Constitution and By-Laws
of the Pawnee Indians of Oklahoma
 

(As ratified January 6, 1938 and amended to July 24, 1982)


Table of Contents

 

Preamble
Article I - Name
Article II - Purpose
Article III - Membership of Tribe
Article IV - Pawnee Business Council
Article V - Nasharo Council
Article VI - Removal of Pawnee Business Council Members
Article VII - Bill of Rights
Article VIII - Amendments
By-Laws
          Article I - Duties of Officers
          Article II - Place of Meetings
          Article III - Adoption



PREAMBLE


We the members of the four confederated band of Indians, namely, Chaui, Kitkehahke, Petahauerate and Skeedee which now constitute the Pawnee Indians of Oklahoma, with faith in the purposes of our Supreme Being, with abounding pride in our racial heritages and with the determination to promote through marshalled efforts our social, economic and political advancement, do solemnly ordain and establish this organization and adopt this Constitution and By-laws pursuant to the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 196).

 

ARTICLE I
Name


The name of this organization shall be the "Pawnee Indian Tribe of Oklahoma."

 

ARTICLE II
Purpose
(amended 7-24-82)


The purposes of this organization shall be:

(a) To define, establish and safeguard the rights, powers, privileges and benefits of the Tribe and its members;

(b) To secure for the Tribe and its members the rights, powers, privileges and benefits available under the provisions of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act;

(c) To promote in other ways the common welfare of the Tribe and its membership;

(d) Jurisdiction and Powers of the Pawnee Business Council.

(i) The government powers of the Pawnee Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, a federally recognized sovereign Indian Tribe, shall, consistent with federal law, extend to all persons and to all real and personal property including lands and other natural resources and to all waters and airs space, within the Indian Country over which the Pawnee Tribe has authority. The governmental powers of the Pawnee Indian Tribe shall also, consistent with applicable federal laws, extend outside the exterior boundaries of the Pawnee Indian Country to any persons or property which are, as may hereafter be, included within the jurisdiction of the Tribe under any laws of the United States and of the Tribe.
(ii) The Pawnee Indian Tribe of Oklahoma is empowered to establish a Law and Order and Judicial System to protect peace, safety, health and welfare of the members of the tribe; provided the concept of separation of the Executive and Judicial powers is maintained. Once the Pawnee Tribe has ratified an Ordinance authorizing the establishment of these systems, it shall be the duty of the Pawnee Tribal Business Council to provide the necessary staff support for its implementation.
(iii) All law and order ordinances adopted by the Pawnee Business Council pursuant to this Article shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the interior or his designated representative, provided, however, that if said ordinance is not approved or disapproved by him within ninety (90) days of its receipt by him, the enactment shall automatically become effective.
(iv) This Constitution and By-laws, and the laws and ordinances enacted by the Pawnee Business Council shall be the supreme law of the Pawnee Indian Tribe and all persons subject to its jurisdiction; however, the Pawnee Business Council shall exercise its power consistent with the provisions of this constitution and bylaws, and applicable federal law.
(v) In addition to powers authorized by paragraph (d) of this Article, the Pawnee Business Council shall be authorized to exercise those powers set forth in the Tribe's Corporate Charter issued by the Interior under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act.

 

ARTICLE III
Membership of Tribe


Section 1. The membership of the Pawnee Indian Tribe of Oklahoma shall consist of the following persons:

(a) All persons enrolled or entitled to be enrolled on the official annuity roll of the Tribe as of February 19, 1937;

(b) All children born since the date of said roll of a lawful marriage, both of whose parents are members of the Tribe.


Section 2.
The Pawnee Business Council shall have power to prescribe rules and regulations covering future membership of the Tribe, including the adoption and loss of membership, provided:

(a) That such rules and regulations shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior;

(b) That such, rules and regulations shall be subject to the approval of the Nasharo Council;

(c) That, after one year from the adoption of this Constitution, no person shall be admitted to membership who is of less than one-fourth (1/4) degree Pawnee Indian blood. (Pursuant to Section 2, Article III of the Pawnee Constitution and By-laws the Resolution adopted February 9, 1938 by the Pawnee Business Council on the same date, which was approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, provides that Article III, Section 2 (c) shall include the following: "(c) In addition to Article 3, Section 2, a child born of a lawful marriage, who is one-quarter (1/4) or more Pawnee Indian blood and, at least one of whose parents is enrolled as a Pawnee Indian, shall be admitted to membership in the Pawnee Tribe."

