MOUNT TABOR INDIAN COMMUNITY
Authorized by Executive Committee Action: 25 October 2014
As amended 29 October 2015 (affirmed by General Assembly on 4 June 2016)
Pursuant to Article § 2.1 of the 2017 Ratified Constitution
- 1 PURPOSE:
This ordinance is intended to define and regulate membership in the Mount Tabor Indian Community in accordance with the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, hereinafter referred to as the Mount Tabor Indian Community or MTIC.
1.1 Pursuant to Article § 2.1 “The Executive Committee shall draft an enrollment ordinance that clarifies family lines of descent that are recognized as historically a part of the Mount Tabor Indian Community from documented American Indian lineal ancestors. Such an enrollment ordinance shall remain in accordance with this document and shall insure that such enrollment is limited to community members by blood only.
1.2 This ordinance shall supersede all previous ordinances and/or resolutions regarding membership in the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
1.3 This ordinance shall provide for the implementation of policies and procedures for enrollment by the Executive Committee, subject to review and authorizations of the Tribal Council, pursuant to Article § 8 of the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
- 2 DEFINITION OF TERMS:
2.1 Terminology as used in this ordinance as well as by enrollment staff and the Executive Committee shall be defined as follows:
- Acknowledgment of Paternity: This shall be determined by one or more of the following,
and shall include, but will not be limited to:
(1) A signed acknowledgment by the natural father.
(2) A judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction which shall include tribal, state or
federal court systems.
(3) A decision of the Executive Committee pursuant to procedures and regulations
established by the Mount Tabor Indian Community
(4) Tribal, state, or federally certified documents.
(5) DNA results proving citizen who is child’s father is documented as such.
2. Adopted Child:One whose biological parent(s) parental rights have been terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction and given to another
3. Adult:Any competent person who has reached the age of eighteen (18) years
4. Appeal:To make an appeal for reconsideration of an adverse decision by the Enrollment Committee to the Executive Committee
5. Applicant:The person seeking to be enrolled
6. Application for Enrollment:The application required to be filled out in its entirety and submitted by any individual seeking to be enrolled as a member of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
7. Appellant:Means a person who is appealing a decision by community authorities to reject an application for enrollment
8. Base Roll/Tribal Roll:The term “Base Roll, Tribal Roll or Final Roll” as used in this context, shall mean the official Mount Tabor Indian Community Final Membership Roll of all qualified members/citizens (superseding that of March 10, 1978 and July 28, 2001). Said roll, upon closure of the “working roll” shall be established. This shall serve as the primary determination of future membership/citizenship of descendants born from those listed on the Base Roll after its establishment. Said roll shall be that utilized in providing a list of recognized members/citizens when or if necessary to provide such to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Federal Acknowledgment and/or any United States Federal Court, including the Indian Claims Commission, related to efforts to seek redress from previous treaty violations and/or establish federal status through court order based upon previous formal federal recognition by the Republic of Texas and the United States of America after 1845 and by continued Government to Government relationships with the TCAB throughout much of the 20th The Base Roll shall be used to determine degree of Indian blood, which shall be arithmetically established for all community members. The primary purpose of the Base Roll beyond that already described herein, is to meet the criterion established in Article § 2.1 of the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
9. Burden of Proof:The burden of proof shall be upon the Applicant to establish all elements of the Applicant’s entitlement to enrollment and/or to a correction of blood degree as specified within the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community as well as rules and regulations relating to this ordinance, unless otherwise specifically stated herein. Any matters required to be proved under this ordinance unless specifically stated, must be proved to the satisfaction of the Enrollment Committee, Executive Committee, Tribal Court and/or Tribal Council, as provided herein, by clear and convincing evidence.
10. Cherokee Nation:The federally recognized Cherokee Nation as related to those Mount Tabor descendants who are members and/or residents of said nation in the State of Oklahoma.
11. Chickasaw Nation:The federally recognized Chickasaw Nation as related to those Mount Tabor descendants whose ancestors relocated to the area near Marlow, Pickens County of said nation after 1880 for the purposes of inclusion on the Dawes Commission Roll (Final Roll of the Five Civilized Tribes), or members and/or residents of said nation.
12. Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma:The federally recognized Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as related to those Mount Tabor descendants who are members of said nation.
13. Constitution:2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
14. Court of Competent Jurisdiction:Means any court recognized by local, county, state, tribal or federal authority to act on cases brought before it to render decisions related to said cases.
15. Dawes Roll:Means (1898-1907) Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes, used in determining membership and blood quantum’s in said tribes/nations in the State of Oklahoma.
16. Degree of Indian Blood (DIB):The fractional amount of American Indian/Native American blood a person possess beginning with a full blood 4/4 American Indian/Native American ancestor or combinations of multiple ancestors adding to a total compilation of American Indian/Native American blood.
17. Direct Lineal Descendant:Father to son or daughter, going backward to ancestors that one links to directly, not cousins or aunt/uncles.
