as provided in this document, to establish its own rules of procedures.
Section 3. Reserve Powers of General Council
Section 4. Limited Power to Transfer Tribal Land Out of Tribal Ownership
a. A vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the General Council provided that at least forty‑five (45) people who are entitled to vote are present;
b. The Secretary of the Interior; Provided, however, the Tribal Council may exchange land, prior to it becoming tribal land, however, such exchanges must be approved by a two‑thirds (2/3) vote of the General Council before the exchange.
Section 5. Limited Power to Encumber Tribal Land
b. The Tribal Council may authorize the following encumbrances by a vote of a majority of the entire Tribal Council;
Section 6. Limited Power to Develop Natural Resources
Section 7. Principal of Construction
b. General elections to vote for Tribal Council members shall be held annually on the second Tuesday of the month of November. Notice of the general elections shall be posted by the secretary of the Tribal Council at least twenty (20) days before each such election at the Tribe's business office, the voting place, and in three or more additional public places, In case the date of the general election should conflict with a holiday, the election shall be held on the following work day.
c. All newly elected officials shall assume their offices thirty (30) days after the election in which they were elected.
d. A tie vote shall be decided only by holding a general election within thirty (30) days from the date of the previous general election that resulted in a tie. Only those receiving the same number of votes shall be candidates in the subsequent election. The person receiving the highest number of votes for the particular office shall hold that office.
After the first election held under this document, Tribal Council members shall elect the following officers from the Tribal Council:
The officers shall be elected by a majority vote and shall serve two year terms.
After all subsequent Tribal Council elections, the Tribal Council members shall elect officers from the Tribal Council when the prior officer's term has expired or vacated.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall
a. Call the roll, handle all official correspondence of the Tribal Council, keep the minutes of all regular and special meetings of the Tribal and General Councils, and certify to the Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central California Agency, the duly elected officers of the Tribal and General Councils within fifteen (15) days from the date of any election;
b. Accept, keep and safeguard all funds under the exclusive control of the Tribe by depositing them in a bank insured by an agency of the federal government or in an IIM account or Tribal trust account with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as directed by the Tribal Council and shall keep or cause to be kept an accurate record of such funds and shall report on all receipts and expenditures and the amount and nature of all funds in his or her custody to the Tribal and General Councils at regular meetings and at such other times as requested by either Council. The Secretary-Treasurer shall not pay or otherwise disburse any funds in the custody of the Tribal Council except when properly authorized to do so by the Tribal Council;
c. At such times as the Tribal Council or General Council may direct, have the books and records of the Tribe audited by a competent independent auditor employed by the Tribal Council.
d. Be present at all meetings of the Tribal and General Councils unless prevented by illness or circumstances beyond his or her control;
e. Required to give a surety bond satisfactory to the Tribal Council if the Tribal Council so desires;
f. Sign and approve all checks drawn on Tribal funds and all vouchers with at least one officer or designated check signer of the Tribe in accordance with a written procedure approved and adopted by the Tribal Council by resolution; and
g. In the absence of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, with the approval of the Tribal Council, the Secretary-Treasurer shall carry out the duties of the Chairperson.
a. The Tribal Council shall meet at least once per month. The Council may schedule additional regular meetings as necessary, provided that it shall publish the schedule of all such meetings.
b. A majority of the members of the Tribal Council shall constitute a quorum at all Council meetings. No business shall be conducted in the absence of a quorum.
c. Special meetings of the Tribal Council may be called by the Chairperson or by any three (3) members of the Council. The notice in regard to any special meeting shall be given at least three (3) days prior to the meeting and shall specify the purpose of the meeting.
d. Each member of the Tribal Council shall have one vote on all matters, and all matters to be acted on at a Tribal Council meeting shall be approved or disapproved by a majority vote of those present and voting, unless provided to the contrary in this document.
a. The annual General Council meeting shall be held on the last Saturday of October. The Tribal Council may set more frequent meetings of the General Council as necessary, provided it shall publish a schedule of all such meetings.
b. Special meetings of the General Council may be called by the Tribal Chairperson or by any member of the General Council who submits a petition with ten (10) signatures of General Council members to the Tribal Council requesting a special meeting. The notice in regard to any special meeting shall be given at least three (3) days prior to the meeting and shall specify the purpose of the meeting.
c. No business shall be transacted in the absence of a quorum. A majority of the voting members of the General Council shall constitute a quorum at all Council meetings.
a. When a Tribal Council member dies;
b. When a Tribal Council member resigns;
c. When a Tribal Council member is convicted of a crime that is classified as a felony by either state or federal law;
d. When a Tribal Council member is removed from office;
e. When a Tribal Council member is recalled from office.If less than twelve (12) months of vacant term remains, the Tribal Council shall fill the vacancy by appointment of a General Council member who qualifies for candidacy for the vacant position. If more than twelve (12) months remain in the vacant term a special election shall be held to fill the vacant position. Such a special election shall be held within thirty (30) days after the Tribal Council declares the position vacant.
