Constitution

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“Constitution”

of the

Mount Tabor Indian Community

 

Preamble

“We, the citizens of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community an indigenous community and political organization, having a desire to firmly establish this organization in order to preserve and enrich our culture, protect and develop our natural and human resources; provide for the stabilization and economic prosperity of our families and our posterity. Do, hereby adopt and proclaim this constitution as the governing document of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.”

 

ARTICLE § 1

NAME

  • 1.1 By this document, the name of this organization shall be the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, known by its short form of Mount Tabor Indian Community, or hereafter in this document MTIC. Any references to Texas Band of Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, Inc.; Texas Cherokees; Texas Choctaws; or sub-groups within the community such as the Thompson-McCoy Choctaw & Chickasaw Descendants Association; Thompson-Choctaws; Texas Band of Choctaw Indians; Historical designations of Yowani; Jawanie; Ioni Indians or McIntosh Party Creeks, residing in southern Gregg, northwestern Rusk, southeastern Smith and extreme northern Cherokee counties in Texas; Band, Tribe or Community, shall by this document, have the same meaning as the Mount Tabor Indian Community.

JURISDICTIONAL AREA

  • 1.2 By this document, the jurisdictional area of the band is the original Mount Tabor tribal lands, including 10,000 acres of land purchased by Benjamin Franklin Thompson in 1844 and expansion from there within the counties of northwestern Rusk, southern Gregg (after 1873)and southeastern Smith counties of Texas. The area shall be defined as beginning north of Kilgore at the Sabine River, running southwest through Overton and into Smith County to the city of Troup, then heading east into Rusk County including the towns of Wright City and Price then north-northeast to the town of New London and north back to Kilgore in Gregg County at the Sabine River.

STATEMENT RELATED TO PREVIOUS ACTS

  • 1.3 All governing documents established by the General Assembly and/or Executive Committee of the Texas Cherokees and Associate (Associated, Affiliated) Bands, including that of December 23, 1925, General Assembly resolutions 1926-2016, as well as the by-laws of June 7, 1977, proposed constitutions of August 10, 1977, June 1, 1990, State of Texas Articles of Incorporation of August 22, 1990, enrollment ordinance of May 16, 1990 and the ratified constitution of March 22, 1998, shall be superseded by this document. All claims against the State of Texas or its successor government, the United States of America, by virtue of the actions of the Republic of Texas and/or government of the United States of America or departments thereof, shall not be abridged by this document or any future actions of the Executive Committee or Tribal Council without the majority consent of the communities membership so exercised through general or special elections.

CONFEDERATION OF TRIBES

  • 1.4 By virtue of the act of the General Assembly in the city of Troup, Smith County, Texas on July 18, 2015, the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw & Muscogee-Creek peoples of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, shall continue as a confederation of tribes that has existed, from historical times to present, as one band of American Indians.

AMENDMENT AUTHORIZATION

  • 1.5 No amendments shall be allowed within this constitution without the consent of the MTIC by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting in an amendment election. All interested parties shall draft such amendment authorizations no later than one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the vote of the membership in a general or special election, for approval.

ARTICLE § 2

CITIZENSHIP

  • 2.1 By this document, all lineal descendants of the following American Indians, (progenitors of the Mount Tabor Indian Community) who meet the criteria for membership outlined in this document and the 2014 Enrollment Ordinance(amended 2017), shall be eligible for enrollment;
  1. Annie Martin-Thompson, a Cherokee Indian;
  2. John Ellis Bean and his wife Henrietta Cloud Dannenberg, both Cherokee Indians;
  3. Nannie Sabina Harnage-Bacon, a Cherokee Indian;
  4. Samuel or Saul Jones AKA Nashoba, a Choctaw Indian;
  5. Margaret McCoy-Thompson, a Choctaw & Chickasaw Indian;
  6. Martha Elizabeth Derrisaw(Durouzeaux), a Muscogee-Creek Indian and her husband John Berryhill, a Catawba Indian.

Descendants of the aforementioned American Indians, whose families were a part of the historical Mount Tabor Indian Community as evidenced by the 1850, 1860 and 1870 United States census of Smith and Rusk counties in Texas shall be eligible for citizenship, provided prioritization of enrollment is met in accordance with Article § 2.3 of this constitution. Descendants of the Adair, Bell, Buffington and Starr families of Cherokee Indians may be accepted for citizenship if they can prove they have and continue to maintain, social and/or cultural contact, with the present day Mount Tabor Indian Community and provided prioritization of enrollment is met. No person, who is not lineally, tied to a community Indian ancestor, as proven through community, state and/or federal records shall be allowed citizenship. The Executive Committee shall draft an enrollment ordinance that further clarifies all enrollment criteria. Said enrollment ordinance shall further list any additional families that may be included if adequate proof of Indian ancestry and maintenance of social and/or political contact is documented. Such an enrollment ordinance shall remain in accordance with this document.

ENROLLMENT DISCRIMINATION CLAUSE

  • 2.2 No individual who meets all other criteria for enrollment, may be barred from gaining citizenship in the Mount Tabor Indian Community, due to descent from any other races or other American Indian tribes, ethnic or regional origins, religion, creed, gender, political party affiliation, or sexual preference.

PRIORITIZATION OF ENROLLMENT

  • 2.3 In granting approval for membership within the community the following prioritization shall be established. This section shall be in accord with part of the mandatory criteria established by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Federal Acknowledgment, 25 CFR § 83.11. The percentage of enrolled descendants who do not live within Gregg, Smith or Rusk counties shall not exceed fifty (50%) percent of the MTIC total enrollment, of which thirty (30%) percent must reside within the historical area defined in Article § 1.2 of this document. A “Community Resident” shall be defined as any citizen by blood that lives within areas defined in Article § 1.2 of this document.

DETERMINATION OF DEGREES OF COMMUNITY INDIAN BLOOD

  • 2.4 There shall be no minimum Indian blood quantum required for citizenship in the community. However, for multiple purposes blood quantum will be tabulated based upon the following formulas:
  • 2.4.a Community and/or related family members whose blood quantum is listed by the Dawes Commission for inclusion on the Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes, shall be designated as it appears on said roll;
  • 2.4.b All community descendants listed on the Guion Miller Roll or Old Settler Roll for Cherokee Indians, will be deemed to possess 4/4 Indian blood;
  • 2.4.c All community descendants listed on the 1896 Choctaw Census will be deemed to possess 4/4 Indian blood;
  • 2.4.d All community descendants listed on the 1832 Creek Nation Census for Horse Path Town, will be deemed to possess 4/4 Indian blood;
  • 2.4.e All community descendants listed on the 1818 Chickasaw Annuity Roll will be deemed to possess 4/4 Indian blood.
  • 2.4.f Other determinations will be made utilizing the best available data. This includes, but is not limited to, Dawes Commission records, applications and appeals of the Cherokee Nation, Choctaw Nation, Chickasaw Nation and/or Muscogee-Creek Nation; Guion Miller Commission records, applications, and appeals; Drennen Roll; Armstrong Roll of Choctaw Indian landowners; Cooper Roll of 1856; Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Creek Muster Rolls; lists of annuity payments; other United States and tribal census data will be used in combinations as necessary to make blood quantum determinations. All inter-married bloodlines may be recognized as community lines and included in the total compilation of tribal blood quantums but shall be listed as Community Indian blood. Inclusion of other Indian bloodlines toward total blood quantum may be done as long as such inter-marriages occurred within the community prior to closure of the Base Roll.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY

  • 2.5 The MTIC Executive Committee shall have the power to enact ordinances governing citizenship, limitations on enrollment in accord with Article § 2.2, prioritization of enrollment in accord with part of the mandatory criteria established by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Federal Acknowledgment 25 CFR § 83.11, and the loss of citizenship within the MTIC, as long as such does not conflict with this constitution. 

