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Constitution of the Miccosukee Nation



                       PREAMBLE

                                

                                

    We, the members of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of

Florida, in order to establish an organization, promote

the general welfare, conserve and develop our lands and

resources and  secure for ourselves and our descendants

the blessing of liberty and freedom do ordain and

establish this constitution and bylaws.





                  ARTICLE I--TERRITORY

                                   

                                   

    The authority of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians

shall extend to the Reservation set aside for their use

and occupancy and such other lands as may be added

thereto by appropriate State or Federal laws.



                 ARTICLE II--MEMBERSHIP

                                   

                                   

    SECTION 1.  For the six-month period after the

ratification and approval of this constitution and

bylaws, the membership of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians

of Florida shall consist of:



(a) All adults or children of one-half degree or more

Miccosukee Indian blood who apply for membership in the

Tribe.



(b) All children of one-half degree or more Miccosukee

Indian blood born to members of the Tribe who shall

automatically become members.



(c)  All adults or children of less than one-half degree

of Miccosukee Indian blood who apply for membership in

the Tribe, when such application is approved by the

Miccosukee General Council. 



    SEC. 2.  Six months from the date of approval of this

constitution and bylaws, the Miccosukee General Council

shall adopt an ordinance, subject to the approval of the

Secretary of the Interior or his authorized

representative, governing future membership, loss of

membership, and the adoption of members by the Miccosukee

Tribe of Indians of Florida.



              ARTICLE III--GOVERNING BODY

                                   

                                   

    SECTION 1.  The authority of the Miccosukee Tribe of

Indians shall be vested in the Miccosukee General

Council.  The Miccosukee General Council shall be

composed of all adult members 18 years of age or over. 

Twenty-five members shall constitute a quorum, provided

at least three clans are represented, and no business

shall be conducted unless a quorum is present at all

times.



    SEC. 2.  The officers of the Miccosukee General

Council shall consist of a Chairman, Assistant Chairman,

Secretary, Treasurer and Lawmaker.  The officers shall

hold office for a term of three years.  Officers shall be

elected and seated, except in the first election, during

the month of August.  In the first election of officers

after the ratification and approval of this constitution

and bylaws, the officers shall hold office from the date

of their election until the new election in August,

1964.  All officers will hold office until their

successors are elected and seated.



    SEC. 3.  The elected officers, in addition to serving

the Miccosukee General Council, shall be the Miccosukee

Business Council when the General Council is not in

cession.  The officers will perform the duties in both

the General Council and in the Business Council as

indicated in this constitution and in the bylaws.



    SEC. 4.  The Miccosukee General Council shall be

authorized to remove from office any officer of the Tribe

who fails or refuses to attend regular meetings of the

General Council or the Business Council, unless excused

due to illness or for other reasons for which he cannot

be held responsible.  Other grounds for removal from

office shall include the following:  Conviction of a

felony while in office; failure to perform the duties

assigned him; or who shall be found guilty of misconduct

in the affairs of the Tribe.  Any officer so charged

shall have the right to present his personal defense to

the General Council and the ruling of the General Council

shall be final.  Any vacantposition caused by the removal

of an officer by the Miccosukee General Council,

resignation or death, may be filled by the Miccosukee

General Council for the remainder of the unexpired term

of such office.



    SEC. 5.  Any enrolled member of the Miccosukee Tribe,

twenty-three years of age or over shall be qualified to

seek and hold office as an officer of the Tribe. No

member who has been convicted of a felony within three

years preceding the date of the election, or who is

employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or has been

found guilty by the Miccosukee General Council of

misconduct in Indian affairs shall be qualified to seek

office as an officer of the Tribe.  Except for the

first election of officers, no person who has been a

member of the Tribe for less than one year immediately

preceding the election may be eligible to hold office. 

The Miccosukee General Council shall be the sole judge of

the qualification of the officers of the Tribe. 



         ARTICLE IV - POWERS OF THE MICCOSUKEE GENERAL

                      COUNCIL

                                   

                                   

    SECTION 1.  In addition to the powers vested by law

in the Miccosukee Tribe the General Council shall have

the following powers subJect to any limitations imposed

by the Constitution of the United States or State or

Federal laws applicable to Indians.



