Tribal Council approves amendments to Enrollment Ordinance

The Tribe’s Enrollment Ordinance received an update at the Wednesday, Jan. 24, Tribal Council meeting when changes were approved, including the return of final decision-making authority regarding loss of Tribal membership to Tribal Council.

In the midst of controversial disenrollment proceedings, a split Tribal Council voted in July 2014 to transfer final decision-making authority regarding involuntary loss of membership cases to the Enrollment Board and removed Tribal Council from the enrollment process.

Senior Staff Attorney Deneen Aubertin Keller said during the Tuesday, Jan. 16, Legislative Action Committee meeting that the Tribe received six comments, five in support, regarding the proposed amendments to the Enrollment Ordinance.

Other Enrollment Ordinance changes ensure that adoption-related records and Social Security numbers that are contained in Tribal member enrollment files remain confidential. However, Tribal members and applicants while in the presence of Enrollment Department staff now will be allowed to see electronic versions of their entire enrollment file and the enrollment files of deceased lineal ancestors or living lineal ancestors who have granted permission. They also will be allowed to take notes and receive copies of their viewable file documents.

In addition, the amendments provide that the Tribal roll is not subject to the ordinance’s confidentiality provision and allows for the issuing of descendancy letters or certificates of descendancy.

The revised ordinance also establishes procedures on Enrollment Board loss of membership recommendations to Tribal Council and loss of membership hearings before Tribal Council.

In other action, Tribal Council sent several proposed ordinance amendments out to the Tribal membership for first reading, which solicits Tribal member comment.

Proposed amendments to the Small Claims Ordinance, which has not been updated since 1993, will allow Tribal Court to hear cases valued up to $10,000 instead of the current $2,000 limit.

Proposed amendments to the Name Change and Birth Certification Ordinance, which was adopted in 1992 and has not been amended since, would remove all provisions related to birth certification and update and clarify name change provisions.

Proposed amendments to the Tobacco Ordinance would bring the Tribe in line with Oregon law and restrict the selling and distribution of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. The ordinance currently does not have an age restriction.

Tribal Council member Jack Giffen Jr. said at the Jan. 16 Legislative Action Committee meeting that he will vote against the tobacco age limitation because he feels that it takes away freedom of choice from adults aged 18 to 20 who can serve in the military.

Tribal Council also adopted an amendment to the Government Corporations Ordinance that provides that a director whose term has expired continues to serve until a successor is elected and qualified unless the articles of incorporation state otherwise.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved applying for a $45,000 grant from Oregon Workforce Housing Initiative that will help the Tribe review Tribally owned lands and potentially other lands that would be appropriate for housing development;

  • Approved the enrollment of one infant into the Tribe because he or she meets the requirements outlined in the Enrollment Ordinance and Tribal Constitution;

  • Approved an amendment to Spirit Mountain Gaming Inc.’s seven-year private note with the Tribe that allows Finance Officer Chris Leno to pay off recent construction loans using the Tribe’s line of credit and allocate the increased permanent loan amount within the Tribe’s investment portfolio;

  • And approved the agenda for the Feb. 4 General Council meeting to be held at the Monarch Hotel & Conference Center in Clackamas. The Tribe’s Education Department will be the presenter and a meeting will follow to solicit ideas for advisory votes to be placed on the September Tribal Council ballot.

Also included in the Jan. 24 Tribal Council packet was an authorization to proceed that allows the Tribe to pay more than $1,200 for 935 pounds of elk meat resulting from five illegally harvested elk in the Trask Wildlife Unit and for the Tribe to pursue an agreement with Oregon State Police to accept and pay for the processing of confiscated game animals in the future.

Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy also announced the Tribe’s new smoking policy, which requires people to be at least 25 feet away from building entrances to smoke.