18. Dis-enrollment: Means the policy of removing a person from a tribal roll, often against their will.
19. Documentation:Providing proof of lineal ancestry through birth and/or death certificates, Last Will and Testaments, U.S.-Texas census and/or tribal census (1818 Chickasaw Annuity Roll, Drennen Roll, Armstrong Roll, etc.) as well as enrollment testimony for inclusion on various tribal rolls, such as the Dawes Commission Roll, Old Settler Roll or Guion Miller Roll.
20 Enrollment Committee:The committee that receives submissions for enrollment and makes initial decisions on qualifications for inclusion on the Base Roll.
21. Family Tree Chart:The chart starting with the applicant and listing all lineal ancestors back to the American Indian/Native American ancestor of whom descent is traced.
22. General Assembly:The former legislative body authorized under the 1998 MTIC Constitution.
23. Guion Miller Roll:Payment Roll for Eastern Cherokees regardless of residence in the early 20th century
24. Incompetent(s):Any individual who has been adjudicated as incompetent and/or requires a legal guardian to make decisions or enter into contracts on their behalf.
25. Indian Claims Commission:Federal Court that recognized and heard case of the Texas-Cherokees and Associate Bands vs. the United States in 1949 for land claims stemming from the Treaty of Bowles Village on February 23, 1836.
26. Jena Band of Choctaws:The federally recognized (1995) Jena Band of Choctaw Indians in Louisiana whose Jones and Jackson families are perceived tied to the descendants of Margaret McCoy-Thompson (Percilla Jackson-Thompson, Elizabeth Jackson-Thompson, Elizabeth Jones Mangum-Thompson) and Nashoba (Jones family).
27. MCR: Means “Mississippi Choctaw Rejected”, a notation placed upon all Texas Choctaw who were initially listed as “Mississippi Choctaws” under the provisions of previous treaties between the United States and the Choctaw Nation. Texas Choctaws did not come under this provision and all were listed and given MCR numbers that are referenced in Dawes Commission exhibits. This had nothing to do with questions as to Thompson or Jones family Choctaw ancestry, which was never in question by the Dawes Commission.
28. Minor/Child/Children:Any child who is not an emancipated minor, who is under the age of eighteen (18) years.
29. Muscogee-Creek Nation:The federally recognized Muscogee-Creek Nation as related to those Mount Tabor descendants who are members and/or residents of said nation in the State of Oklahoma.
30. Parent(s):Means biological parent(s) that is a citizen or descendant of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
31. Progenitor’s:Means one of the six families (Thompson-Martin; Bean; Harnage; Thompson-McCoy; Jones; Berryhill) that remained in Gregg, Rusk and Smith counties from historical times (1845-1865) to present as outlined in the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
32. Registrar:Serves as the chairperson of the Enrollment Committee, who is the keeper of the Base Roll.
33. Relevant Data Form:Means a form drafted by and available from the Enrollment Committee office which shall request from applicants for membership important information about the applicant and the applicant’s heritage upon which decisions regarding the applicant’s eligibility for membership or desirability as a member may be based. The Relevant Data Form shall not be considered to define all acceptable or relevant data regarding membership which may be considered in making decisions under this ordinance.
34. Stand Alone Family:A family who genealogy stands as distinct, proven American Indian/Native American lineages and not dependent upon other proven community families to qualify for citizenship.
35. Treaties:The treaties that apply directly or indirectly to the contemporary Mount Tabor Indian Community. The Treaty of Bowles Village, February 23, 1836; Treaty of Birds Fort, September 29, 1843; Treaty of Tehuacana Creek, October 9, 1844.
36. Tribal Council:The legislative body of seven (7) enrolled members of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, by blood, elected by the constituents of the seven (7) districts of the band in accordance with the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
37. Tribal Court: Court of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
38. William C. Thompson et al vs. Choctaw Nation:Case before the United States Supreme Court, determining the reinstatement for Texas Choctaws (Mount Tabor Community) of the Thompson-McCoy and Jones families for inclusion as Citizens by Blood on the Final Roll of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
- 3 MEMBERSHIP
3.1 Qualifications for Citizenship
The membership of the Mount Tabor Indian Community for citizenship and all community programs shall be composed of all persons on the roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community on the date of its closure, on or before December 31, 2018, who can show lineal descent from one or more of the following families:
- Annie Martin-Thompson, a Cherokee Indian and her husband Benjamin Franklin Thompson;
- John Ellis Bean and his wife Henrietta Cloud Dannenberg, both Cherokee Indians;
- Nannie Sabina Harnage-Bacon a Cherokee Indian and her husband John Dana Bacon;
- Margaret McCoy-Thompson, a Choctaw & Chickasaw Indian and her husband Henry Thompson through their son’s:
4.a Henry Thompson Jr. and his wife Percilla Jackson, a Choctaw Indian (only his descendants that settled in Rusk, Smith or Gregg counties)
4.b Archibald Thompson and his wives Elizabeth Jackson, a Choctaw Indian; Nancy Aveline Ile, ancestry unknown; Anna Strong Thompson, non-Indian (only his descendants that settled in Rusk, Smith or Gregg counties)
4.c William Thompson and his wife Elizabeth Jones Mangum, a Choctaw Indian (all of his descendants, including those that relocated to Trinity and Angelina counties as long as they can document continued contact with the community);
- Samuel Jones(aka Soloman, Saul or Jim Jones or Nashoba), a Choctaw Indian (only his descendants that settled in Rusk, Smith, Gregg counties counties);
- Martha Elizabeth Derrisaw-Berryhill(Durouzeaux), a Muscogee-Creek Indian and her husband John Berryhill, a Catawba Indian.