 

ARTICLE IV
Pawnee Business Council


Section 1. The supreme governing body of the Tribe shall be the Pawnee Business Council, which shall consist of eight members.


Section 2.
The Pawnee Business Council shall have power to appoint subordinate officers, committees and representatives, to transact business and otherwise speak or act on behalf of the Tribe in all matters on which the Tribe is empowered to act, provided:

(a) That the powers of the Tribe shall be set forth in detail in a Federal Charter to be requested by the Pawnee Business Council;

(b) That the acts of the Pawnee Business Council shall be subject to review of the Nasharo Council in accordance with Section 2 of Article V of this Constitution.


Section 3.
The present Pawnee Business Council shall serve until the next regular election provided for in Section 4 of this Article, or until their successor are elected and installed, provided:

(a) That within thirty (30) days after the adoption of this Constitution, the said council shall organize for business by selecting from among its membership a President, Vice President, and a Secretary-Treasurer.


Section 4. Regular elections of members of the Pawnee Business Council shall be held on the first Saturday, in May, 1939, and on the first Saturday in May of each second year thereafter, provided:

(a) That such elections shall be held under rules and regulations prescribed by the Pawnee Business Council which shall include provisions for absentee balloting;

(b) That all members of the Pawnee Indian Tribe, eighteen (18) years of age and older, shall be eligible to vote in these elections;

(c) That any person, in order to be eligible for election to membership on the Pawnee Business Council, must be a member of the Pawnee Indian Tribe, and must be twenty-five (25) years of age or older;

(d) That a member of the Nasharo Council shall not be eligible for election to the Pawnee Business Council;

(e) That members of the Pawnee Business Council elected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be installed immediately after their election and the respective councils shall then organize for business by selecting from among their own membership a President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer;

(f) That if a member of the council fails or refuses to attend two (2) regular or special meetings in succession, unless excused due to illness or other causes for which he cannot be held responsible, his office shall be declared forfeited by a resolution of the Pawnee Business Council, and the vacancy shall be filled pursuant to Article IV, Section 7 of the Constitution and By-laws of the Pawnee Indians of Oklahoma.


Section 5. All acts of the Pawnee Business Council shall be determined by a majority vote of the membership present, provided that five members of the Council shall constitute a quorum to transact business.


Section 6. Regular meetings of the Pawnee Business Council shall be held on the first Saturday in February, May, August, and November of each year, provided:

(a) That special meetings may be called by the President at his discretion and shall be called by him within two (2) weeks after receiving written request by certified mail of five (5) members of the Pawnee Business Council;

(b) That a minimum of two (2) days notice of all meetings, regular or special, shall be published in a designated newspaper and posted in public view in a designated location: Provided that in an emergency, posting in public view for two (2) days shall be deemed sufficient notice.


Section 7. Vacancies in the membership of the Pawnee Business Council shall be filled for an unexpired term through appointment by the President, subject to the approval of the Council.


Section 8. All members of the Pawnee Business Council shall attend tribal Constitution and By-laws orientation classes as prescribed by the Pawnee Business Council.

 

ARTICLE V
Nasharo Council


Section 1. The Nasharo Council shall consist of eight members selected from the Chieftainships of the following tribal bands: Chaui, Kitkehahke, Petahauerat and Skeedee, provided:

(a) That each band shall have two representatives on the Nasharo Council.

Section 2. The Nasharo Council shall have the right to review all acts of the Pawnee Business Council regarding tribal membership and tribal claims or rights growing out of treaties between the Tribe and the United States, provided:

(a) That such acts of the Pawnee -Business Council shall be valid and effective unless formally disapproved by the Nasharo Council within thirty (30) days after such acts are referred to the latter Council;

(b) That where such acts are disapproved by the Nasharo Council, the Pawnee Business Council may submit them to a referendum of the Tribe and they shall be valid and effective if approved by a majority vote of the adult members voting in person, provided that at least fifty (S 0) votes are cast.


Section 3. Within thirty (30) days after the adoption of this Constitution, the tribal bands, referred to in Section 1 of this Article, shall select their respective representatives under rules and regulations prescribed by the respective band Chiefs, subject to the approval of the Superintendent of the Pawnee Indian Agency, provided:

(a) That the representatives so selected shall serve until the next regular selection of members of the Nasharo Council as provided for in Section 4 of this Article, or until their successors are selected.


