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Constitution of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians
Adopted: June 1, 1985
We, the members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, acknowledging the powers of inherent and aboriginal tribal sovereignty, and exercising the right of self-determination, and with the desire to organize pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 476 and the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat., 984), hereby adopt this Constitution and our Tribal Government in order to:
Section 1. Eligibility
Membership of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians shall consist of:
(A) All persons enumerated as Indian on the following official documents:
NOTE: For the purpose of computing blood quantum of their decedents, for tribal membership, all Indians eligible under Section 1(A) are hereby declared as fullblood (4/4) Creek Indians and shall constitute the base roll of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
(B) All living descendants of those eligible under Section 1(A) of at least one fourth (1/4) degree Indian blood, provided they are not enrolled as members of any other tribe, group or band of Indians.
(C) All children of at least one-fourth (1/4) degree of Indian blood born to an enrolled member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Section 2. Powers of to Determine Membership
he sole authority to determine membership of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. No decree of any Court purporting to determine membership in the Poarch Hand of Creek Indians, paternity, or degree of Creek Indian or other blood shall be recognized as determination of membership in the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Section 3. Membership Ordinance
The Tribal Council shall enact an ordinance establishing procedures for processing membership matters including application procedures and blood degree corrections of the roll as provided in Article I, Section I of this Constitution, within six months of the First Tribal Council's Election to office under this Constitution. That ordinance shall contain procedures, including the right of appeal.
Section 4. Adoption and Loss of Membership
The Tribal Council shall have the power to prescribe rules and regulations governing the adoption of members and loss of membership.
Members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians shall have the following rights: The right to equal opportunity to participate in the economic resources and activities of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in accordance with eligibility requirements set by the Tribe; and the right to exercise the tribal rights and privileges of members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians where not in conflict with other provisions of this Constitution, tribal laws and ordinances, or the laws of the United States.
Section 1. Territory
The jurisdiction of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians shall extend to all lands now held in the name of the Band or which hereafter may be acquired for or by and held in the name of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Section 2. Authority
The authority of the government established by this Constitution shall extend over all persons and property now or hereafter included within the jurisdiction of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, except and only as limited by this Constitution and the Laws of the United States. The government shall not inhibit any person's right to enjoy freedom of worship, conscience, speech, press, assembly and association, and other rights enumerated by Federal Law.
Section 3. Savings Clause
Any rights or powers heretofore vested in the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, but not expressly referred to in this Constitution, 2 of 12 not be lost by their omission but may be exercised by the adoption of appropriate amendments of the Constitution.
Section 1. General Council
Members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who are eighteen (18) years of age or older shall constitute the General Council. In accordance with Article V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX of this Constitution, the General Council shall have the powers specified in Section 2 of this Article.
Section 2. Powers of the General Council
Section 3. Tribal Council
The Tribal Council shall consist of nine (9) members elected by the General Council to terms of three years each, except as provided in Article VII, Section 6, and each member shall continue until his or her successor is duly elected and installed. The Tribal Council shall elect from its membership a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and a Treasurer. Five members shall constitute a quorum.
Section 4. Powers of the Tribal Council
Section 1. General Council
The General Council shall hold meetings in accordance with the following procedures, and shall exercise its electoral power in accordance with the provisions of Article IV of this Constitution.
Section 2. Tribal Council
The Tribal Council shall hold meetings and take actions in accordance with the following procedures, which it may augment but its own rules of procedures so long as they do not conflict with any provisions of this Constitution:
Section 1. Chairman
The Chairman shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and shall preside at the Poarch Creek Tribal Council meetings and shall carry out and implement all ordinances, resolutions, and directives of the Council. In the event of his absence or in the event of his death; disability, resignation, removal, or if for any reason he is unable to perform his duties and responsibilities, the Vice-Chairman shall act as Chairman.
Section 2. Vice-Chairman
The Vice-Chairman shall preside at any meeting in the absence of the Chairman and in the event of the Chairman's death, disability, resignation, or removal from office, he shall serve the remainder of the term as Chairman.
Section 3. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall supervise the financial affairs of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in accordance with policies, direction, and subject to controls as are established by the Poarch Creek Tribal Council, and he or she shall be responsible for maintaining the necessary financial records. The Treasurer shall provide financial reports at least annually to the Poarch Creek Tribal Council.
Section 4. Secretary
The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining the records and files of the Poarch Creek Tribal Council other than the financial records. The Secretary shall be responsible for taking and recording the minutes of all Tribal Council meetings and such other official meetings as the Tribal Chairman may direct.
Section 1. Voters
Members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who are eighteen (18) years of age or older shall have the right to vote in all tribal elections.
Section 2. Election Ordinance
The Tribal Council shall enact an election ordinance consistent with the provisions for appointment by the Tribal Council of a three-member objective Election Board. The ordinance shall include provision for settlement of election disputes, including the right to appeal to the tribal judiciary to be established under Article IV, Section 4 (k) of this Constitution.
Section 3. Manner of Voting
All elections shall be secret ballot, except that the General Council may make advisory recommendations to the Tribal Council~ by voice vote or show of hands at General Council meetings. 8 of 12 Voting by mail and absentee ballots shall be provided for by ordinance. The ordinance shall require that such ballots be made available to members sufficiently in advance of any election to permit the ballots to be submitted by voters to the tribal office prior to the scheduled date of the election. Ballots so submitted shall be counted along with ballots cast in person at the poll.