    SEC. 2.  The Miccosukee General Council reserves unto

itself the authority to approve an annual budget.  This

budget shall include all normal operation expenses and

any special projects or expenditures contemplated by the

Tribe.  The Business Council shall have authority

to approve modifications of the budget up to and

including an aggregate of twenty-five percent in any

budget year.



    SEC. 3.  To levy and collect assessments and to

impose fees, subject to review by the Secretary of the

Interior, upon members and non-members doing business

within the reservation.



    SEC. 4.  To enact ordinances to cause to be removed

from the reservation persons not legally entitled to

reside thereon and whose presence may be injurious to the

peace, happiness or welfare of the Members of the Tribe,

subject to the review of the Secretary of the Interior,

or his duly authorized representative.



    SEC. 5.  The Miccosukee General Council is hereby

authorized to recognize any district committees,

associations or other organization open to the members of

the Tribe and to approve such organization, subject,

however, to the provision that no such committee,

association or organization may assume authorities

specifically granted to the Tribe by this constitution

unless by a proper delegation of authority by the

Miccosukee General Council.



    SEC. 6.  All rights and powers not delegated to the

Miccosukee General Council or to the Miccosukee Business

Council in this constitution and bylaws are reserved to

the Tribe and may be exercised by the members of the

Tribe through the adoption of amendments to this

constitution and bylaws.





         ARTICLE V--POWERS OF THE MICCOSUKEE BUSINESS   

                    COUNCIL

                                   

                                   

    SECTION 1.  The Miccosukee Business Council shall

exercise the following powers by appropriate motion,

resolution or ordinances subject to the limitations

imposed by this constitution and bylaws and to applicable

Federal and State laws.



    SEC. 2.  To prevent the sale, disposition, lease or

encumbrance of Tribal lands, interests in lands, or other

Tribal assets, without the consent of the Tribe, unless

prevented by the terms under which such lands were

acquired.



    SEC. 3.  To employ legal counsel, the choice of

counsel and fixing of fees to be subject to the approval

of the Secretary of the Interior, as long as such

approval is required by Federal law.



    SEC. 4.  To consult, negotiate, contract, and

conclude agreements on behalf of the Tribe with Federal,

State and local governments on all matters within the

powers of the governing body authorized and included

in this constitution and bylaws.



    SEC. 5.  To advise the Secretary of the Interior on

all appropriation estimates on Federal projects for the

benefit of the Tribe.



    SEC. 6.  As authorized by law, to manage, lease,

permit, or otherwise deal with Tribal lands, interest in

lands or other Tribal assets; and to purchase or

otherwise acquire lands or interests in lands within or

without the reservation, provided Tribal lands shall

not be sold.



    SEC. 7.  To engage in any business that will further

the economic well-being of the members of the Tribe, or

undertake any programs or projects designed for the

economic advancement of the people.



    SEC. 8.  To make and perform contracts and agreements

of every description, not inconsistent with law or the

provisions of this constitution and bylaws, provided that

any contract in excess of $3,000.00 shall be subject to

the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, or his

authorized representative.



    SEC. 9.  To borrow money from the Federal Government,

or other sources, and to direct the use of such funds for

productive purposes, or to loan money thus borrowed to

members of the Tribe, with the approval of the Secretary

of the Interior or his authorized representative. To

pledge or assign chattel or future income due or to

become due, provided such agreement, pledge, assignment,

or extension thereof shall be subject to the approval of

the Secretary of the Interior, or his authorized

representative.



    SEC. 10. To prepare an annual budget for submission

to the Miccosukee General Council and upon approval of

this budget to administer any funds within the control of

the Tribe; to make expenditures from available funds for

Tribal purposes, including salaries and expenses to

Tribal officials or employees.  All expenditures of

Tribal funds under control of the Business Council

shall be authorized in legal session and the amounts so

expended shall be a matter of public record.



     SEC. 11. The Business Council shall cause to be

installed, maintained, and audited a complete and

detailed accounting system and such safe-guards as

bonding officials and employees responsible for the

safety, accuracy and maintenance of such records and

funds. All checks, drafts or other order for the payment

of Tribal money, notes or other indebtedness issued in

the name of the Tribe shall be signed by such officers,

or agents, as provided for in this constitution.