The above individuals were a part of the historical Mount Tabor Indian Community in Texas. Such has been evidenced by multiple census records between 1850 and 1880 of Rusk County, Texas, Smith County, Texas and/or Gregg County, Texas (after 1873).
Lineal descendants of the above listed individuals, shall be eligible for citizenship, provided prioritization of enrollment is met in accordance with Article § 2.3 of the 2017 Constitution. No person, who is not legally tied to community Indian ancestry, proven through community, state and/or federal records shall be allowed citizenship.
Amendment regarding social contact of all enrollees:
In accord with the 2017 Constitution and this Ordinance, the Enrollment Committee considers our band to consist of individuals who have BOTH a common ancestry AND social contact to the Mount Tabor tribal body itself. Ancestry must be traced via birth certificate to a one or more of the specific group of historical community extended families identified by the Mount Tabor Indian Community. Social contact requires pre-existing mutual socialization with existing community members to a level determined satisfactory by the Executive Committee and /or General Assembly of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. This criterion may surprise some individuals who assume that ancestry and/or a particular blood quantum are all that is required. As we seek status as a sovereign nation, the Mount Tabor Indian Community reserves the right to decide its own citizenship and we have chosen these criterion’s to ensure a focus on the social aspect of what it means to be an American Indian in a distinct community and/or band versus simply being a family tree social organization.
For those individuals seeking community citizenship, we provide limited contact information because if you have the pre-existing mutual socialization described above, you should already have sufficient social contact to the band to know how to make the necessary inquiries. We do not have a paid staff to respond to membership inquiries, especially the huge number since announcement that our band is seeking federal acknowledgment.
Individuals who do contact the band regarding membership issues are advised that the Mount Tabor Indian Community reserves the right to choose whether or not to respond. Unsolicited documents will not be returned. Unsolicited monies will not be returned and will be donated to the Mount Tabor Indian Heritage Center, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) not for profit corporation and Texas tax exempt organization.
We realize that possibly as high as 40% of the surrounding population claims to be of some Indian blood, generally Cherokee. However, as ours is a distinct community, Cherokee blood, even if it can be proven, is not a qualification in itself for membership. This some find hard to comprehend. One must be part of the distinct community(ies) that make up the Mount Tabor Indian Community. These pocket communities lie in rural areas near Troup, Arp, Overton, New London, Price and Kilgore. This includes community owned lands in Rusk County. We live in tight knit somewhat introverted communities where family is a priority as is holding on to lands our ancestors have lived on for generations. While we invite non-community members to take part in our open activities, please note that our culture and traditions are ours alone, the lands including our cemeteries are also ours alone and must be respected. Finally, we are not in the business of doing genealogical research for any individuals. The burden of proof as relating to lineal descendancy and social contact, for the purposes of qualifying for membership, lay with the individual only.
3.2 Exceptions for Citizenship
Other families may qualify based upon lineal descent from an ancestor(s) who were part of the historical community but are now a part of the Cherokee Nation; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Chickasaw Nation; Jena Band of Choctaw Indians or Muscogee-Creek Nation. All can be considered for citizenship if they can prove they have and continue to maintain contact with the present day community. As long the twenty percent (20%) rule is not violated (2017 TCAB-MTIC Constitution)
- Walter “Black Watt” Adair a Cherokee Indian and his wife Rachel Thompson
- Samuel Adair a Cherokee Indian and his wife Margaret Deason,Edith Pounds, Ada and Polly a Cherokee Indian
- John Bell Jr.and his wife Charlotte Adair, both Cherokee Indians
- George Harlan Starr and his wives Nannie Bell, Nellie Carr and Mary Blackburn all Cherokee Indians
- Sarah “Sallie” Walker Starr a Cherokee Indian and her husband Jesse Mayfield
- Joseph Lynch Thompson and his wife Frances B. Kell both Cherokee Indians
- Ellis Buffington Jr. And his wife Elizabeth Starr both Cherokee Indians
3.3 Formerly Recognized Families in Need of Documentation to be Considered for Progenitor Family Status
Families which are in need of further documentation before their descendants may be considered for stand alone enrollment are:
- 1. Reuben Hicks, a Cherokee Indian and his wife Chomoctay, a Chickasaw Indian, may be included if proof in addition to that of Dr. Emmett Starr (History of the Cherokee Indians) can show beyond any reasonable doubt they are of American Indian ancestry. If such is accomplished then their descendants shall be included if they can further prove they have and continue to maintain contact with the present day community.
- 2. Mary Franklin-Spring a Choctaw Indian, (daughter of Sophia Pitchlynn) and her husband William Spring (see John S. Spring et al vs. Choctaw Nation; William Spring et al vs. Choctaw Nation) whose descendants may be included if they prove residency in Rusk or Smith counties at some point during the historical periods and can further prove they have and continue to maintain contact with the present day community.