Section 4. Tribal Council Election
Elections for the Tribal Council shall be held on the first Saturday in June. The time and place of voting shall be designated by the Tribal Council. New Tribal Council members shall be certified by the Election Board. Installation shall occur on the day following the certification of election results.
Candidates must be members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who will be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on the date of the election, and who have never been expelled in accordance with Article VIII, Section 3, and who have never been convicted of a felony. Candidates must file statements of their candidacy with the Election Board not less than thirty (30) days before the annual election. The Election Board shall make public a list of candidates, and the time and place of the election, not less than twenty (20) days before the election.
Each voter shall be allowed to cast one vote for each vacancy on the Tribal Council. No more than one vote per candidate shall be cast. The winners shall be chosen by plurality according to the rank order of votes received. In the event of a tie, the winner shall be chosen by flipping a coin under the supervision of the election Board.
Section 5. Tribal Council Officer Election
Each Council officer shall serve for a term of three (3) years or until the end of his term as a Tribal Council members, whichever shall come first.
Tribal Council officers shall be elected following installation of the newly elected Tribal Council member, if a vacancy exists.
Section 6. First Election
The first Tribal Council elected under this Constitution shall be elected with three members at three year terms, three members at two year terms, and three members at one-year terms, or until his successor is duly elected and installed. The winners shall be chosen by plurality according to the rank order of votes received. In the event of a tie, the winner shall be chosen by flipping a coin under the supervision of the Election Board. Thereafter, in 1986, there shall be an annual election in June and the term-of-office shall be three years in length, or until successors are duly elected and installed, provided that if there are more than 24 candidates, there shall be an immediate run off election among the top 18 candidates.
Section 7. Election Board
The members of the Election Board shall serve for staggered three-year (3) terms of office and shall be removable prior to the expiration of their terms for cause. No person who holds any elective tribal office or is a candidate for such office shall be eligible to serve on the Election Board. The Election Board shall supervise all tribal elections, verify petitions by tribal members, and perform such other duties as are set by the Election ordinance.
Section 8. Vacancies
In the event that any elective tribal office becomes vacant between elections, the Tribal Council shall elect a person who meets the qualifications of a candidate for that position to fill the vacancy. Such person shall assume office and serve until the next annual Tribal Council election at which time the members of the General Council shall elect a person to serve the balance of the three year term of the office which became vacant.
Section 1. Initiative
Upon receipt and verification by the Election Board of a petition of at least thirty (30) percent of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians a proposed ordinance or resolution made by the people shall be submitted for a vote by the General Council at a regular or special election to be held within sixty (60) days of verification of the petition by the Election Board. The vote of a majority of those actually voting shall be conclusive and binding upon the Tribal Council.
Section 2. Referendum
Upon the request of two-thirds of the total membership of the Tribal Council, any proposed or previously enacted ordinance 10 of 12 or resolution of the Tribal Council shall be submitted for a vote by the General Council at a regular or special election to be held within sixty (60) days of the vote by the Tribal Council. The vote by a majority of at least thirty (30) percent of the General Council shall be conclusive and binding upon the Tribal Council.
Section 3. Recall
Upon receipt and verification by the Election Board of a petition of at least thirty (30) percent of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, it shall be the duty of the Election Board to call a special election to consider the recall of the elected tribal official named in the petition. The election shall be held within sixty (60) days of receipt of the petition by the Election Board, provided that if the petition is received less than six (6) months prior to the annual election, the Election Board may direct that the matter be placed on the ballot of that election. If a majority of those actually voting favor the recall of the official, the office shall be declared vacant and filled in accordance with Article VII, Section 8 of this Constitution. If the recall fails, that officer cannot be recalled again for twelve (12) months.
Section 1. Election to vote on proposed amendments to this Constitution shall be authorized by resolution of the Tribal Council. The General council shall have the right to initiate proposals to amend this Constitution by submitting to the Tribal Council a petition signed by at least thirty (30) percent of the General Council. If the petition is determined to be valid pursuant to the petitioning provisions of the tribe's Election Ordinance, the Tribal Council shall then consent to the proposal by an appropriate resolution for authorization of an election to vote upon adoption of the proposed amendment.
Section 2. If adopted by a majority of the qualified voters voting in an election authorized by a Tribal Council Resolution at which election at least thirty (30) percent of those qualified to vote cast their ballots, the amendment shall become effective.
The Tribal Council shall develop an Administrative Plan of Operations in a formal ordinance which shall further specify duties and responsibilities of the tribal officers and employees.
This Constitution,when adopted by a majority of vote of the qualified voters of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians voting at an election called by the Tribal Council, in which at least thirty (30) percent of those entitled to vote shall cast their ballots, shall be adopted upon certification of the Tribal Election Board.
Pursuant to an order issued on APRIL 9, 1985, by the Tribal Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, this Constitution of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians was submitted for adoption to the qualified voters of the tribe and was on Saturday, June 1, 1985, duly adopted/rejected by a vote of 292 for, and 65 against, in an election in which at least thirty (30) percent of the 1031 entitled to vote cast their ballots.
[Signatures are found on the original document.]Back to Top