Representative Member (9 positions)
Constitutional Reform Initiative Committee
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
OPEN: Until filled.
Areas of Representation:
• One representative from each reservation Community (Red Lake, Redby, Little Rock, Ponemah)
• One Elder representative with language fluency and Ojibwe culture and customs knowledge
• One individual with expertise and extensive experience (10 plus years) in Tribal law, policy and history
• Two urban community Committee members (Twin Cities and Duluth)
• One Youth representative (Junior or Senior at the Red Lake High School)
Committee Membership Terms & Responsibilities:
• Committee members will serve at least until the May 2015 referendum, unless excused due to exceptional circumstances. The service will likely last several months after the referendum, as some follow-up activities and responsibilities are currently being planned.
• Attend, adequately prepare for, and participate in monthly face-to-face meetings (in exceptional circumstances, a member can attend one or at most two meetings via phone). Face-to-face meetings will primarily take place in Red Lake, with approximately four meetings in Minneapolis and Duluth.
• Communicate frequently via teleconference, email, and in other appropriate manners.
• Participation requires significant time commitment and a high level of frequent engagement with other Committee members, Initiative staff, professional consultants, and the Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee.
• Attend, prepare for, and participate in at least twelve (12) Community Forums (3 in each Community, possibly two in an Urban community) related to the Constitutional Reform Initiative to address questions posed by the Band membership and provide updates and general information.
• Complete all required training sessions, materials, and two-day orientation.
• Travel to Urban Committee meetings and possible Urban Community Forums in Minneapolis and Duluth at least four (4) times throughout the appointment.
• Must abide by Red Lake Nation laws, current constitution, by-laws and articles of incorporation throughout appointment.
• Must actively participate in Committee meetings and be prepared for intense discussion and consensus decision-making.
• Must serve on at least two sub-committees, which will meet at least monthly (face-to-face likely in conjunction with the larger Committee meetings and/or via teleconference).
• Must complete all assignments agreed by the Committee in a timely manner.
• Must contribute to the monthly Tribal Council update and attend in-person if necessary.
• Must possess good, clear communication skills and be able to speak publicly on occasion.
• Committee members must respond timely to requests by Constitutional Reform Initiative staff, professional consultants, and Ad Hoc Advisory Committee members to ensure efficiency and assignment progress.
• Excellent inter-personal skills required due to significant amount of discussion, debate, and facilitation while drafting the revised constitution.
• Must abide by the CRI Travel Policy.
• Travel expenses are advanced or reimbursed (when travel is required) and travel reconciliations must be completed and submitted to the Initiative Coordinator within 7 days of travel.
• Meals and/or refreshments will be provided, when appropriate, at all required functions.
Qualifications and Limitations:
• Enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
• Must be recognized by the Band membership as an acceptable representative of the area identified
• Strong personal commitment and motivation to serve the Red Lake Nation is required due to the large time commitment and depth of work
• Must have a solid understanding of Ojibwe culture and customs, with language proficiency or fluency preferred
• Must have a general understanding of the current Red Lake Nation constitution
• If selected, must complete all trainings and two-day orientation before beginning work
Over the past year, in an effort to implement a consistent and collectively-accepted foundation for the Red Lake Tribal government to lead and serve, the Red Lake Tribal Council has been researching options to revise the current Tribal Constitution to accurately reflect the values, customs, and priorities of the Red Lake Ojibwe people and communities. In August of 2012, the Tribal Council passed a resolution which approved the Constitutional Reform Initiative ("CRI" or "Initiative") which directs the Economic Development & Planning Department to seek a formal relationship with the Bush Foundation and aggressively carry out the Initiative's action plan. One primary component of the action plan, developed in July of 2012, calls for the formation of a Constitutional Reform Initiative Committee with the significant responsibility of recommending a revised Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians' Tribal Constitution to the Tribal Council. However, the initial work of the Committee will focus on preparing for a May 2014 Election Referendum which will remove the "Secretarial Approval" clause in the current constitution, which will allow the people of Red Lake to move forward, without requiring approval or involvement by the Department of Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs. Removal of this clause will allow the people of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians to consider the Committee's final version of the new constitution, which the Tribal Council will have approved, in May of 2015 via another Election Referendum.
History of Red Lake's Constitution and Reform:
Currently, the Red Lake Tribal Constitution resembles an Indian Reorganization Act-era Constitution (almost 80 years ago) when federal policy essentially required Indian tribes to adopt boilerplate, European-style governing "constitutions" in order to be fully acknowledged as sovereign, legal entities by the United States government. In the past two decades, many Indian tribes have successfully undergone the extensive process to revise their Constitutions to better allow them to seek progressive solutions to problems, pursue economic stability and sometimes prosperity, and revitalize and maintain their cultures, languages, and traditions. Therefore, the Initiative's primary goal is to draft a revised Tribal Constitution that will alleviate the many problems faced by the Red Lake Tribal government when utilizing the current Constitution due to innumerable governing inconsistencies, lack of emphasis on the Anishinaabe way of life practiced by the people of Red Lake, and conflict with traditional Ojibwe governing principles, which prior to federal interference, were sufficient to maintain balanced societies.
The CRI Committee will be a 9-person group of Red Lake Band members who represent a cross-section of the Band membership. Each area of representation on the Committee has been carefully selected by the Tribal Council to ensure the revised Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians' Constitution is crafted to mirror the importance of the Ojibwe language, culture, and way of life embraced by the Red Lake Band membership, while also realistically addressing the current and evolving needs of the overall Band membership. The Committee will be convened over the next two years (at least) and is responsible for drafting and formally recommending a revised Tribal Constitution to the Red Lake Tribal Council for approval to appear on the May 2015 Election Referendum ballot. This Committee will be assisted by an Ad-Hoc Technical Advisory Committee, which will be comprised of individuals who have expertise in the various areas that the new constitution will address. Additionally, the Committee will have significant full-time staff support and professional consultants to assist, advise, coordinate, and guide their work. The work of this Committee is not to advocate for a particular outcome, but to gather all information pertaining to specific areas, and make a determination as to the best option to include in the revised constitution. CRI Committee members will be required to sign an agreement that specifies advocacy activities and how that will interfere with the use of Bush Foundation funds.
$200 monthly honorarium and occasional nominal fees, depending on assumed or elected role and work load.
Applications can be obtained at Economic Development & Planning Department, please call 679-1890 for additional information.