ROLL NUMBER

  • 2.6 There shall be a number assigned to each individual citizen of the MTIC. This number shall be referred to as the “roll number”.

DUAL TRIBAL ENROLLMENT

  • 2.7 Enrollment shall be open to all lineal descendants as outlined in Article§ 2.1 of this document. Dual enrollment will be allowed for those lineal descendants who are also enrolled as members/citizens of the Cherokee Nation; United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma; Chickasaw Nation; Muscogee-Creek Nation; Jena Band of Choctaw Indians and/or Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, only if said membership is by virtue of documented Mount Tabor Indian Community blood lines and such a dual enrollment is permitted by said nations/bands. Dual enrollment of Texas Cherokee allied tribes, prior to the Cherokee War of 1839, may be considered on a case by case bases, if through inter-marriage with the Mount Tabor Indian Community, lineal descent is documented and contact in contemporary periods is maintained. These are limited to the federally recognized Alabama-Coushatta; Delaware; Shawnee,  Kickapoo and Quapaw tribes. At no time shall more that twenty (20%) percent of the total MTIC membership be members of other federally recognized tribes/nations/bands/communities/tribal-towns. No person who is an enrolled member of any other American Indian Tribe, with the exceptions of the aforementioned, Nations/Bands, may be enrolled as a citizen of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. If such a dual enrollment is determined, the individual in question shall have ninety (90) days in which to elect the tribe in which they desire to maintain membership in. If after ninety (90) days and such has not been determined, the individual shall be removed from the citizenship/membership list/roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. For those nations; tribes; bands; communities; tribal-towns, listed above that do not allow for dual citizenship, upon a determination to acknowledge the Mount Tabor Indian Community by the Secretary of the Interior, the Congress of the United States or by Executive Order of the President of the United States, the enrollee will have ninety (90) days which with to elect the tribe they desire to maintain membership in. If after ninety (90) days and such has not been determined, the individual shall be removed from the citizenship/membership list/roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.

ENROLLMENT COMMITTEE

  • 2.8 There shall be established a Base Roll, to be kept by the Registrar of the Enrollment Committee, for the inclusion of any qualified applicant for citizenship purposes in the Mount Tabor Indian Community, who presents the necessary evidence of eligibility for enrollment. The Executive Committee may empower the Registrar to keep and maintain other vital records. This shall be outlined in detail through the adoption of an Enrollment Ordinance.
  • 2.8.An Enrollment Committee shall be established. It shall be the duty of the Enrollment Committee to consider the qualifications and to determine the eligibility of those applying to have their names entered in the Base Roll. The Enrollment Committee shall consist of a Registrar and up to five (5) assistants. All members shall be appointed by the Tribal Chairman and confirmed by the Tribal Council.
  • 2.8.The decisions of the Enrollment Committee shall be subject to de novo review by the Tribal Court created by Article 7 of this document. Registration as used in this Article refers to the process of enrolling as a citizen of the MTIC and is not the same as registration for voting purposes.

 ARTICLE § 3

RIGHTS OF SUFFRAGE

  • 3.1 All citizens (18) years of age or older shall be deemed qualified electors under the authority of this document, as long as they meet all other established criteria as outlined before any special or general election.

ARTICLE § 4

BILL OF RIGHTS

  • 4.1 The judicial processes of the Mount Tabor Indian Community shall be open to every citizen of the band. Speedy and certain remedies shall be afforded under the terms of this document for every wrong and injury to person, property or reputation, wherein said remedy does not conflict with the laws of the State of Texas and/or the United States of America. The MTIC Executive Committee shall prescribe the procedures pertinent thereto. The appropriate protections guaranteed to individual tribal members by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968,25 U.S.C. §§ 1301, shall apply to all members of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, therefore nothing in this document will interfere or change the individual rights and privileges the membership has as citizens of the MTIC, the State of Texas and/or the United States of America.
  • 4.1.No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of the public trust of this band.
  • 4.1.The individually vested property rights of members of the MTIC shall not be affected in anyway whatsoever by the provisions of this Constitution or any enactment of the Executive Committee or Tribal Council.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH, RELIGION AND CONSCIENCE

  • 4.2 All citizens of the MTIC shall have the freedom of conscience, being so able to assemble and speak freely in a peaceful manner for their common good within the limits of state and/or federal law. Further, they shall have the freedom of religious belief and practice without hindrance, and to apply to those invested with powers of government; for redress of grievances or other purposes, by direct address or remonstrance in accordance with 25 U.S.C. § 1302 (8).

ARTICLE § 5

DIVISIONS OF THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT

  • 5.1 The powers of government shall be divided into three (3)distinct departments:
  • 5.1.a The Administrative authority of the band shall be vested in the Executive Committee.
  • 5.1.b The Judicial authority of the band shall be vested in the Tribal Court.
  • 5.1.c The Legislative authority of the band shall be vested in the Tribal Council.
  • 5.1.d Neither person or collection of persons may belong to the Executive Committee, Tribal Council and/or the Tribal Court at the same time, nor shall they exercise any power properly attached to the other. Exceptions to this are limited to that recorded in Articles § 6.8 & § 6.9, respectively.

ARTICLE § 6

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  • 6.1 The administrative authority of the band shall be vested in a five (5) member Executive Committee.

COMPOSITION OF THE BUSINESS COMMITTEE

  • 6.2 The Executive Committee shall consist of the following: Tribal Chairman; Deputy Chairman; Secretary; Treasurer; and Program Coordinator, who are all enrolled members, by blood, of the MTIC.

ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • 6.3 The Tribal Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the MTIC Executive Committee are elected by the electors every four (4) years or as needed under special circumstances, beginning on or before September 1, 2021. The Secretary, Treasurer and Program Coordinator are appointed by the Tribal Chairman and serve at the pleasure of the Tribal Chairman as the cabinet of the Executive Committee. Prior to the aforementioned date, the Tribal Chairman of the band may fill vacancies as prescribed by rules established by the General Assembly of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands on December 23, 1925 and set dates for a conformation vote.

