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Proposed Amendment to Article II, Membership of the Revised Constitution of the MN Chippewa Tribe

07-02-2015

PRESS RELEASE ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE II, MEMBERSHIP OF THE REVISED CONSTITUTION OF THE MINNESOTA CHIPPEWA TRIBE

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Tribal Executive Committee agreed to move forward with the process to allow the adult membership of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe to vote on the question whether other federally recognized Chippewa, Ojibwe, Anishinabe and First Nations Canadian blood should be counted for current enrolled Members.

Currently under Article II, Membership of the revised Constitution of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe one of the requirements is that persons born after July 3, 1961, must possess at least one quarter ¼ degree Minnesota Chippewa Indian blood.  The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe blood has been defined as blood derived from one or more of the six constituent Bands of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Bois Forte, Mille Lacs, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, White Earth and Fond du Lac.

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribal Executive Committee understands that adult members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe possess other Chippewa, Ojibwe, Anishinabe, First Nations Indian blood and that blood should not be excluded when determining eligibility for Tribal Members.  This understanding has come in the way of two recent Tribal Executive Committee resolutions passed to support the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Membership to decide this initial step in ensuring the overall numbers of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe do not decline. 

Resolution 31-15 would amend the Constitution by adding a paragraph that provides:

“The Minnesota Chippewa Indian blood of persons enrolled on the effective date of this amendment shall be corrected on the membership rolls of the Tribe by including the verified First Nation Anishinabe blood possessed by the member.”

Resolution 32-15 would amend the Constitution by adding a paragraph that provides:

“The Minnesota Chippewa Indian blood of person enrolled on the effective date of this amendment shall be corrected on the membership rolls of the Tribe by including the verified federally recognized Anishinabe/Ojibway/ Chippewa blood possessed by the member.

The Resolutions were forwarded to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for review and we are waiting for their response in order to start the process of a Secretarial Election to amend our present Constitution.

A resolution was also approved and forwarded to the Bureau of Indian Affairs requesting that the proposed Secretarial Election waive the regulations in 25 CFR Part 81 to allow for same day registration and allow voting polls to be established on each reservation as well as mail-in balloting for the purpose of conducting the Secretarial Election.

We are anticipating the Secretarial Election process to take place 60-90 days after the review of the Resolutions are completed.  The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe office will provide additional information and an election date to all eligible voters as soon as the Secretary of the Interior calls for the Election.