- Even Charles Christie, a Cherokee Indian, whose descendants shall be included if they can prove they have and continue to maintain contact with the present day community.
- William “Billy” Bottoms, a Choctaw Indian and his wife Ann Meshulahtubbee, a Choctaw Indian (see Z.T. Bottoms et al vs. Choctaw Nation) whose descendants may be included if they prove residency in Rusk, Smith (extreme northeastern Cherokee) or Gregg counties at some point during the historical periods and can further prove they have and continue to maintain contact with the present day community.
- Descendants of the Elliot and Hillin families of Cherokee Indians, that appear on the Guion Miller Roll and who resided in the Pine Hill Community in Rusk County may be eligible if they can further prove they have and continue to maintain contact with the present day community.
- Caleb Starr Bean and his wife Mary Ann Thompson, both Cherokee Indians who have at this time no known living descendants. If such descent can be documented through DNA of the descendants of former slaves of Caleb Starr Bean and they meet all other requirements set forth in the 2017 Constitution and/or this Enrollment Ordinance, they may be determined eligible for citizenship
- William Wirt Thompson and his wife Marjory Anna Virginia Hicks*, both Cherokee Indians whose descendants are currently eligible if meeting requirements set out in the 2017 Constitution. Other descendants of the slaves of William Wirt Thompson who claim biological descent and can be documented through DNA of said descendants, as long as such individuals meet all other requirements set forth in the 2017 Constitution and/or this Enrollment Ordinance, may be determined eligible for citizenship. (*See #1. of this section regarding any part of the Hicks family)
- John Griffith Harnage and his wives Ruth Starr and Emily Walker Mayfield all Cherokee Indians whose known living descendants left Mount Tabor for the Cherokee Nation before 1900. However, some individuals claiming biological descendants of John Griffith Harnage though ancestors that were his former slaves may be deemed eligible for citizenship, if such descent can be documented through DNA and they meet all other requirements set forth in the 2017 Constitution and/or this Enrollment Ordinance.
- Lucy Fish-Gage a Cherokee Indian and her husband David Gage, whose descendants may be included if they prove residency in Rusk, Smith (extreme northeastern Cherokee) or Gregg counties at some point during the historical periods and can further prove they have and continue to maintain contact with the present day community.
(2017 Constitution )
“§ 2.6 Enrollment shall be open to all lineal descendants as outlined in Article § 2.1 of this document. Dual enrollment will be allowed only for those lineal descendants who are enrolled as members of the Cherokee Nation; United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians; Chickasaw Nation; Muscogee-Creek Nation; and/or Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, if said membership is by virtue of documented Mount Tabor Indian Community blood lines and such a dual enrollment is permitted by said nations. At no time shall more that twenty (20%) percent of the total MTIC membership be members of other federally recognized tribes/nations/bands. No person who is an enrolled member of any other American Indian Tribe, with the exceptions of the aforementioned, Nations/Bands, may be an enrolled citizen of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.”
3.4 Prioritization of Enrollment
To insure compliance with the rules established through the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Federal Acknowledgment, criteria 25 CFR Part 83.11, the Mount Tabor Indian Community has established a Prioritization of Enrollment to insure compliance with said Federal Criteria. This insures that a minimum of 30% of voting age members live within the bands “historical community areas” in southern Gregg, northwestern Rusk and southeastern Smith Counties. This would also include extreme northeastern Cherokee County near the town of Troup which extends into Cherokee County. The rural areas near the towns of Kilgore (Gregg & Rusk), Overton and New London (Rusk), Arp and Troup (Smith & Cherokee) are considered within the boundaries of the historical areas as evidenced by the 1850 and 1860 United States census for the State of Texas. Pockets of community descendants have been established in rural areas near these towns that form a distinct community from historical times to present. An additional 20% of voting age members must live within the tri-county areas as designated above, making a total of 50% of the adult voting age members living within 30 miles of Kilgore, Texas.
Prioritization of Enrollment shall consist of the following:
3.4 a First priority of enrollment shall be for any individual who qualifies as a lineal descendant of one of the community’s progenitors (section 3.1 of this document) who has legal residence within the defined historical community areas or who resides on community (tribal) owned lands (also within the historical areas as defined in this section). Such and individual shall be enrolled at anytime prior to the establishment of the Final Roll. Following closure of Final Roll, lineal descendants who relocate back to the community, may be considered for enrollment based upon the procedures established for such by the Mount Tabor Indian Community, through the Tribal Council and in line with agreements between the Mount Tabor Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs and/or Congress of the United States of America. This provision shall become effective as of May 11, 2015, per action of the Executive Committee, subject to approval of the General Assembly, so assembled on July 18, 2015 in the city of Troup, Smith County, Texas.
- The second Prioritization for Enrollment, providing that the 30% minimum of voting age members, reside within the historical area, shall be for any lineal descendant as noted in this document, who resides in Rusk, Smith or Gregg counties. These individuals may be enrolled prior to the closing of the Final Roll for submission to the Office of Federal Acknowledgment. Following closure of Final Roll, lineal descendants, may be considered for enrollment based upon the procedures established for such by the Mount Tabor Indian Community, through the Tribal Council and in line with agreements between the Mount Tabor Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs and/or Congress of the United States of America.