BUSINESS COMMITTEE RULES RELATING TO THIS DOCUMENT

  • 6.4 This document may only be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the electors of the MTIC. However, the MTIC Executive Committee may enact rules governing its operation and/or wording that is not in conflict with this document. All rules,changes and/or wording changes shall be reviewed by the Tribal Council or MTIC Tribal Court to insure no conflict with this document exists.

ESTABLISHING AGENDAS

  • 6.5 The Executive Committee is responsible for establishing the agendas for all of its meetings.

BAND EMPLOYEES

  • 6.6 All band employees shall be hired supervised and/or terminated by provisions established by the MTIC Executive Committee. All such employees shall be subject to due processes before any termination, suspension or other disciplinary action in accordance with policies established by the MTIC Tribal Court.

ENUMERATED POWERS

  • 6.7 The Executive Committee representing the Mount Tabor Indian Community shall have the following powers:
  • 6.7.a To negotiate with Federal, including but not limited to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, State of Texas agencies, including but not limited to, legislative bodies; and, tribal governments, county and/or local municipal governments, as the needs for the band dictate.
  • 6.7.b To pursue litigation, employ counsel, the choice of said counsel and the fixing of fees.
  • 6.7.c To purchase tribal lands or to lease said lands.
  • 6.7.d To seek funding through grants, loans, sale of durable goods, to enter into contracts for sponsorships, co-ownerships of properties/businesses and/or investments for the benefit of the community.
  • 6.7.e To manage and supervise community economic affairs and business enterprises in accordance with this document.
  • 6.7.f To pass and enforce rules and regulations, providing for the management of community lands, including the making and revocation of assignments, disposition of timber, oil and mineral leases, or other resources.
  • 6.7.g To enact ordinances governing community citizenship and the loss of said citizenship, as long as such does not conflict with this constitution.
  • 6.7.h To establish a band social services program and maintain oversight of said project, including but not limited to the development of a band housing authority and procedures for working with the State of Texas on development of an Indian Child Welfare Program (ICWA).

DUTIES OF OFFICERS: TRIBAL CHAIRMAN

  • 6.8 The Tribal Chairman shall preside over all meetings of the Executive Committee shall perform the usual duties of a Chief Executive Officer, being the administrative head of the band, exercising the authority delegated to him/her by the membership of the MTIC or through appropriate legislation of the Tribal Council. The Tribal Chairman shall be accessible to the membership of the MTIC through normal business hours during the week as situations dictate. This includes, but is not limited to having telephone communications such as a cellular phone available during the aforementioned periods, as well as having access to communications through computer, e-mail or other forms that members may utilize to contact him/her. The Tribal Chairman may serve in the absence of the Tribal Council President Pro-Temp, as such, but cannot cast a vote, except to break a tie on any council measure.

Other Powers of the Tribal Chairman:

  • 6.8.a The Tribal Chairman shall have the duty to sign all legislation approved by the Tribal Council before it becomes tribal law. The Tribal Chairman has ninety (90) days to sign any legislation. If no signature is forthcoming during that period, the legislation becomes enacted on the ninety-first (91) day, following presentation to the Tribal Chairman
  • 6.8.b The Tribal Chairman shall have line item veto powers on any legislation submitted to him/her by the Tribal Council. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Tribal Council will be required to over ride any executive veto.
  • 6.8.c The Tribal Chairman shall have the authority to introduce resolutions on any operational topics to the Executive Committee. Passage of such requires a simple majority of three (3) members. All such resolutions must be in accord with this document and may be challenged through appropriate measures listed in this document to the Tribal Council and/or Tribal Court, where applicable.

DUTIES OF OFFICERS: DEPUTY CHAIRMAN

  • 6.9 The Deputy Chairman shall preside over meetings of the Executive Committee and shall perform the usual duties of the Chief Executive Officer in the absence of the Tribal Chairman. The Deputy Chairman shall be accessible to the membership of the MTIC through normal business hours during the week as situations dictate. This includes, but is not limited to having telephone communications such as a cellular phone available during the aforementioned periods, as well as having access to communications through computer, e-mail or other forms that members may utilize to contact him/her. The Deputy Chairman may serve in the absence of the Tribal Council President Pro-temp and Tribal Chairman , as such, but cannot cast a vote with the Tribal Council, except to break a tie on any council measure. The Assistant Chief shall assist the Tribal Chairman with duties as assigned, or when called upon to do so, and in the absence of the Tribal Chairman, shall preside over all executive authority. When so presiding, he/she shall have the same rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities of the Tribal Chairman: The Deputy Chairman, shall replace the Tribal Chairman, if the latter can no longer serve due resignation, removal or death, until the next regularly scheduled election by MTIC electors in accord with Article § 3.1 of this constitution.
  • 6.9.a Perform other duties as assigned by the Tribal Chairman or his/her representative.

DUTIES OF OFFICERS: SECRETARY

  • 6.10 The Secretary operates as the custodian of the bands records. This duty involves ensuring that tribal records are maintained according to Texas state law as well as any applicable Federal laws through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Administration for Native Americans (ANA) or Government Accountability Office (GAO), and that said records are available upon request by authorized Executive Committee members, other tribal management, federal or state auditors and the general membership of the MTIC at times to be determined by the Executive Committee. This includes updating sub organizations associated with the MTIC, such as not for profit bylaws and maintaining its articles of incorporation. Additionally, the Secretary must along with keeping accurate and up-to-date records of the bands membership, board minutes, and financial reports from the Treasurer and other important documents. The Secretary also manages the general communications of the MTIC Executive Committee and band employees.

Major Responsibilities:

  • 6.10.a The Secretary’s duties include managing all MTIC internal communications and preparing or keeping track of Executive Committee and Board meeting dates, meeting agendas and minutes from the meeting.
  • 6.10.b The Secretary supports the Tribal Chairman and Deputy Chairman in administrative functions related to development, including generating acknowledgment letters, keeping track of donations (to be reported to Treasurer), and assisting with MTIC mailings.
  • 6.10.c The Secretary shall assume responsibilities of the Tribal Chairman or Deputy Chairman, in the absence of such at meetings of the Executive Committee, and provide notice of meetings when needed.
  • 6.10.d Perform other duties as assigned by the Tribal Chairman or his/her representative.

DUTIES OF OFFICERS: TREASURER

  • 6.11 The Treasurer shall accept, receive receipt for, preserve and safeguard all band funds for which the Executive Committee is acting as trustee or custodian. He/she shall deposit all funds in such a depository as the Tribal Council shall deem appropriate, make and preserve a faithful record of such funds and report on all receipts and expenditures, the amount and nature of all funds in his/hers possession and custody at each regular meeting of the MTIC Executive Committee and at least annually to the Tribal Council. An audit of accounts shall be made annually for presentation to the Tribal Council, or as deemed required by the President Pro-Temp of the Tribal Council. He/she shall not pay out or otherwise disperse any funds in his/hers custody, except in accordance with a resolution or prior budget allocation approved by the Executive Committee. He/she shall be required to give a bond satisfactory to the Tribal Chairman and the President Pro-Temp of the Tribal Council, when sufficient funds have accumulated in the treasury in the opinion of the Tribal Council.

