October 4, 2012

Voters to decide on tribal constitution

Voters to decide on tribal constitution

By Jerry W. Kram
The Three Affiliated Tribes are governed by a constitution that dates back to the Indian Reorganization Act of 1936. Over the years it was amended many times, but it has stood in its current form for nearly 30 years. Five years ago tribal voters turned down a major revision of the constitution, but on Nov. 6 they will have a chance to say yes or no to two more modest changes.
Tribal Chairman Tex Hall asked the tribal business council to form a committee of tribal members to propose changes to the tribal constitution. That committee, chaired by Titus Hall, proposed four amendments to the council. Two of those proposals were combined into a single amendment and another was defeated in a vote of the council, so two amendments will be on the November election ballot in the six Fort Berthold Reservation segments.
Amendment 1 calls for equal representation of the segments on the tribal council. Each segment would have two representatives, up from the current single representative. When a segment reaches a population of 700, it would be eligible for an additional seat on the council. With the additional members, the number of council members required for a quorum will increase from five to seven. The new members would be added to the council starting with the next segment election and their terms would be staggered so no more than half the council would be up for election at one time.
 


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