- The third Prioritization for Enrollment is for all who live outside the three county area of Gregg, Rusk and Smith counties. As of May 12, 2015, no enrollments will be allowed for those that live outside the three county area except for a Special Dispensation (see section 3.5 of this document)
- Prioritization for Enrollment does not apply to those enrolled before May 11, 2015, regardless of residence, unless they fail to maintain social contact with the community. Social contact can be demonstrated through attendance at annual reunion/general conferences; maintaining current and correct mailing addresses and telephone numbers; involvement in other community projects; responding to direct requests for information in a timely manner by the Executive Committee, Tribal Court or other agencies within the band or its representatives. Failure to do so may result in an individual’s name being removed from the working roll and not included on the Final Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. Once removed, they will not be a citizen of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. Restoration of citizenship can be made through relocation into the community’s historical areas prior to submission of the Final Roll to the Office of Federal Acknowledgment. Following such submission enrollment will be based upon the procedures established for such by the Mount Tabor Indian Community, through the Tribal Council and in line with agreements between the Mount Tabor Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs and/or Congress of the United States of America.
3.5 Special Dispensation for Enrollment
Special Dispensation for Enrollment shall consist of the following, subject to revisions by the Executive Committee:
- Family group enrollment shall consist of families that reside within the historical area but have members who have left the area due to employment, education, etc. If such families enroll together at a minimum of a 3:1 ratio (3 applicants live in community and 1 out) then the individual(s) who reside outside the community may be included at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
- Individuals who, although living outside of the historical area, still own lands within the historical areas may be considered for Special Dispensation, including Prioritization for Enrollment, subsection a.
- Individuals who are documented lineal descendants of Mount Tabor progenitor families and who can demonstrate that due to no fault of their own, (military service, adoption by non-community families, estrangement from family, etc) they were not informed of deadlines for submission of applications for membership and who live outside of the historical area and/or three county service area, may be admitted through Special Dispensation if Prioritization for Enrollment a. has been met. Such shall be up to the Executive Committee to determine if the individual(s) may be enrolled as citizens of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
3.6 Determination of Paternity
Where the parents of an applicant were not married at the time of the birth of the applicant, the Enrollment Committee may require appropriate blood tests for the applicant if only the father is a community citizen.
3.7 Enrollment Discrimination Clause
No individual who meets all other criteria for enrollment may be barred from gaining membership in the Mount Tabor Indian Community, due to descent from other races or other American Indian tribes, ethnic or regional origins, religion, creed, gender, political party affiliation, or sexual preference.
- 4 ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE
4.1 Enrollment Procedure:
Prior to closure and establishment of the Final Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, all enrollments into the Mount Tabor Indian Community shall take place under the provisions of this section.
4.2 Approval, Denial, No Money Damages:
All persons who prove under the rules and standards set out in this Ordinance that they meet all qualifications for enrollment shall have a right to enroll in the Mount Tabor Indian Community. An applicant denied the right to enroll shall not, under any circumstances, be compensable in money damages against the Mount Tabor Indian Community, its employees or officers.
4.3 Application for Enrollment:
Applicants attempting to enroll shall file a written Application for Enrollment with the Enrollment Committee which Application shall contain relevant evidence and documentation showing that the person is entitled to enrollment in the Community. The Enrollment Committee shall make every effort to assist applicants in filling out the Application for Enrollment and the enrollment process.
4.4 Relevant Data Form:
If the initial Application for Enrollment lacks data adequate to make a determination for enrollment, then within one hundred twenty days (120) days of the receipt of an Application for Enrollment, the Executive Committee and/or Enrollment Committee shall send by to the person filing the application, at his or her last known address, a comprehensive list of the kinds of evidence and data utilized by the Enrollment Committee to make decisions on enrollment and a completed Relevant Data Form with a place on the form for the person’s verified signature (or that of their parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor or incompetent), stating that the applicant has supplied all relevant data that he or she intends to submit to the Community on the issue of the applicant’s enrollment. Final review of an enrollment application shall not begin until the completed Relevant Data Form has been returned to the Enrollment Committee.
4.5 Determination Procedure of the Executive Department
Within one hundred twenty (120) days of the filing of the completed Relevant Data Form with the Community, the Executive Committee shall make a formal, written recommendation of enrollment or recommendation of denial of enrollment, along with written reasons, to the Enrollment Committee. A copy of the written recommendation of enrollment or recommendation of denial of enrollment shall be sent to the person applying for enrollment at his or her last known address at the same time the recommendation is sent to the Enrollment Committee.
4.6 Determination Procedure of the Enrollment Committee
- The Enrollment Committee shall, within ninety (90) days of the filing with the Enrollment Committee of the written recommendation of the Executive Committee, approve or disapprove the recommendation, in writing, by majority vote of the Enrollment Committee and convey notice of approval or disapproval to the applicant.
- A failure by the Enrollment Committee to act within ninety (90) days of the filing of a recommendation from the Executive Committee shall cause the Executive Committee’s recommendation to become final for the Community on the sixty-first (61) day after receipt of the recommendation by the Enrollment Committee.