Major Responsibilities:

  • 6.11.a Assist the Tribal Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Secretary in working with external auditors on annual audit and other legal filings.
  • 6.11.b Assist the Tribal Chairman and Deputy Chairman in budget preparation for grant proposals to funding agencies.
  • 6.11.c Assist the Tribal Chairman and Deputy Chairman determine the operating budget for the nonprofit organization.
  • 6.11.d Perform other duties as assigned by the Tribal Chairman or his/her representative.

DUTIES OF OFFICERS: OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

  • 6.12 The Operations Coordinator reports regularly to the Tribal Chairman, with additional direction and oversight provided by the Deputy Chairman, Secretary and/or Treasurer as required by the uniqueness of the situation in question. This dynamic position includes program support, fund-raising and development (cultural and economic) responsibilities. Additionally, it shall be the responsibility of the Operations Coordinator to maintain an understanding and awareness of all projects undertaken by the MTIC and subordinate organizations. He/she coordinates, manages and monitors the workings of various departments within the band. Thereby improving processes and policies that support MTIC mission goals. Further, the Operations Coordinator formulates and implements departmental and organizational policies and procedures to maximize output. He/she also monitors adherence to rules, regulations and procedures in accordance with the stated descriptions of MTIC projects. All anticipated costs/expenditures of such projects shall be requested and/or reported to the Treasurer in a timely manner.

Major Responsibilities:

  • 6.12.a Assist with event and program preparation, planning and execution.
  • 6.12.b Assist in the development of strategic plans for operational activity, implement and manage operational plans.
  • 6.12.c Support the Tribal Chairman in human resources functions. Plan the use of human resources; organize recruitment and placement of required staff. Establish organizational structures, delegate tasks and accountabilities. Monitor and evaluate performance.
  • 6.12.d Gather statistics and data to create various reports related to program evaluation and fund-raising.
  • 6.12.e Understand and support the MTIC mission and its values.
  • 6.12.f Responsibilities can include: interview, hire, and train employees or direct Project Directors in such responsibilities.
  • 6.12.g Assist Tribal Chairman, Deputy Chairman and/or Project Director(s) with wage increases and job performance evaluations.
  • 6.12.h Suggest and/or implement changes in that provide for better efficiency and quality within the MTIC Executive Committee, tribal programs or tribal employees. Use said information to work to make positive changes, while becoming more efficient, and thereby improve quality of service for the MTIC membership.
  • 6.12.i Perform other duties as assigned by the Tribal Chairman or his/her representative.

OPERATING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE MTIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  • 6.13 The MTIC Executive Committee shall make its own rules and regulations for the conduct of its own business.

TITLES OF MOTIONS, ORDINANCES OR RULES

  • 6.14 All motions, ordinances or rules passed by the Committee shall have the following title: “Be it known by the action of the Executive Committee Representing the Mount Tabor Indian Community”

TITLES OF RESOLUTIONS

  • 6.15 All resolutions passed by the Committee shall be finished with the words: “By the authority vested in the Executive Committee by the General Assembly of the Mount Tabor Indian Community”

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER COMPENSATION

  • 6.16 At times members of the MTIC Executive Committee shall receive compensation, including but not limited to salary as provided by legislation passed by the Tribal Council.

OPERATING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE MTIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  • 6.17 The MTIC Executive Committee shall make its own rules and regulations for the conduct of its own business.

TITLES OF MOTIONS, ORDINANCES OR RULES

  • 6.18 All motions, ordinances or rules passed by the Committee shall have the following title: “Be it known by the action of the Executive Committee Representing the Mount Tabor Indian Community”

TITLES OF RESOLUTIONS

  • 6.19 All resolutions passed by the Committee shall be finished with the words: “By the authority vested in the Executive Committee by the General Assembly of the Mount Tabor Indian Community”

ANNUAL STATE OF THE BAND ADDRESS

  • 6.2Annually, the Tribal Chairman will deliver a speech, or publish a statement, as to the state of the band, its prospects for the future, corporation status, and his/her vision for the direction that it should take, to the general membership of the MTIC.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS/DEPARTMENTAL DIRECTORS

  • 6.2Nothing in this document can be construed to prevent the Executive Committee from appointing such Administrative Assistants or Departmental Directors, as said Committee deems proper to carry out the business of the bands.

AGE REQUIREMENTS OF THE MTIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  • 6.2Any citizen by blood, who has reached the age of twenty-one (21) years prior to the date of the election, may serve on the Executive Committee.

LIMITATIONS ON POSITIONS OF TRUST

  • 6.2No person who has been convicted of, has plead guilty to, or pled no contest, for a felony related to a violent crime, theft, or any other conviction deemed a heinous crime by the Tribal Court, within the limits of the United States of America, or its possessions thereof, shall not be allowed to hold an elected office or an appointed position of trust within the government of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, unless such a conviction or plea resulted in a pardon by the governor of the state or possession in question or a full expungement of criminal records has occurred. The Executive Committee will provide proof of such pardon or expungement to the Tribal Court prior to any election or appointment. The Tribal Court shall rule when called upon as to the definition of a heinous criminal act. The Executive Committee, by this article, shall be authorized to conduct background checks on all candidates for office, or appointed officials, to insure compliance with this article. By seeking said position on the Executive Committee, Tribal Council, Tribal Court or community projects as a Director, the candidate is agreeing to submit to said personal background check, at the expense of the band and shall hold harmless the MTIC or its officials for any information discovered by said search. All information shall be considered confidential and used only as prescribed by the Executive Committee or Tribal Court.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST LIMITATIONS

  • 6.2No member of the Executive Committee, Tribal Court, or Tribal Council and/or any subdivisions thereof, or any person employed by the MTIC, shall receive from any individual, partnership, corporation, or other entity doing business with the MTIC directly or indirectly, any interest, profit, benefits or gratuity, other than wages, salary, per diem or expenses, specifically provided for under Texas State law and/or United States Federal law.

FILLING OF VACANCIES

  • 6.2In accordance with the resolution of the Texas Cherokees in General Assembly on December 23, 1925 in the city of Miami, Ottawa County, Oklahoma, (C. Muskrat, Chairman; R.L. Smith, Secretary) all vacancies on the Executive Committee and by extension the Tribal Council, shall be filled by “appointments made by the” Tribal Chairman to a term no longer than the next regularly scheduled election of the eligible members of the MTIC.

RESIGNATION FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  • 6.2Any member of the Committee may resign from their said office by submitting a letter of their intent to the Tribal Chairman. If it is the Tribal Chairman who so desires to resign, such a letter must be submitted to the Deputy Chairman and a copy of said letter submitted to the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court.