             ARTICLE VI--BILL OF RIGHTS

                                   

                                   

     SECTION 1. All members of the Miccosukee Tribe shall

be accorded equal political rights and equal

opportunities to participate in the economic resources

and activities of the Tribe, and no person shall be

denied freedom of conscience, speech, association or

assembly, or due process of law, or the right to petition

for the redress of grievances. The members of the Tribe

shall continue undisturbed in their religious beliefs and

nothing in this constitution and bylaws will authorize

either the General Council or the Business Council to

interfere with these traditional religious practices

according to their custom.



             ARTICLE VII--TRIBAL ELECTIONS

                                   

                                   

     SECTION 1. Within thirty days from the date of the

approval of this constitution and bylaws the

Constitutional Committee shall convene a General Council

for the purpose of electing the five officers of the

General Council. The General Council shall determine its

own procedures for nomination of candidates and the

voting for candidates at that meeting.



     SEC. 2. All succeeding elections of officers shall

be conducted in accordance with an election ordinance to

be adopted by the General Council which shall provide for

secret ballot elections, absentee ballots, prescribe the

duties of the election board, procedure for casting

resident and non-resident ballots, method of challenging

the right-to-vote, settlement of election disputes and

any further requirements for the conduct of the election.





          ARTICLE VIII--REVIEW OF RESOLUTIONS AND

                         ORDINANCES

                                   

                                   

     SECTION 1. Any resolution or ordinance subject to

review by the Secretary of the Interior or his authorized

representative, shall be presented to the Superintendent

of the Reservation or the officer in charge, who shall

within ten (10) days thereafter approve or disapprove

the same.



     SEC. 2. Upon approval within ten (10) days the

resolution or ordinance shall become effective.  The

Superintendent or officer in charge shall transmit copies

of all effective resolutions or ordinances to the

Secretary of the Interior, who may, within ninety (90)

days after receipt thereof, rescind any resolution or

ordinance for good cause by  giving written notice and

the reasons therefor to the appropriate council.



     SEC. 3.  If the Superintendent or officer in charge

shall disapprove any resolution or ordinance, he shall

notify the appropriate council in writing of his reasons

therefor within ten (10) days after the resolution is

delivered to the office of the Superintendent or

officer in charge.  If the Council is not satisfied with

the reasons so given, it may, by a majority of the

members voting, refer the resolution or ordinance to the

Secretary of the Interior for approval.

     SEC. 4.  The Secretary of the Interior shall within

ninety (90) days after receipt of any resolution or

ordinance referred to him by the General Council or the

Business Council for approval notify the appropriate

Council in writing of his decision to approve or

disapprove.





              ARTICLE IX--AMENDMENTS

                                   

     SECTION 1.  This constitution and bylaws may be

amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the

Tribe voting at an election called for that purpose by

the Secretary of the Interior, provided that at least

thirty percent of those entitled to vote shall vote in

such election, but no amendment shall become effective

until it shall have been 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 at

the request of the Miccosukee General Council.





               ARTICLE X--ADOPTION

                                   

                                   

     SECTION 1.  This constitution and bylaws, when

adopted by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida voting at an

election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the

Interior  provided at least thirty (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.









BYLAWS OF THE MICCOSUKEE TRIBE OF INDIANS OF FLORIDA





                 ARTICLE I--MEETINGS

                                   

                                   

     SECTION 1. There shall be four regularly scheduled

meetings of the Miccosukee General Council to be held

during the months of August, February, June and August.

All meetings shall be on the first Sunday in each of the

above mentioned months. Notices shall be posted for these

meetings at least three days in advance of the meetings,

giving the time, date and place of such meeting. Special

meetings of the Miccosukee General Council may be called

by a majority vote of the Miccosukee Business Council.

Special meetings shall be noticed and posted at least

three days in advance giving time, date and place of

such meeting.



     SEC. 2. Meetings of the Miccosukee Business Council

shall be held on the second Sunday in each month. Special

meetings of the Miccosukee Business Council may be called

by the Chairman.



     SEC. 3. A quorum of the General Council shall be

convened when twenty-five eligible adult members are

present, provided at least three clans are represented,

and no business shall be conducted in the absence of a

quorum.  All decisions shall be by majority vote.



     SEC. 4. A quorum of the Miccosukee Business Council

shall constitute three members, provided at least three

clans are represented, and no business shall be conducted

in the absence of a quorum. All decisions shall be by

majority vote.