- A vote by a majority of the Enrollment Committee in favor of the recommendation of the Executive Committee by the Enrollment Committee shall cause the recommendation to become final for the Community on the date of the vote.
- A vote by a majority of the Enrollment Committee against a recommendation by the Executive Committee to permit enrollment of an Applicant shall cause at the direction of the Enrollment Committee either:
(1) The applicant to be finally denied enrollment on the date of the Enrollment Committee vote; or
(2) The recommendation of the Enrollment Committee to be returned to the Executive Committee for no more than thirty (30) days for further review.
- If a recommendation is returned for further review, a second recommendation shall, on or before the thirtieth (30) day after the return, be sent back to the Enrollment Committee. Upon filing of the recommendation for the second time with the Enrollment Committee, the Enrollment Committee shall vote either to permit enrollment or to finally deny enrollment; and the failure to conduct such a vote within sixty (60) days on the second recommendation of the Executive Committee, or a vote to return the second recommendation to the Executive Committee, shall be considered a failure to act and as such, final determination shall be by a majority vote of the Tribal Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
- A vote by the Enrollment Committee against a recommendation by the Executive Committee to deny enrollment to an Applicant shall cause, at the direction of the Enrollment Committee:
(1) The enrollment to be finally permitted on the day of the vote; or
(2) Submitted to the Tribal Council for a vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
(3) The recommendation to be returned to the Executive Committee for no more than thirty (30) days for further review.
(4) The Executive Committee may use an Executive Order to block any applicant so authorized by the Enrollment Committee. Such action shall be deemed to put the matter before the Tribal Council for a vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Said decisions of the Tribal Council shall be upheld unless appealed to the Tribal Court for a final decision/ruling.
4-1. If a recommendation is returned to the Executive Committee for further review, it shall, on or before the thirtieth (30) day after its return, be sent back to the Enrollment Committee with recommendations in accordance with the applicable portion of section 4.6 a, above. Upon filing of the recommendation for the second time with the Enrollment Committee, the Committee shall vote either to permit enrollment or to deny enrollment. A failure to vote within sixty (60) days on the second recommendation or a vote to return the second recommendation to the Executive Committee shall be considered a failure to act as in section 4.6 e, above.
4-2 A final denial of enrollment shall not be reopened by the Community without a showing that the Applicant denied enrollment has available for immediate presentation substantial, credible, new evidence. A decision by the Executive Committee and/or the Enrollment Committee that substantial, credible, new evidence does not exist to reopen an enrollment, shall be appealable only on that specific issue under the Subchapter on Appeals under this Ordinance.
4.7 Final Decision, Tribal Rights, Appeals, Per Capita Payments
The decision of the Enrollment Committee shall be final for the Mount Tabor Indian Community and a person admitted to membership by vote of the Enrollment Committee, or by operation of this Ordinance, shall be entitled to exercise citizenship rights on the date of favorable enrollment action by the Committee or by operation of this Ordinance. Persons denied enrollment shall be permitted to appeal as provided below. Persons obtaining membership in the Community by enrollment shall be entitled to receive per capita payments, if any were made, from the date that the completed Relevant Data Form was filed with the Enrollment Committee.
4.8 Determination of Degree of Indian Blood
1. Determinations of Indian blood shall be made in the following manner An ancestor listed on the Dawes Commission Roll of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw or Muscogee-Creek Nations, whose blood quantum is considered “official”, that amount shall be use in determining lines of lineal descendants. Applicants for citizenship in the Mount Tabor Indian Community may opt to request consideration based upon 4.8 subsections b-e if so desired in determination of blood quantum tabulations.
2. Guion Miller enrollment, where no sufficient evidence is genealogically based to determine an accurate degree of Indian blood, then the enrollee on the Guion Miller Roll shall be considered to possess 4/4 Cherokee Indian blood for determination of lineal descendants.
3. 1896 Choctaw Census, where no sufficient evidence is genealogically based to determine an accurate degree of Indian blood, then the ancestor listed on the 1896 Choctaw Census shall be considered to possess 4/4 Choctaw (and/or Chickasaw) Indian blood for determination of lineal descendants.
4. 1818 Chickasaw Annuity Roll, where no sufficient evidence is genealogically based to determine an accurate degree of Indian blood, then the ancestor listed on the 1818 Chickasaw Annuity Roll shall be considered to possess 4/4 Chickasaw Indian blood for determination of lineal descendants.
5. 1832 Creek Nation Alabama census for Cholocko Nin Ne or Horse Path Town, where no sufficient evidence is genealogically based to determine an accurate degree of Indian blood, then the ancestor listed on the 1832 Creek Census shall be considered to possess 4/4 Muscogee-Creek Indian blood for determination of blood quantum’s of lineal descendants.
6. As defined by the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community Article § 2.4 There shall be no minimum Indian blood quantum required for citizenship in the community. However, blood quantum’s will be tabulated based upon information previously stated in this section. Inclusion of other Indian bloodlines toward total blood quantum will be done if such inter-marriages occurred within the community prior to the closure of the Final Base Roll*. All inter-married bloodlines will be recognized as community lines and included in the total compilation of tribal blood quantum’s but shall be listed as Community Indian blood. Blood quantum’s will be determined for community citizens/members only as community descendants, not listed as members and so enrolled with other nations/tribes/bands/communities/tribal towns shall have said blood quantum’s determined by those said nations through their legislative processes.