REMOVAL OF A COMMITTEE MEMBER

  • 6.2Membership within the Executive Committee may be terminated by an act of the general membership through a recall election, subject to review by the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court. Any band member citing a felony related to a violent crime, theft, or any other conviction deemed a heinous crime within the laws of the State of Texas and/or under United States Federal Laws, may petition the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court to initiate removal of any member of the Executive Committee or Tribal Council. Such individual shall be deemed suspended by the court but not removed until formal hearings in a court of competent jurisdiction, under tribal law, have found the individual guilty. A non-guilty verdict will return the individual to their former status. Any band member citing a misdemeanor violation of Texas State laws to the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court may seek the removal of a member of the Executive Committee if the supposed misdemeanor occurred while in office. The Chief Justice shall review and forward to all other justices the complaint filed. If the justices feel the complaint valid and the misdemeanor of a serious nature, they may suspend the committee member until the issue can be voted on at the next general election, or a special election called by the Tribal Chairman. Any member of the band may seek redress for removal of a member of the Executive Committee or Tribal Council, by petitioning the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court, citing a committee member has committed lewdness, incompetence, and willful neglect of duties, corruption, moral turpitude, habitual drunkenness or misappropriation of MTIC funds or property. Upon review of the three justices, the Chief Justice will render a decision to suspend, pending the next general election. If the matter is determined a violation of Texas State law, the Chief Justice has a responsibility to turn the matter, if deemed serious enough, to the District Attorney’s office or the United States Department of Justice for further investigation. The Tribal Court shall enact such codes as are determined necessary for carrying out the provisions of this section, while assuring that due process is afforded the accused committee member.

LIABILITY INSURANCE OF OFFICERS AND JUSTICES

  • 6.2Upon approval of the Tribal Council, as soon as funds permit, all elected and/or appointed officers/justices of the MTIC shall be afforded liability insurance to protect them from frivolous laws suits brought against them in the course of their fulfilling their duties during their terms of office. The Executive Committee shall investigate and take bids on insurance policies to cover officers, presenting this information to the Tribal Council for approval. All employees of the MTIC will be offered insurance in accordance with the requirements of the labor laws of the State of Texas.

APPOINTMENT OF LEGAL COUNSEL BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  • 6.29 The Executive Committee may at its discretion appoint an individual to serve as the community’s legal counsel on activities it deems of necessary importance. The individual can be the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court, or any individual deemed acceptable to a majority of the Executive Committee. Said individual must be approved to practice law by the State Bar of the State of Texas. All services shall be pro bono unless fees are included in budgetary discussions and approved by the Tribal Council through discretionary funding.

QUORUM TO CONDUCT BUSINESS

  • 6.3The Executive Committee must have a quorum of three (3) members, with a five (5) member Committee, in order to do business or pass ordinances by said committee.

OATH OF OFFICE FOR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • 6.3“I solemnly swear that I will uphold the Constitution and Laws of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, that I will serve the community to the best of my ability, that I will work for the entire membership of the community, that I will responsibly represent the MTIC, that I will carry out the directions of the Tribal Chairman and/or Tribal Council, that I will declare when a conflict of interest could affect the performance of my duties on behalf of the MTIC, and that I will perform all duties required of me by the Constitution and Law of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.”

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT

  • 6.3All members of the Executive Committee must sign a confidentiality agreement to insure their compliance with respect to the personal and confidential records of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.

ARTICLE § 7

TRIBAL COURT

  • 7.1 The Tribal Court shall consist of three (3) judges who are recognized by the Executive Committee as having a demonstrated knowledge of state, federal and tribal law. The judges would be enrolled members by blood of the community. All justices would be chosen by the Tribal Chairman, subject to approval of the Tribal Council in accordance with Article § 6.22 of this document. The Tribal Chairman will choose a Chief Justice who will be the presiding judge, plus two additional justices. There shall be no term limits for justices who may retain the position as long as they wish, subject to removal by the general membership.

REVIEW OF LEGISLATION

  • 7.2 It shall be the duty of the Tribal Court to review all pending legislation to be placed upon the agenda by the Tribal Council to insure that it is in compliance with this document as well as Texas State and/or Federal laws. If such a discrepancy is noted the Tribal Court will inform the President Pro-Temp who will make modifications to the legislation to bring it in accord with this document, or seek an amendment election of the general membership.

INSPECTION OF MINUTES

  • 7.3 Any band member may request the Chief Justice perform an inspection of the minutes of the Executive Committee. It shall be the duty of the Chief Justice to inspect all minutes of meetings of the Executive Committee requested by said band member to insure compliance with this document. Upon finding any discrepancy, the Chief Justice shall forward to the other justices his/her interpretation of the problem and upon a two-thirds majority (2/3) of the justices, the matter shall be sent to the Tribal Chairman for correction. If the Tribal Chairman refuses such correction, the Tribal Court will refer the matter to the Tribal Council for consideration or placed before the general membership for a vote. All actions of the Executive Committee in relation to this action will be suspended pending the decision of the Tribal Council or a vote of the general membership.

COMPLAINTS PRESENTED TO THE MOUNT TABOR INDIAN COMMUNITY TRIBAL COURT

  • 7.4 The Tribal Court will hear and address all complaints that are related to interpretation of this document, band owned lands or property, trust lands; petition for action of a claim by the band for treaty violations by the Republic of Texas and its successor the United States of America and/or the State of Texas; related to due process in the removal of officers and employees; Actions towards removal of Executive Committee or Tribal Council officials under the following pretenses: Any band member citing a felony related to a violent crime, theft, or any other conviction deemed a heinous crime within the of Texas State and/or under United States Federal Laws, may petition the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court to initiate removal of any member of the Executive Committee or Tribal Council. Such member shall be deemed suspended by the court but not removed until formal hearings in a court of competent jurisdiction have found the individual guilty. A non-guilty verdict will return the individual to their former status. Any band member citing a misdemeanor violation of Texas State laws to the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court may seek the removal of a member of the Executive Committee if the supposed misdemeanor occurred while in office. The Chief Justice shall review and forward to all other justices the complaint filed. If the justices feel the complaint valid and the misdemeanor of a serious nature, they will suspend the committee member until the issue can be voted on at the next meeting of the General Assembly. Any member of the band may seek redress for removal of a member of the Executive Committee by petitioning the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court, citing a committee member has committed lewdness, incompetence, and willful neglect of duties, corruption, moral turpitude, habitual drunkenness or misappropriation of band funds or property. Upon review of the three justices, the Chief Justice will render a decision to suspend, pending the next election of the general membership and to turn the matter, if deemed serious enough, to the District Attorney’s office or the United States Department of Justice for further investigation. The Tribal Court shall enact such codes as are determined necessary for carrying out the provisions of this section, while assuring that due process is afforded the accused committee member. The Tribal Court may also act as a mediator in civil disputes between band members if called upon to do so and may in fact rule in cases related to band constitutional authority. The Tribal Court will not rule or act to involve itself in other civil or criminal matters that are beyond the scope of this document.

