Tribal Government & News

Tribal Constitution unchanged

03.16.2015 Dean Rhodes Elections

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Two proposed amendments to the Tribal Constitution failed to receive enough support in the March 14 election.

The first proposed amendment, which would have removed Secretary of the Interior oversight and approval of amendments to the Tribe’s Constitution, received 381 votes against and 230 in support with 28 ballots not having a vote marked.

The second proposed amendment, which would have instituted term limits on Tribal Council service of a one-year break after three consecutive terms served, was supported by 391 voters to 220 against, but the 64 percent “yes” vote fell short of the two-thirds approval required to change the Tribal Constitution. In addition, 28 ballots were submitted without a vote marked.

Since this was a federally run election, Tribal members had to specially register to vote and 1,091 did so out of more than 3,900 potential Tribal voters. With 639 ballots being returned, there was a 58.6 percent turnout, which met one of the Tribal Constitution’s requirements – a minimum 30 percent turnout.

In September 2010, the membership was surveyed about instituting a primary process in Tribal elections and about term limits for Tribal Council service, and both ideas were supported by survey respondents.

In June 2012, a primary election amendment also failed to receive the required two-thirds approval to change the Tribal Constitution.