- Enrollment on the Final Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community
Following the closure of working roll and establishment of a Final Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, only those individuals born after the establishment of the Final Roll to enrolled members will be eligible for membership. Others born prior to the closure of the Final Roll in preparation for submission to the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Federal Acknowledgment, shall be eligible if they have a lineal ancestor of the Final Roll as long as Prioritization of Enrollment (see section 3.4 of this document) is met and their application being subject to approval by the Tribal Council.
- 5 APPEALS
5.1 Who May Appeal
This section applies only in cases where:
(1) A person has applied for enrollment and has been denied by majority vote of the Enrollment Committee;
(2) A person has been disenrolled under this Ordinance by majority vote of the Enrollment Committee; or
(3) A finding of no substantial new evidence to open an enrollment has been made.
No appeal of decisions regarding adoption shall be allowed.
5.2 Tribal Court Jurisdiction—Limited Waiver of Sovereign Immunity
The Tribal Court of the Mount Tabor Indian Community shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear all appeals of disenrollment or enrollment decisions in the manner set out in this Ordinance. No jury shall be allowed in disenrollment or enrollment matters. To the extent necessary for the hearing of appeals under this section, and as limited by this Ordinance, the Community hereby makes a limited waiver of its immunity from suit in the Tribal Court for the purpose of hearing appeals from enrollment decisions of the Enrollment Committee and issuing judgment as provided in this Ordinance.
5.3 Form of Procedure, Time Limit, Effect of Petition for Adoption
Appeals from disenrollments or denials of enrollment by the Enrollment Committee shall proceed in the Tribal Court pursuant to the sections of the Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community except where specifically provided in this Ordinance. No appeal may be brought under this section unless it is filed within one (1) year of the decision of the Enrollment Committee to disenroll or deny enrollment.
5.4 Grounds for Appeal
The only grounds for appeal of an enrollment decision under this section shall be:
- That the decision of the Enrollment Committee is unsupported by the facts; or
- That the Enrollment Committee has by its actions violated the Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
The only remedies which the Court may order in matters appealed under this section are injunctive requiring enrollment, re-enrollment or presentation to the Tribal Council for a majority vote.
There shall be in all appeals under this Ordinance a presumption, rebuttable by the appellant, that the Enrollment Committee has acted properly, consistent with the facts of the case, this Ordinance, and the Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
5.7 Standard of Proof—Statutory Construction
Appellants shall have the burden of proving their case by clear and convincing evidence. The Court in ruling on an appeal shall strictly construe provisions of this Ordinance.
5.8 Court Costs, Attorney Fees
Even if the Court rules against an appellant in any appeal under this Ordinance, the appellant or Community shall not pay any legal fees or reasonable attorneys fees. Hiring of an attorney by the individual so disenrolled shall be their burden. This section is subject to automatic amendment and shall come under Federal Statues if the Community is so recognized by the Federal Government through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Federal Acknowledgment or the United States Federal Court System.
5.9 Bad Faith
A finding by the Court that the Enrollment Office or the Enrollment Committee acted in bad faith under this Ordinance shall permit the Tribal Court to order the Community to pay to persons denied due to the bad faith any Tribal per capita payment or payment derived from land, litigation or other claims, any such payments denied, plus a reasonable rate of interest.
- 6 Blood Degree Correction
6.1 Blood Degree Corrections Statement of clarification
It shall be noted that the Mount Tabor Indian Community does not qualify membership based upon a minimum blood quantum, but rather it is based upon community citizenship. So established, blood quantum’s are tabulated for purposes of some programs that may require a minimum recognized Indian blood quantum. The following procedure shall be used in making corrections (increases or decreases) of all blood quantum/degrees presently listed on the Base Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. This procedure is established to provide for a fair and unbiased examination of all blood degree corrections requested by the Community or by any other person.
6.2 Standing, Parties
The following entities shall have standing to file and prosecute a blood degree correction action:
- The Tribal Chairman for the Executive Committee of the Mount Tabor Indian Community;
- The Deputy Chairman, or a minimum of three (3) members of the Enrollment Committee of the Mount Tabor Indian Community;
- The President Pro Tempore of the Tribal Council;
- Citizens/Members of the Community who desire to have their own blood degree, as listed on the Final Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, corrected; provided that in this section “citizen/member” shall mean the natural person himself or herself, or the legal guardian of any minor or incompetent member, or the administrator or executor of the non-probated estate of a deceased citizen listed on the roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community;
6.3 Form of Action and Procedure
An action for blood degree correction shall be by civil complaint for blood degree correction in the Tribal Court. The Tribal Code governing civil actions and Civil Rules of Court shall be applicable to this proceeding except as specifically provided in this Ordinance.
6.4 Standard of Proof
In all actions for blood degree corrections the plaintiff shall be required to prove by clear and convincing evidence, that a blood degree other than that which is listed on the roll for the person whose blood degree is at issue, is the correct blood degree and what the precise blood degree to be listed on the roll should be. There shall be a presumption, rebuttable by the plaintiff, that the blood degree listed on the roll is correct.