RULES OF OPERATION

  • 7.5 All rules of operation, hours, times and form of meetings of the Tribal Court shall be set by the justices themselves in accord with this document.

REMOVAL OF JUSTICES

  • 7.6 Any band member citing a felony related to a violent crime, theft, or any other conviction deemed a heinous crime within the State of Texas and/or under United States Federal Laws may petition the Tribal Chairmanor the President Pro Tempore to initiate removal of any justice of the MTIC Tribal Court. Such member shall be deemed suspended by the Tribal Council, but not removed until formal hearings in a court of competent jurisdiction, under tribal law, have found the individual guilty. A non-guilty verdict will return the justice to his/hers former status. Any band member citing a misdemeanor violation of Texas State laws to the President Pro Tempore may seek the removal of a justice of the Tribal Court if the supposed misdemeanor occurred while in office. The Speaker of the General Assembly shall review and forward to all other justices and MTIC Executive Committee members the complaint filed. If the President Pro Tempore feels the complaint valid and the misdemeanor of a serious nature, they will suspend the Tribal Court justice until the issue can be voted on at the next meeting of the Tribal Council. Any member of the band may seek redress for removal of a member of the Tribal Court by petitioning other Justice’s of the Tribal Court, the Tribal Chairman or the President Pro Tempore, citing a Tribal Court justice has committed lewdness, incompetence, willful neglect of duties, corruption, moral turpitude, habitual drunkenness or misappropriation of band funds or property. Upon review of the other two justices and the President Pro Tempore who together form a judicial committee, the said committee will render a decision to suspend, or to turn the matter, if deemed serious enough, to the District Attorney’s office or the United States Department of Justice for further investigation. The Tribal Court and the General Assembly shall enact such codes as are determined necessary for carrying out the provisions of this section, while assuring that due process is afforded the accused Tribal Court justice.

REPRESENTATION OF MTIC BY JUSTICES

  • 7.7 When requested by the Tribal Chairman a justice may act on behalf of the community as a negotiator with Texas State, Federal or other tribal entities.

RESERVE POWER CLAUSE OF THE TRIBAL COURT

  • 7.8 The Tribal Court does reserve the right to go beyond the scope of aforementioned powers, when authorized by the general membership, through appropriate elections, to do so, or by this document.

CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY OF TRIBAL COURT

  • 7.9 The Tribal Court is the final authority on MTIC constitutional law. Changes to this document in relation to a Tribal Court ruling shall come only through an appropriate amendment election of the general membership.

AUDITING PROCEDURES OF BAND RECORDS

  • 7.10 Any band member who wishes to view the financial, land, legal, proposal or other records of the Executive Committee may do so by requesting the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court to order an opening of Executive Committee records. The Chief Justice will then notify the band member of the times and places the Committee has made available for this review. At no time may the Executive Committee withhold records from the Tribal Court or the President Pro Tempore. The Chief Justice will further, seek an annual audit of band financial records at least three (3) months prior to any general or special election of the general membership.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS/DEPARTMENTAL DIRECTORS OF THE TRIBAL COURT

  • 7.11 Nothing in this document can be construed to prevent the Tribal Court from appointing such Administrative Assistants or Departmental Directors, as the Tribal Court deems proper to carry out the business of the court.

ELECTION BOARD

  • 7.12 An Election Board composed of five (5) members shall be appointed by the Tribal Chairman for the carrying out of elections called for by the Tribal Council. All non-floor votes, such as for constitutional amendments, elections of officers, removal of officers etc. shall come under the following criteria with oversight of the Election Board.
  • 7.12.a Polling places shall be limited to the meeting facilities of the MTIC or by absentee ballot.
  • 7.12.b Absentee Ballots shall be available for all band elections. Absentee votes may be counted for totals during the meeting of the Executive Committee on all agenda items. Non-agenda items may be voted on but no final decision shall be approved for a period of thirty (30) days to allow the Election Board an opportunity to submit absentee ballots to all absentee electors.
  • 7.12.c A list of all qualified electors (voters over 18 years of age) shall be presented to the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court and the President Pro Tempore of the Tribal Council at least thirty (30) days prior to a general or special election.
  • 7.12.d All elections shall be determined by secret ballot. All majority votes of the membership are final until the next regular or special election. (Refer to § 7.9 of this document on constitutional authority)
  • 7.13 In accordance with this section, the enrolled voting age membership through a special election, may render this constitution null and void in part or in whole, if such is warranted to place the MTIC in a position to be adopted into another federally recognized American Indian Tribe and/or to make the constitution acceptable to the Secretary of the Interior upon gaining acknowledgment as an American Indian Tribe pursuant to United States Code 25 CFR §§ 83.1-11. Subject to review and approval for submission for a special election by the Tribal Court.

TITLES OF JUSTICES

  • 7.14 All justices on the Tribal Court shall be titled “Judge” in all band documents and in their correspondence, except for the Chief Justice who may use the term “Chief Justice” in correspondence.

RESIGNATION FROM OFFICE

  • 7.15 Any member of the Tribal Court, who so desires to resign from the said position of justice, may do so at their discretion by giving a letter of such intent to the Tribal Chairman. Such letter shall be given thirty (30) days prior to the actual resignation of said justice.

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

  • 7.16 The Tribal Court shall be responsible for insuring the Executive Committee maintains the incorporation status of the non-profit charter of the Mount Tabor Indian Heritage Center, Inc. so incorporated on December 1, 2014, document number 579619190002, file number 802109265, for the purposes of promoting and protecting the culture of the Native peoples of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.

OATH OF OFFICE FOR TRIBAL JUDGES

  • 7.17 “I solemnly swear that I will uphold and promote the Constitution and Laws of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, that I will serve the community through the court to the best of my ability, that I will work for the entire membership of the community, that I will responsibly represent the MTIC, that I will carry out my duties as outlined in this Article, that I will declare when a conflict of interest could affect the performance of my duties on behalf of the MTIC, and that I will perform all duties required of me by the Constitution and Law of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.”

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT

  • 7.18 All members of the Tribal Court must sign a confidentiality agreement to insure their compliance with respect to the personal and confidential records of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.

ARTICLE § 8

TRIBAL COUNCIL

  • 8.1 The legislature shall consist of one legislative body to be called the Tribal Council of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.The Tribal Council shall consist of seven (7) enrolled citizens by blood, who are elected by the members of the community they represent. There shall be five (5) districts within the historical areas of the band in Gregg, Rusk and Smith counties and two (2) at-large districts from outside the historical areas. This body shall serve terms of four years beginning with a tribal election in 2019 and every four years thereafter.

LOCATION OF TRIBAL COUNCIL MEETINGS

  • 8.2 The Tribal Council shall meet regularly at a predetermined location within Gregg, Rusk or Smith counties or at MTIC owned or operated facilities.

PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

  • 8.3 President Pro Tempore of the Tribal Council shall be elected annually from among the seven (7) members of the Tribal Council by its members, subject to approval by the Tribal Chairman, in accordance with Article § 6.8.b.

