Constitution and By-Laws of the 

Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin

Amended June 14, 1969. Approved November 28, 1969


PREAMBLE

We, the people of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for His fostering care, in order to reestablish our tribal organization, to conserve and develop our common resources and to promote the welfare of ourselves and our descendants, do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution.

Article I-Territory

The jurisdiction of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin shall extend to the territory within the present confines of the Oneida reservation and to such other lands as may be hereafter added thereto within or without said boundary lines under any law of the United States, except as otherwise provided by law.

Article II-Membership

Section 1. The membership of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin shall consist of:

{A} All persons of Indian blood whose names appear on the membership roll of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin in accordance with the Act of September 27, 1967 {81 Stat. 229}, Public Law 90-93.

{B} Any child of a member of the Tribe born between September 28, 1967, and the effective date of this amendment, who is of at least one-fourth degree Indian blood, provided, that such member is a resident of the reservation at the time of the birth of said child.

{C} All children who possess at least one-fourth degree Oneida blood and are born after the effective date of this amendment to members of the Tribe who are residents of the reservation at the time of said childrenís birth.

Section 2. The General Tribal Council shall have the power to promulgate ordinances subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior covering future membership and the adoption of new members.

Article III- Governing Body

Section 1. The governing body of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin shall be the General Tribal Council composed of all the qualified voters of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin.

Section 2. All enrolled members of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin who are 21 years of age or over shall be qualified voters, provided they present themselves in person at the polls on the day of election.

Section 3. The qualified voters of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin shall elect from among the qualified voters who physically reside in either Brown or Outagamie Counties of Wisconsin by secret ballot {a} a chairman; {b} a vice-chairman; {c} a secretary; {d} a treasurer; {e} and five councilmen. These shall constitute the Business Committee and shall perform such duties as may be authorized by the General Tribal Council.

A majority of the Business Committee including the Chairman or Vice-Chairman shall constitute a quorum of this body. Regular meetings of the Business Committee may be established by resolution of the Business Committee. Special meetings of the Business Committee shall be held upon a three-day advance notice by the chairman to all members thereof or upon written request of a majority of the Business Committee stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.

The General Tribal Council may at any regular or special meeting fill any vacancies that occur on the Business Committee for the unexpired term.

The General Tribal Council may at its discretion remove any official on the Business Committee by a two-thirds majority vote at any regular or special meeting of the Tribal Council, pursuant to a duly adopted ordinance. Such ordinance shall fix the specific causes for removal and insure that the rights of the accused are protected, including his receiving in writing a statement of the charges against him and assurance on sufficient notice thereof where he shall be afforded every opportunity to speak in his own defense.

Section 4. The General Tribal Council shall meet on the first Monday of January and July, the officials provided for in Section 3 of this Article shall be elected every three years in the month of July on a date set by the General Tribal Council. The General Tribal Council shall enact necessary rules and regulations governing the elections of tribal officials. The first election under this amendment is to be held in the month of July immediately following the approval of this amendment by the Secretary of the Interior. The Chairman or fifty {50} qualified voters may, by written notice, call special meetings of the General Tribal Council. Seventy-five {75} qualified voters shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting of the General Tribal Council.

Article IV- Powers of the General Tribal Council

Section 1. Enumerated Powers - The General Tribal Council of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin 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.
{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 of the tribe.
{D} To advise with the Secretary of the Interior with regard to all appropriation estimates or Federal projects for the benefit of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin prior to the submission of such estimates to the Bureau of the Budget and to Congress.
{E} To manage all economic affairs and enterprises of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin in accordance with the terms of a Charter that may be issued to the tribe 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 Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin, 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 tribal funds for the 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 tribe of persons not so licensed and establishing proper agencies for law enforcement upon the Oneida reservation.
{G} To appoint committees, delegates, and officials deemed necessary for the proper conduct of tribal business or relations.
{H} To charter subordinate organizations for economic purposes and to delegate to such organizations, or to any subordinate boards or officials of the Tribe, 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 the attached By-Laws, regulating the procedure of the Council itself and of other tribal agencies, tribal officials, or tribal organizations of the Oneida Reservation.

Section 2. Future Powers - The General Tribal Council may exercise such further powers as may in the future be delegated to the Council by the Secretary of the Interior or any other duly authorized official or agency of the State or Federal Government.

Section 3. Reserved Powers - Any rights and powers heretofore vested in the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin but not expressly referred to in this Constitution shall not be abridged by this Article, but may be exercised by the people of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin through the adoption of appropriate By-Laws and Constitutional amendments.

Section 4. Manner of Review - 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.

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 10 days from the date of enactment, rescind the said ordinance or resolution for any cause, by notifying the tribal 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 council of his reasons therefore. If these reasons appear to the Council insufficient, it may, by a majority vote, refer the ordinance or resolution to the Secretary of the Interior, who may, within 90 days from the date of its enactment, approve the same in writing, whereupon the said ordinance or resolution shall become effective.

Article V- Amendments

This constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Tribe voting at an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, provided that at least thirty {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. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to call an election on any proposed amendment upon receipt of a petition signed by one- third {1/3} of the qualified voters of the Tribe.

Article VI- Bill of Rights

All members of the Tribe shall be accorded equal opportunities to participate in the economic resources and activities of the tribe. All members of the tribe may enjoy, without hindrance, freedom of worship, conscience, speech, press, assembly, association and due process of law, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

BY-LAWS OF THE ONEIDA TRIBE OF INDIANS OF WISCONSIN

ARTICLE I--DUTIES OF OFFICERS

SECTION 1. Chairman of Council--The Chairman of the Council shall preside over all meetings of the Council, shall perform the usual duties of a Chairman, and exercise any authority delegated to him by the Council. He shall vote only in the case of a tie.

SECTION 2. Vice-Chairman of the Council--The Vice-Chairman shall assist the Chairman when called upon to do so and in the absence of the Chairman, he shall preside. When so presiding, he shall have all the rights, privileges and duties as well as the responsibilities of the Chairman.

SECTION 3. Secretary of the Council--The Secretary of the Tribal Council shall conduct a tribal correspondence and shall keep an accurate record of all matters transacted at Council meetings. It shall be his duty to submit promptly to the Superintendent of the jurisdiction, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, copies of all minutes of regular and special meetings of the Tribal Council.

SECTION 4. Treasurer of Council--The Treasurer of the Tribal Council shall accept, receive receipt for, preserve and safeguard all funds in the custody of the Council, whether they be tribal funds or special funds for which the Council is netting as trustee or custodian. He shall deposit all funds in such depository as the Council shall direct and shall make and preserve a faithful record of such funds and shall report on all receipts and expenditures and the amount and nature of all funds in his possession and custody, at each regular meeting of the General Tribal Council, and at such other times as requested by the Council or the business committee. He shall not pay out or otherwise disburse any funds in his possession or custody, except in accordance with a resolution duly passed by the Council. The Treasurer shall be required to give a bond satisfactory to the Council and to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

SECTION 5. Appointive Officers--The duties of all appointive boards or officers of the Community 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 the petition of any person aggrieved.

ARTICLE II--RATIFICATION OF CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

This Constitution and these By-Laws, when adopted by a majority vote of the voters of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin 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 effective from the date of such approval.