6.5 Jury Prohibited
Actions brought under this section shall be tried by the judge alone and no person shall have a right to trial by jury in an action brought to correct a blood degree.
6.6 Form of Judgment
Judgments in cases involving petitions for correction of blood degrees shall be issued in writing over the signature of the trial judge and shall be limited to declaratory judgments, injunctions, as set by the Court, to prevailing parties.
6.7 Effect of Judgment
Judgments in actions to correct blood degrees shall be binding on all parties to the action; provided that such judgments shall be admissible into evidence in all other actions to which they are relevant but shall not be determinative of any actions in which they are found relevant and admissible.
For purposes of all actions to correct blood degree the Tribal Court will be considered to have jurisdiction over such actions pursuant to Article § 7 of the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, as such section is now written or shall in the future be amended, in that the events giving rise to the action are deemed to have occurred within the tribal jurisdiction.
- 7 DISENROLLMENT PROCEDURE
Under no exceptions shall a person(s) be disenrolled due to any political belief, party affiliation, religion, other racial ancestry, creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or changes in blood quantum that were implemented after the person was enrolled as a citizen of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. All other proceedings for disenrollment shall be pursuant to the provisions of this section.
7.2 Grounds for Disenrollment
Upon closure of the working roll in order to prepare for submission to the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, said roll shall be deemed to be the Final Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community. No person shall be disenrolled from the Final Roll of the Mount Tabor Indian Community except on the following grounds:
1. The person legally belongs to or is duly enrolled in another governmentally recognized Indian tribe or band, domestic or foreign not covered under Article § 2.7 of the 2017 Constitution of the Texas Cherokees and Associate Bands of the Mount Tabor Indian Community; or
2. Enrollment of the person in the Mount Tabor Indian Community was procured by fraud or error.
7.3 Petition for Disenrollment
The Executive Committee and/or the Tribal Council of the Mount Tabor Indian Community may file a written “Petition for Disenrollment” with the Enrollment Committee. The Petition shall state upon what grounds disenrollment is sought and a brief summary of the facts upon which the petition is based.
7.4 Service—Written Response
The Enrollment Committee shall cause the Petition to be served upon the person whose disenrollment is sought by registered mail or verified, personal service. The Enrollment Committee shall allow the person against whom the Petition is filed not less than sixty (60) days nor more than one hundred eighty (180) days to file a written response to the claims of the Executive Committee and/or General Assembly.
7.5 Hearing—Time, Vote
The Enrollment Committee shall hold an open hearing not less than twenty (20) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the receipt of the response of the person whose disenrollment is sought to hear all evidence and decide by majority vote of the committee on disposition of the disenrollment petition.
7.6 Hearing—Standard of Proof, Counsel
At the hearing all relevant evidence, written or oral, shall be considered by the Enrollment Committee. The Executive Committee of the Mount Tabor Indian Community shall have the burden of proving by preponderance of the evidence that the Petition should be granted. The person whose disenrollment is sought may be represented by counsel of his or her own choosing and at his or her own expense.
7.7 Decision of Disenrollment
A vote by the Enrollment Committee as to the disenrollment of a member shall be final and appealable only as provided in this Ordinance.
- 8 RELINQUISHMENT
A member of the Mount Tabor Indian Community may relinquish all rights as a community member. A member may relinquish all rights as a member of the Mount Tabor Indian Community by filing with the Enrollment Office a verified statement expressing a desire to relinquish all of the member’s rights in the Mount Tabor Indian Community.
8.2 Resolution to Executive Committee
The Enrollment Committee shall immediately convey the Request for Relinquishment to the Executive Committee of the Mount Tabor Indian Community with an appropriate resolution permitting relinquishment of all rights and directing the Enrollment Committee to remove the relinquished member from the roll. Approval of requests for relinquishment of all tribal rights shall be by majority vote of the Executive Committee.
8.3 Relinquishment May be Contingent upon Enrollment in Another Tribe
Where the member requesting relinquishment of all tribal rights, is intending to enroll in another Indian tribe, the member may request, and the resolution to allow relinquishment may state, that the member shall not be removed from the roll until the member has been enrolled in the tribe in which the member seeks membership.
8.4 Effect of Relinquishment
Any person who (after the effective date of the prohibition embodied in this sentence) has been removed from the roll through relinquishment shall thereafter be prohibited from membership in the Mount Tabor Indian Community; provided however, that a person who, while such person was a minor or incompetent, has obtained relinquishment by the actions of a parent or guardian, shall not be prohibited by that relinquishment from seeking restoration of full tribal rights under this Ordinance, upon such person’s reaching the age of majority or regaining legal competence.
- 9 APPROVAL
9.1 Approval By Executive Committee
This Enrollment Ordinance is hereby approved by the Executive Committee of the Mount Tabor Indian Community, effective this day, May 26, 2017 in the city of Kilgore, Gregg County, Texas.
Caroll Muckelroy-Ecby, Secretary Executive Committee Mount Tabor Indian Community