We, the Anishinabeg, the people of Odaawaa-Zaaga’iganiing, the Lac Courte Oreilles Band, will sustain our heritage, preserving our past, strengthening our present, and embracing our future. We will defend our inherent sovereign rights and safeguard Mother Earth. We will provide for the educational, health, social welfare, and economic stability of the present and future generations.
We, the members of the Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa Band of Lake Superior Indians of Wisconsin, in order to secure the advantages of local self-government for ourselves and our children and to organize for our common welfare, do hereby establish this Constitution and Bylaws.
Section 1. Territory. The territory of this band shall extend to all lands and waters within the exterior boundaries of the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation in Wisconsin, as established by Secretarial Order of March 1, 1873, and any lands or waters or interests therein which may be acquired outside of the reservation by or on behalf of the band, including the 1200 acres of Farm Services Administration land outside the reservation boundary held by the United States, except as may otherwise be provided by Federal law.
Section 2. Jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the band shall extend to all lands and waters within the territory of the band, and further, for the purposes of exercising and regulating the exercise of rights to hunt, fish, trap, gather wild rice and other usual rights of occupancy, the jurisdiction of the band shall extend to all lands and waters contained within the area described in Article I of the Chippewa Treaty of October 4, 1842, or any other applicable treaty.
Section 1. The membership of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin shall consist of the following persons:
Section 2. The Governing Board shall enact the ordinance subject to approval of the Secretary of the Interior stating the criteria for future membership and adoption of the new members. Such ordinance shall include the provision that to be eligible for membership persons must possess Lac Courte Oreilles Indian blood and must be a lineal descendant of an enrolled member. Any amendments to the ordinance shall require approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
Section 3. Any person who has been rejected for enrollment as a member of the Band shall have the right of appeal to the Secretary of the Interior, whose decision shall be final.
Section 4. The Governing Board shall have the power to enact ordinances governing loss of membership, such ordinance subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior. The ordinance shall include a provision for appeal of decisions to the Secretary of the Interior.
Section 1. The governing body of the Band shall be the Governing Board composed of seven (7) members.
Section 2. Any member of the Band is eligible to be elected to the Governing Board, PROVIDED, he is 21 years of age or older on the date of election.
Section 3. Following the convening of each new Governing Board elected pursuant to this Constitution, the Board shall select from within its membership a chairman and a vice-chairman to serve until a successor Board is duly elected and seated. The Board shall convene no later than fifteen (15) days following each election.
Section 4. At the first meeting following an election, the Governing board shall select from within or without the Board a secretary/treasurer to serve for a period to be stated in a resolution passed by the Governing Board. The chairman and vice-chairman of the Board shall be ineligible to serve as secretary/treasurer. If a secretary/treasurer is selected from without the Board he shall not vote as a member of the Board.
Section 5. The chairman and vice-chairman and members of the Board shall remain in office until the new Board members have been elected and seated.
Section 6. The Governing Board, by resolution, shall determine its own procedures. The Governing Board, by resolution, may provide for the hiring of clerical or other employees.
Section 7. The Governing Board by affirmative vote of six (6) of its members shall remove any board member for any of the following reasons, provided, the accused member has been given an opportunity to answer written charges against him.
Section 8. The Governing board by an affirmative vote of four (4) of its members shall temporarily fill by appointment until the next regular election any vacancy occurring on the Board. Said appointee shall serve until the next regular election. Should the next regular election occur in the midst of the original term, the tribal membership shall elect an individual to serve the final year of the original term.
Section 1. Qualified voters shall be all members of the Band eighteen (18) years of age or over.
Section 2. The first election of a Governing Board shall be called, held and supervised by the Superintendent of the Great Lakes Agency and the existing governing body within sixty (60) days of approval of this Constitution and Bylaws.
Section 3. The Governing Board shall prescribe rules and regulations conducting all subsequent elections. Such rules and regulations shall include, but not limited to, the following: Voting shall be by secret ballot.
Beginning in 1979, elections shall be held every year in the month of June. Absentee voting, provided that absentee voting shall be limited to persons who verify that they are unable to vote at designated polling places on the date of an election because of confinement in a nursing home, hospital, or other health care facility, or because of service in a branch of the United States Armed Forces. Filling and posting of election notices.
Section 4. In 1992, three (3) Board members shall be elected to serve a one-time three year term. Beginning in 1993, four (4) Board members shall be elected to serve a four (4) year term. Thereafter, all Board members shall serve four (4) year terms. Consequently, beginning in 1993, elections shall be held every two (2) years (or every odd-numbered year).
Section 5. Section 5. The candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected to fill vacant two year terms of office. The candidates receiving the next greatest number of votes shall be elected to fill the unexpired year of such board positions as may be vacant.
Section 1. The Governing Board shall exercise the following powers subject to the limitation imposed by this Constitution Bylaws and by applicable treaties between the Chippewa Nation and the United States.
Section 2. Future Powers. The Governing Board may exercise such further powers as may in the future be delegated by the Secretary of the Interior or by any other duly authorized official ot agency of the Government.
Section 3. Reserved Powers. All rights and powers heretofore vested in the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin but not expressly referred to in this Constitution shall not be abridged by this Article, but may be exercised by the people of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior.Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin through the adoption of appropriate amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws.
Upon receipt of a petition at a regular council meeting signed by at least 100 qualified voters of the Band or by a majority vote of the Governing Board, any legislative enactment or proposed enactment shall be submitted to a popular referendum, provided, such petition is submitted within 60 days of the Governing Board's decision on such enactment or proposed enactment.
The Governing Board within 60 days, of the meeting at which such petition is received shall determine the validity of the petition, and if deemed valid, shall call such referendum and prescribe the manner of conducting the vote. The referendum shall be held not later than 90 days from the date of receipt of the petition. The Governing Board shall have the authority to enact an ordinance to implement the provisions of the Article.
The majority of votes cast in such referendum shall be conclusive and binding on the Governing Board, provided, at least 200 eligible voters participate in election; and if an enactment is rejected by such vote, such enactment shall be null and void as of the date of the referendum and shall not be reconsidered for a period of at least one year.
Subject to the limitations prescribed by this Constitution, all members of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin shall have equal political rights and equal opportunities to participate in the economic resources and assets, and no member shall be denied freedom of conscience, speech, religion, association or assembly, nor shall be denied the right to petition the Governing Board for the redress of grievances against the Band.
This Constitution and Bylaws, when adopted by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin voting at an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, provided at least 30 percent of those entitled to vote shall vote in such election, shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior, and if approved shall be effective from the date of such approval.
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Band voting at an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, provided at least 30 percent of those entitled to vote shall vote in such election.
No amendment shall become effective until approved by the Secretary of the Interior.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to call an election on any proposed amendment upon request by majority vote of the Lac Courte Oreilles Governing Board or upon petition of at least 75 qualified voters of the Band.