     SEC. 5. Both the Miccosukee General Council and the

Miccosukee Business Council are authorized to regulate

its own procedures, to appoint subordinate committees,

commissions, boards, advisory or otherwise, Tribal

officials and employees not otherwise provided for in

this constitution and bylaws.



     SEC. 6. No authorities contained in this

constitution and bylaws may be delegated by the

Miccosukee General Council or Miccosukee Business Council

to Tribal officials, district councils, or associations

to carry out any function for which the Tribe assumes

primary responsibility, except by ordinance or resolution

duly enacted by the governing bodies in legal session,

and excepting also those specific requirements contained

in this constitution and bylaws.





       ARTICLE II--DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS

                        

                        

     SECTION 1. Chairman.



(A) He shall preside at all regular and special meetings

     of the Miccosukee General Council and the Miccosukee

     Business Council.



(B) He shall have general and active management of the

     business activities of the Tribe except, that he

     shall not act on matters binding the Tribe until   

     either the General Council or the Business Council

     has deliberated and enacted approprlate resolution.



(C)  He shall see that all resolutions and ordinances of

     both the General Council and the Business Council

     are carried into effect.



(D)  He shall sign on behalf of the Tribe all official

     papers when authorized to do so.



(E)  He shall give supervision to all other officers and

     employees of the Tribe and see that they carry out

     their duties.



(F)  He shall prepare a report of the activities of the

     Business Council and shall make this report at each

     regular meeting of the Miccosukee General Council. 

     He shall include in this report all matters within

     his knowledge which the interest of the Tribe may be

     required be brought to its attention.

       

(G)   He shall not vote in either the General        

      Council or the Business Council except in the  

      case of a tie.



SEC. 2.  Assistant Chairman.



(A)  In the absence of the Chairman he shall preside. 

     When so presiding, he shall have all rights,

     privileges and duties, as set forth above under

     duties of Chairman, as well as the responsibility

     of the Chairman.



SEC. 3.  Secretary.



(A)  He shall keep minutes at the principal place of

     business of the Tribe of all meetings of the

     Miccosukee General Council and the Miccosukee

     Business Council.



(B)  He shall give and serve all notices of the

     Miccosukee General Council and the Miccosukee

     Business Council as required by this constitution

     and bylaws.



(C)  He shall keep the membership roll of the Tribe,

     showing all changes as required by this

     constitution.  In addition, he shall keep a current

     voting list.



(D)  He shall attend to all such correspondence assigned

     to him by the Chairman and perform all other duties

     of his office or as prescribed by the Miccosukee

     General Council or the Miccosukee Business Council.



SEC. 4.  Treasurer.



(A)  He shall keep and maintain, open to inspection by

     Members of the Tribe, or representatives of the

     Commissioner of Indian Affairs, at all reasonable

     times, adequate and correct accounts of the

     properties and business transactions of the Tribe.

          

(B) He shall have care and custody of the funds and     

     valuables of the Tribe, and shall deposit same in

     the name of and to the credit of the Miccosukee

     Tribe of Indians of Florida, with such banks as the

     Miccosukee Business Council may direct, subject to

     the approval of the Secretary of the Interior or his

     authorized representative.



(C) Disburse the funds of the Tribe as may be ordered   

    by the Miccosukee Business Council, taking properly 

    signed invoices, vouchers or other instruments for  

    said disbursement. All checks shall be counter-     

    signed by the Chairman or in his absence the        

    Assistant Chairman. 



(D)  He shall make a monthly report and account for all

     transactions involving the disbursement, collection

     or obligation of Tribal funds to the Miccosukee

     Business Council. He shall make such a financial

     report to the Miccosukee General Council at each of

     its regular meetings.



(E)  The Treasurer and all officers and employees whose

     duties involve handling of Tribe money or other

     valuables shall be bonded as required by the

     Miccosukee Business Council and as approved by the

     Superintendent or other Officer-in-charge.



SEC. 5. Law Maker.



(A) He shall act as Lawmaker at all regular and special

     meetings and shall enforce all rules and see that

     peace and order are kept during the sessions of the

     General Council and Business Council.



(B) He shall perform other duties as assigned by the

     General Council or the Business Council.





             ARTICLE: III--EMPLOYMENT

                                 

                                 

     SECTION 1. The Miccosukee Business Council is

authorized to appoint or employ such clerical assistance

as may be necessary to carry out the responsibilities

assigned to any of the officers of the Tribe.




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