Section 4. Regular selections of members of the Nasharo Council shall be made on the first Saturday in May 1941, and on the first Saturday in May of each fourth year thereafter, provided:

(a) That such selections shall be made under rules and regulations prescribed by the Nasharo Council.


Section 5. Any person selected to membership on the Nasharo Council shall be a member of the band which he represents and shall not be a member of the Pawnee Business Council.


Section 6. Vacancies in the membership of this Council shall be filled for an unexpired term in the same manner in which the preceding representative had been selected.


Section 7. The Nasharo Council shall have the power to establish its own offices and to designate its own officers, to fix its own meeting days and to adopt its own rules of procedure, provided that five members shall constitute a quorum to transact business. Records of the proceedings of this body shall be kept and a copy forwarded to the Superintendent of the Reservation.


Section 8. All members of the Nasharo Council shall attend tribal Constitution and By-laws orientation classes as prescribed by the Pawnee Business Council.

 

ARTICLE VI
Removal of Pawnee Business Council Members


Section 1. The Nasharo Council shall investigate complaints of misconduct in office of members of the Pawnee Business Council and upon a proper showing shall call a joint meeting of the Pawnee Business Council and the Nasharo Council to act upon such complaints. Such joint Council shall have the power, by a majority vote, after giving the accused a hearing, to remove him from office, provided that at least five members from each of the councils are present.

 

ARTICLE VII
Bill of Rights


Section 1. All members of the Tribe shall enjoy without hindrance freedom of worship, conscience, speech, press, assembly and association.


Section 2. This Constitution shall not in any way alter, abridge or otherwise jeopardize the rights and privileges of the members of this Tribe as citizens of the State of Oklahoma or of the United States.


Section 3. The individual property rights of any member of the Tribe shall not be altered, abridged or otherwise affected by the provisions of this Constitution and By-laws without the consent of such individual member.

 

ARTICLE VIII
Amendments


Amendments to this Constitution and the attached By-laws may be proposed by a majority vote of the Pawnee Business Council or by a petition signed by thirty (30) percent of the adult members of the Tribe, and if approved by the Secretary of the Interior, shall be submitted to a referendum vote of the adult members of the Tribe, and shall be effective if approved by a two-thirds (2 /3) vote of the adult members voting in person, provided that at least fifty (50) votes are cast.

 

BY-LAWS

ARTICLE I
Duties of Officers


Section 1. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Pawnee Business Council, joint meetings of the Pawnee Business Council and the Nasharo Council, and all general tribal meetings. He shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Pawnee Business Council and shall perform all duties appertaining to the office of President.


Section 2. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall perform the duties of that office. In the case of vacancy, the Vice President shall succeed at once to the office of the President until a President is regularly selected.

 


Section 3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall correctly record the proceedings of all meetings of the Pawnee Business Council, joint meetings of the Pawnee Business Council and the Nasharo Council, and all general tribal meetings. He shall make out the order of the business for the President, shall notify all committees of their appointments, shall have custody of the records and all papers of the Pawnee Business Council, which records and papers shall be open to inspection at any time, in his presence, by any member of the Tribe desiring to read same. He shall keep a correct list of all members of the Tribe, shall authenticate all accounts or orders of the Pawnee Business Council and, in the absence of the President and Vice President, shall call meetings to order until a chairman pro tem is selected. He shall render written reports upon the order of the Pawnee Business Council. He shall issue notices of all meetings and conduct all general correspondence, as directed by the Pawnee Business Council. He shall receive all moneys of the Pawnee Business Council and keep an accurate account of receipts and disbursements.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep all such moneys entrusted to his care in a special account and shall disburse said funds only upon the order of the Pawnee Business Council. All such moneys disbursed by the Secretary-Treasurer shall be countersigned by the President of the Business Council, and in the absence of the President, the disbursement of the funds shall be countersigned by the Vice President. At any time that such account shall amount to more than $50.00, he shall file a bond satisfactory to the Pawnee Business Council and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The cost of such bond shall be paid out of tribal moneys.

 

ARTICLE II
Place of Meetings


Unless some other point under the Pawnee Indian Agency jurisdiction is designated in the call or notice, all meetings of the Pawnee Business Council and of the Nasharo Council shall be held at Pawnee, Oklahoma.

 

ARTICLE III
Adoption


This Constitution and By-laws shall be effective when approved by the Secretary of the Interior and ratified by a majority of members of the Pawnee Indian Tribe of Oklahoma voting at an election called by the Secretary of the Interior under the rules and regulations which he may prescribe pursuant to Section 3 of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936.