June 28, 2012

Constitutional Amendments will get a vote

Constitutional Amendments will get a vote
By Jerry W. Kram

There were tears and whoops of joy when Chairman Tex Hall announced, “The resolution passes unanimously.”
After years of work and meetings across the MHA Nation, enrolled members will have a chance to vote on amendments to the tribal constitution. Tex Hall appointed Titus Hall and other committee members to develop changes that could be made to the constitution.
“These are pretty huge for the tribe,” Tex Hall said. “In 2005 we had a constitution committee. They wanted to see a total overhaul. It didn’t pass. Many of our tribal members came back and said make it smaller, just a couple of amendments. So we will keep progressing and making those changes until we have a full separation of powers.”
The committee, which included members from every segment, came up with four items. The first would require vacancies in the tribal council to be filled by a special election rather than an appointment. The second amendment would allow and set requirements for the people to call for a recall election to remove a member of the tribal council. The third would allow tribal members to hold a referendum on resolutions passed by the tribal council. The final amendment would increase the size of the tribal council to 13 and give each segment an additional council seat for every 750 adult voters in that segment.
“They passed them,” Titus Hall said. “Now they will go to the Secretary of Interior and he will call for an election. This will be the first time we’ve done something like that. This was the best day of my life as far as working with the tribe goes.”

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