Section 1. Removal
a. Absence from regular Tribal or General Council meetings three (3) successive, unexcused times, or three (3) unexcused times in any twelve (12) month period;
b. Conviction of a crime involving the moral character of the Tribal Council member;
c. Neglect of duty;
d. Misconduct in office.
1. Any member of the Tribe can request removal of any Tribal Council member by submitting a written statement of charges to the Chairperson of the Tribal Council, or in the case of a request for removal of the Chairperson, to the Vice-Chairperson of the Tribal Council. Such written statement must be received by the accused Council member no later than ten (10) days before the next regular Council meeting at which he or she is to appear.
2. At the next regular Tribal Council meeting following the submission of such written statement, the charging party shall present his or her allegations and proof against the accused member of the Tribal Council, and the accused member shall be given an opportunity to reply to all charges by presenting his or her allegations and proof to the Tribal Council.
3. After hearing all the charges and proof presented by both sides, the Tribal Council shall take a vote on whether the accused member shall be removed from office. If a majority of the Tribal Council vote to remove the accused Council member, his or her seat shall be declared vacant. The Tribal Council member who is the subject of the removal request shall not vote nor serve in his or her capacity as a Tribal Council member in the removal proceedings.
Section 2. Recall
a. Any member of the Tribe may circulate one or more petitions among the eligible voters of the Tribe requesting a special recall election, which petition(s) shall contain the name(s) of the person(s) whose recall is sought and shall state the charges being preferred against such person(s) in 25 words or less. If one‑third (1/3) of the eligible voters of the General Council shall sign the petition(s), such petition(s) shall be presented to the Tribal Council Chairperson, or if charges are being preferred against the Tribal Council Chairperson, to the Vice-Chairperson of the Tribal Council.
b. The Tribal Council Chairperson, or if charges are being preferred against the Tribal Chairperson, the Tribal Council Vice-Chairperson, shall then certify the validity of such signatures of eligible voters maintained by the Tribe. If the required number of valid signatures appear on the recall petition, the Tribal Council shall call a special recall election within sixty (60) days from receipt of the petition(s).
c. Within thirty (30) days after the special recall election has been established a General Council meeting shall be held. The charging party shall present his or her allegations and proof against the accused member of the Tribal Council, and the accused member shall be given an opportunity to reply to all charges by presenting his or her allegations and proof to the, General Council.
d. The ballot used for a recall election shall contain the question: "Shall [name of member(s)] be recalled from office on the Timbisha (Tribal) Council?". The ballot shall contain a space opposite such question in which the words "Yes-No" shall be printed so that the voter may indicate with a mark whether he or she wishes to vote for or against the recall of the member(s) so named. In the case of a recall of two (2) or more Council members, there shall be a separate ballot for each member being recalled.
e. If a majority of the General Council members voting in a special recall election vote to recall the Council members or any other officer(s) of the Tribe named on the ballot, and provided that two‑thirds (2/3) of the General Council vote in said election, the Tribal Council shall immediately declare the Council member(s) or officer(s) to be recalled from office and his or her seat(s) shall be declared vacant.
a. Make or enforce any law prohibiting the full 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;
b. Violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, 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;c. Subject any person for the same offenses to be twice put in jeopardy;
d. Compel any person in any criminal case to be a witness against himself;
e. Take any private property for a public use without just compensation;
f. Deny to any person in a criminal proceeding the right to a speedy 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 defenses.
g. 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 six (6) months or a fine of $500.00 or both.
h. Deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws or deprive any person of liberty or property without due process of law.
i. Pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law.
j. Deny to any person accused of imprisonment the right, upon request, to a trial by jury of not less than six (6) persons.
This document shall become effective when it has been ratified by a majority of the eligible voters of the Tribe at a special election called by the Secretary of the Interior in which at least thirty percent (30%) of the eligible voters vote and when it has been approved by the Secretary of the Interior.
This document may be amended by a majority vote of the eligible voters of the Tribe in an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, provided that at least fifty percent (50%) of those entitled to vote shall vote in such election. Amendments adopted in this way may be submitted for approval to the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary Treasurer shall call an election on a proposed amendment to the document upon receipt of a petition signed by at least one‑third (1/3) of the eligible voters of the Tribe or upon receipt of a resolution of. the Tribal Council.
If any provision of this document shall in the future be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalid provision shall be severed and the remaining provisions shall continue in full force and effect.
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe
CONSTITUTION AND BY‑LAWS RESOLUTION N0. 86‑14
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