 VOTING DISTRICTS

  • 8.4 The districts of the Tribal Council shall consist of five (5) districts within the historical areas of the community. (A) Kilgore District, shall consist of all of Gregg County into northwestern Rusk County from the town of Leverett’s Chapel; (B) Overton-Arp District, shall consist of areas in the city of Overton in Rusk County into Smith County and the city of Arp. It shall also take in all areas of Smith County north of the city of Whitehouse; (C) Sand Hill District, shall consist of Smith County from the town of Whitehouse south to the Cherokee County line, encompassing the city of Troup in Smith County and due east to the Rusk County line; (D) Screech Owl Bend District, shall consist of rural Rusk County south of the city of Henderson and west to the Smith County; (E) New London District, shall consist of areas north of and including Selman City to the Overton city limits and north to the limits of the town of Leverett’s Chapel, including the communities of New London, Old London, Sexton City and east including the city of Henderson. There shall be two (2) At-Large Districts; (F) At-Large District One, shall consist of representation of all enrolled members living in Texas but outside of the Tri-County areas of Gregg, Rusk and Smith; (G) At-Large District Two, shall consist of all enrolled members living outside of the State of Texas.

VOTERS REGISTERED DISTRICTS

  • 8.5 Individual enrolled members living in Gregg, Rusk or Smith counties, over the age of eighteen (18) years on or before Election Day, will be registered in the historical district closest to their permanent mailing address as registered with the band and appearing on the Base Roll of the MTIC.

TRIBAL COUNCIL RULES AND REGULATIONS

  • 8.6 The Tribal Council shall hold meetings and take actions in accordance with the following procedures, which it may augment by its own rules of procedures so long as they do not conflict with any provisions of this Constitution.
  • 8.6.a Regular meetings of the Tribal Council shall be held at a times and places to be set by the President Pro Tempore of the Tribal Council;
  • 8.6.b Special meetings of the Tribal Council may be called by the President Pro Tempore at his/her discretion, however, the President Pro Tempore shall call a special meeting upon written request of at least three members of the Tribal Council. No special meeting shall be called without at least thirty-six (36) hours’ notice to each member, unless each member shall waive the notice requirement in writing;
  • 8.6.c The agenda shall be set by the President Pro Tempore, provided that it shall include any items submitted upon the written request of at least three (3) members of the Tribal Council. The agenda shall be available to Tribal Council members no less than five (5) days prior to any regularly scheduled meeting, and at the time notice is given of any special meeting. Items may be added to the agenda at a Tribal Council meeting upon concurrence of three or more members;
  • 8.6.d Matters of business shall be decided by majority vote, except where otherwise required by this Constitution or the Tribal Council’s own rules set forth by ordinance. Voting shall be by roll call votes and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in minutes;
  • 8.6.e All meetings of the Tribal Council shall be open to the membership of the MTIC; however, the Tribal Council may recess at its discretion to discuss any matter in a closed or executive session, provided that the general subject matter discussed is expressed in the motion calling such session and no final or official action is taken thereon in the closed or executive session;
  • 8.6.f All final decisions of the Tribal Council on matters of general and permanent interest to the membership of the MTIC, shall be embodied in ordinances. The Tribal Council shall enact, amend or repeal any ordinance passed by the said body, by a vote of at least five (5) members of the Tribal Council. The ordinances shall be collected and made available to MTIC members and other affected persons upon reasonable request;
  • 8.6.g All final decisions of the Tribal Council on matters of temporary interest shall be embodied in resolutions. The Tribal Council shall enact, amend or repeal any resolution of said body by a majority plus one (1) vote of the Tribal Council. The resolutions shall be collected and made available to MTIC members and other affected persons upon reasonable request;
  • 8.6.h All questions of procedures shall be determined by Robert’s Rules of Order;
  • 8.6.i No Tribal Council member shall vote on any matter wherein he or she or a member of his or her immediate family (parent, spouse, child) has a direct personal interest, including but not limited to employment contracts, project funding, and appointments to band committees;
  • 8.6.j A written record shall be kept of Tribal Council proceedings. The record shall be open for inspection by all members of the Mount Tabor Indian Community;

TITLES OF LAWS, AMENDMENTS AND RESOLUTIONS

  • 8.7 All laws and amendments passed by the Tribal Council shall carry the title: “Be it enacted by the Tribal Council of the Mount Tabor Indian Community”All Resolutions passed by the Tribal Council, shall carry the title: “Be it resolved by the Tribal Council of the Mount Tabor Indian Community”

RETROACTIVE LAWS, ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

  • 8.8 The Tribal Council shall pass no laws, ordinances, resolutions or other binding documents that are retroactive.

BAND CREDIT AND FINANCIAL LIABILITIES

  • 8.9 The credit or any financial liability of the Band shall not be given, loaned or utilized in any manner without the expressed permission of the Tribal Council.

ANNUAL EXPENDITURES

  • 8.10 Annual expenditures shall not exceed annual income.

PREVIOUS GENERAL ASSEMBLY MANDATES

  • 8.11 In accordance with previous mandates established by Colonel William Penn Adair, first Chairman (Chief) of the Texas Cherokees and Affiliated Bands in 1871, it shall remain the policy of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community to pursue a settlement of the longstanding grievance with the State of Texas and the United States of America. This regarding the Treaty of February 23, 1836 and the Treaty of Birds Fort on September 29, 1843 with the Republic of Texas. The latter treaty being so ratified by action of the Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1844 that said treaty was in force with the State of Texas after annexation, as shown in the Indian Papers of Texas. Thereby constituting a relationship with the successor government, the United States of America after February 19, 1846. That said latter treaty granted formal recognition of the Texas Cherokees. That an Executive Order by United States President, James K. Polk granting members of the Ridge Party and Old Settler Cherokees to “find lands in Texas”, and with “associated” Yowani, Jawanie, Ioni Choctaws, Chickasaws and McIntosh Party Creeks, formed the Mount Tabor Indian Community that continues to exist in its original homeland guaranteed by said treaties and agreements, within the counties of Rusk and Smith (Gregg after 1873) in the State of Texas. Further, that our said people are the only group of said tribes from the Treaty of February 23, 1836 that are not currently considered Federally Recognized as an American Indian Tribe and that such recognition formerly being granted shall be pursued in addition to any claims due the Cherokee, Choctaw and “associated” peoples resulting from the violations of aforementioned treaty with the Republic of Texas. Acknowledgment by the Indian Claims Commission in 1949 of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands must be clarified within the scope of current federal law*.
  • 8.12.a In accordance with previous mandates and pursuant to the direction of the General Assembly, so assembled on June 19, 1998, in the city of Troup, Smith County, Texas, it shall be the objective of the Tribal Council to pursue Federal Acknowledgment as an American Indian Tribe, pursuant to United States Code 25 CFR §§ 83.1-11, by the Secretary of the Interior or his representative within the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Federal Acknowledgment. Or through any other means at the disposal of the Tribal Council, including but not limited to:
  • 8.12.a-1 Adoption as an entity into another federally recognized American Indian Tribe.
  • 8.12.a-2*Recognition as an American Indian Tribe through the United States Court of Claims.
  • 8.12.a-3 Recognition through Executive Order, based upon previous acknowledgment and/or claims.
  • 8.12.a-4 Recognition through an act of the Congress of the United States of America, based upon previous acknowledgment and/or claims.
  • 8.12.b The membership of the MTIC, as represented by the Tribal Council shall, through appropriate legislation, acts or resolutions, acknowledge the powers of inherent and aboriginal tribal sovereignty, while exercising the right to self-determination, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 476 and the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat., 984).

