Miccosukee
Literature


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 tomembers 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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