Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council proposes two constitutional amendments

Tribal Council decided in identical 5-2 votes to send two proposed Tribal Constitution amendments to voters during its Wednesday, April 6, meeting.

The first amendment would, if approved by voters, remove the parent on the roll at time of birth and time of application requirements and add language defining “Grand Ronde blood.”

The new definition, with new wording in italics, would read: “Grand Ronde blood is defined as all Indian blood derived from a direct ancestor whose name validly appears on the official Tribal membership roll prepared under the Grand Ronde Restoration Act; provided, that such roll may be corrected by Tribal Council with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior or the official Tribal membership roll prepared by the Tribe between Nov. 30, 1984, and Sept. 14, 1999; provided that such roll may be corrected by the Tribal Council in accordance with the Tribal Enrollment Ordinance.”

The second proposed amendment would reduce General Council participation requirements for initiatives, referendums and the calling of special General Council meetings.

Currently, the Tribal Constitution requires at least one-third of the adult general membership – more than 1,300 people – to sign a petition for an initiative, referendum, recall effort or membership-proposed constitutional amendment to proceed.

Tribal Council members said unbiased educational meetings will be held before the election regarding the possible effects of the two proposed amendments.

Tribal Attorney Rob Greene said the resolutions and proposed amendments will be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior for review and calling of an election and that, if promptly called, the constitutional election is not expected to significantly overlap with the upcoming Tribal Council election in early September.

Tribal Council also adopted a resolution appointing Janet Giddings, Sharon Hanson, Deanna Johnston, Michael Mercier and Joann Mercier to serve on the Election Board for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Special Constitutional Amendment Election.

Tribal members will be required to register to vote with the BIA for the special election. Thirty percent of those who registered to vote must cast a ballot and two-thirds of those voting must approve of the proposal for the amendment to be adopted.

To watch the Wednesday, April 6, Tribal Council meeting in its entirety, go to the Tribal website at, click on the News tab and then Video.