Page 8 - Chehalis Tribal Newsletter - September 2016
P. 8

Constitution Committee
seeks member opinion

Contributed by the Constitution Committee ‘We need to take the necessary CHEHALIS TRIBAL
steps to ensure the Chehalis NEWSLETTER
The Constitution Committee is once again Tribe not only survives all of our
trying to get tribal member involvement in current-day challenges but we The Confederated Tribes
amending our 1973 constitution and bylaws. need to thrive as a tribe as our of the Chehalis Reservation,
ancestors hoped we would.’
Meetings are from noon-1 p.m. every ‘People of the Sands’
second Tuesday of the month and 5-6 p.m. “We are cognizant of the unique position
every fourth Tuesday in the Gathering Room in which this panel of the Court of Appeals Articles and opinions expressed
of the Community Center. finds itself. are not necessarily those of this
publication or the Chehalis Tribal
The Business Committee has agreed Courts should defer to the tribe and its
to allow tribal employees the full hour to legislative and executive body on issues Business Committee.
participate as long as they are at the meeting. involving enrollment and membership, but
Sign-ins will be used to verify attendance. not if the result is inconsistent with the tribe’s SUBMISSIONS
codes or the intent of the constitutional The Chehalis Tribal Newsletter
Why are we conducting meetings? framers.
encourages tribal members
The tribe finds itself at a difficult and critical If the tribe decides to limit enrollment to submit letters, articles,
crossroad. Being able to govern ourselves well to those who are born after 1973 and under photographs and drawings to
is the best defense of our sovereignty. This 18 years of age, it has the authority to do so be considered for publication
means making and enforcing our own laws, through an amendment to the constitution.” (subject to editing). Contributing
defining who we are as a people, what and writers, artists and photographers
who we value, where we want to go as a tribe, Our tribal court does not define who
how we get things done and how we preserve we are but only tries to interpret our laws include Chehalis tribal
our future as a tribal nation. and resolve conflicts that come before it by community members and staff.
applying our own laws to those conflicts. Submission deadline is the first of
The Chehalis Constitution is the document each month (printed monthly).
we use to set out all of these important values What the court is saying here is they heard
and goals. our arguments and looked at all of our codes, TRIBAL CENTER
constitution and how we have acted in the 360-273-5911
On Oct. 29, 2015, the Chehalis Tribal past and found that we cannot change the
Court of Appeals issued its decision and order enrollment criteria in the 1973 constitution 420 Howanut Road
in Marcellay vs. The Chehalis Tribe. by changing the interpretation of children in Oakville, WA 98568
a way that is inconsistent with other tribal 360-709-1726 (office)
The court found that although the tribe codes and with our past enrollment actions. 360-273-5914 (fax)
had adopted Resolution 2014-025 to define
“children” to mean persons under the age of Moving forward CHEHALIS TRIBE’S
18 this definition of children conflicted with VISION STATEMENT
other tribal code provisions and the intent of The court affirms the tribe’s authority to To be a thriving, self-sufficient,
the 1973 constitutional amendments. change our enrollment eligibilty if we want sovereign people, honoring our
to, but only by changing the enrollment past and serving current and
The court reasoned that if the framers criteria in our 1973 constitution. We cannot future generations.
meant to enroll only those younger than 18, legally do it any other way.
then they would have written the amendment BUSINESS COMMITTEE
to read “minor” children as other code A motion or resolution in the General Don Secena, Chairman
provisions do. Council or even the Business Committee is Harry Pickernell, Sr.,
not enough to meet the legal requirements set
The court’s conclusion out in Article IX of the Chehalis Constitution. Vice Chairman
Farley Youckton, Treasurer
“We are compelled to find Resolution Our ancestors made many choices and Cheryle Starr, Secretary
2014-025 is not a reasonable interpretation sacrifices to protect the tribe and it is worth
of the meaning of ‘children’ as used in remembering some of the important steps in Dan Gleason, Sr.,
Constitution, Article III, Section 1(b). We our history that we might take for granted. 5th Council Member
interpret ‘children’ as used in Constitution,
Article III 1(b) to mean the direct We must honor our grandfathers and NEWSLETTER STAFF
descendants of an enrolled tribal member, grandmothers for all they did to make sure Fred Shortman,
regardless of age. While there is no evidence the tribe survived. We also need to act now.
of the tribe’s customary or traditional We need to take the necessary steps to ensure Audra J. Hill and the
meaning for the word ‘children,’ the historical the Chehalis Tribe not only survives all of our Information Technology Team
context argues for a broader meaning of current-day challenges, but we need to thrive
‘children.’ Additionally, this interpretation is as a tribe as our ancestors hoped we would.
consistent with and harmonizes all provisions
of the Enrollment Code with the constitution
and by adopting the broader definition, we
can harmonize the tribe’s enrollment code
with its constitution giving effect to both. ...”
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