FILLING OF VACANCIES

  • 8.13 In accordance with the resolution of the Texas Cherokees in General Assembly on December 23, 1925 in the city of Miami, Ottawa County, Oklahoma, (C. Muskrat, Chairman; R.L. Smith, Secretary) all vacancies on the Executive Committee and by extension the Tribal Council, shall be filled by “appointments made by the” Tribal Chairmanto a term no longer than the next regularly scheduled election of the eligible members of the MTIC.

ANNUAL BUDGET APPROVAL

  • 8.14 The Tribal Council, prior to its implementation, shall approve all budgets.

 ENUMERATED POWERS

  • 8.15 The Tribal Council representing the membership of the Mount Tabor Indian Community shall have the following powers, but not limited to:
  • 8.15.a Review and approve annual budgets submitted to the Tribal Council by the Tribal Chairman..
  • 8.15.b The Tribal Council shall cause to be installed, maintained, and audited a complete and detailed accounting system and such safeguards as bonding officials and employees responsible for the safety, accuracy, and maintenance of such records and funds.
  • 8.15.c Establish and enforce ordinances governing the conduct and civil relations of the residents within the territorial jurisdiction of the band and establish a civil and criminal law enforcement code and judicial system governing the conduct of the American Indian and non-Indian residents (as allowed by Texas state and/or federal law) within the lands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community by Tribal Court, whose powers and duties shall not be encroached upon by another branch of tribal government, except as may be provided for by this constitution, Texas state law, federal law, or any amendments thereto.
  • 8.15.Approve or disapprove any salary or wages paid for performance of Tribal Council duties.

TERMS OF OFFICE

  • 8.16 The terms of office shall be for a period of three (3) years. After the initial 2017 appointments in accordance with Article § 8.13, the Tribal Chairman, shall stagger the terms of Tribal Council members, with four (4) having a term of two (2) years and the remaining three (3), having terms of three years (3) each. Council members may serve up to three (3) consecutive terms and may run for the office after an absence of three (3) years, or by appointment under special circumstances by the Tribal Chairman, with the approval of a majority of the Tribal Council.

RELIGIOUS GUARANTEE CLAUSE

  • 8.17 The Tribal Council shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the People to peaceably assemble, or to petition the Executive Committee, Tribal Council or Tribal Court for a redress of grievances.

POWER TO CHANGE DISTRICTS AND REPRESENTATION

  • 8.18 The Business Council shall have the power to change the districts and the representation from each district based upon community organization or otherwise, as deemed advisable, such change to be made by ordinance, but the total number of councilmen shall not be changed, as provided for in Article 2 of this Constitution.

OATH OF OFFICE FOR TRIBAL COUNCIL MEMBERS

  • 8.19 “I solemnly swear that I will uphold the Constitution and Laws of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, that I will serve the community to the best of my ability, that I will work for the entire membership of the community, that I will responsibly represent the MTIC, that I will carry out the directions of the Tribal Chairmanand/or Tribal Council, that I will declare when a conflict of interest could affect the performance of my duties on behalf of the MTIC, and that I will perform all duties required of me by the Constitution and Law of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.”

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT

  • 8.20 All members of the Tribal Council must sign a confidentiality agreement to insure their compliance with respect to the personal and confidential records of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.

RESERVE POWER CLAUSE

  • 8.2Any powers not expressly mentioned or vested in any division of band/community government in this constitution shall not be abridged, but may be adopted through appropriate amendments, resolutions, initiatives and other legislative remedies as required by and through the Tribal Council.

ARTICLE § 9

SEAT OF GOVERNMENT

  • 9.1 The official seat of government by this document, shall remain in the County of Rusk, State of Texas, with offices as needed in Smith and/or Gregg counties.

ARTICLE § 10

FISCAL YEAR

  • 10.1 The fiscal year of the Bands shall begin on 1 September of each year.

ANNUAL BUDGET

  • 10.2 The Executive Committee shall prepare a budget for submission and approval to the Tribal Council, prior to its implementation.

ARTICLE § 11

INITIATIVES, REFERENDUMS AND AMENDMENTS

  • 11.1 The people of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, reserve to themselves the power and rights through general elections to propose laws and amendments to this constitution and other documents enacted by the Executive Committee or to change laws so ruled upon by the Tribal Court as deemed necessary by the membership of the community.

PETITION FOR REFERENDUM

  • 11.2 Any enrolled member may initiate a petition for a referendum or constitutional amendment by collecting a minimum of fifty (50) signatures of qualified electors at least forty-five (45) days before a scheduled general or special election. This shall be presented to the Chief Justice of the Tribal Court, who after reviewing the signatures and deeming them valid, shall forward the petition to the Election Board within fifteen (15) days for inclusion of a vote at the next scheduled general or special election. Any petition forwarded to the Chief Justice less than forty-five (45) days before a regularly scheduled general election with from fifty (50) to ninety-nine (99) signatures shall be ruled on by the Chief Justice as to whether it shall be brought before the general membership. The Chief Justice shall bring a petition with one hundred (100) or more signatures for a vote in a scheduled general or special election. Such a vote will only be binding after absentee electors have an adequate opportunity to review the petition in accordance with Article § 7.12.

ARTICLE § 12

APPROVAL

  • 12.1 This constitution is hereby approved by the Executive Committee of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, this 11th day of November, 2016 in the city of Kilgore, Gregg County, Texas.

 

_________________________________                                         ______________________________
J.C. Thompson, Tribal Chairman                                                       William E. Bean, Deputy Chairman
Mount Tabor Indian Community                                                         Mount Tabor Indian Community

 

ARTICLE § 13

RATIFICATION

  • 13.1 This document was hereby ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of eligible registered voters of the Mount Tabor Indian Community on this ____________ day of ____________, 2017

Election ratification verified by Thomas M. Thompson, Election Board Chairman

 

_________________________________
Thomas “Tommy” Thompson, Chairman, Election Board
Mount Tabor Indian Community

ARTICLE § 14

CERTIFICATION

  • 14.1 I, the Secretary of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, acknowledge that the foregoing Constitution is a true and accurate reflection of the law of the Mount Tabor Indian Community as of this _______day of _________, 2017.

 

_________________________________
Caroll Muckelroy-Ecby, Executive Committee Secretary
Mount Tabor Indian Community

 

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