Welcome to the Kaw Nation

Constitution – 1990 (Reference Only)

We, the Wind people of the Kaw Tribe of Oklahoma, hereinafter referred to as the Kaw Nation, trusting in our creator to provide guidance in all our affairs, in order to provide for the common health, safety and welfare; to protect, secure, and advance the rights, cultures and traditions of the Kaw Indian people; to provide a more useful mechanism for the day-to-day government of the Kaw Nation; and to secure to ourselves and our children the benefits of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 1967), do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution of the Kaw Nation, which shall supersede the Governing Resolution of the Kaw Indian Tribe of Oklahoma adopted on October 7, 1958, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior on July 23, 1959.

The authority and jurisdiction of the Kaw Nation shall extend to all the territory within the boundaries now known as Kaw lands, and to all lands which may be acquired for the Kaw Tribe by the United States or which the Tribe may acquire for itself, and to all Indian country of the Kaw Nation and its citizens as now or hereafter defined by Federal law. The Kaw Nation may exercise its authority and jurisdiction outside the territory above described to the fullest extent not prohibited by Federal law.

Section 1. Qualifications. The members of the Kaw Nation shall include:

  • All persons enrolled as of the date of adoption of this constitution as members of the Kaw Tribe of Oklahoma who met the membership requirements prescribed by the Tribe.
  • All persons who are descendants by blood of an original Kaw Indian allottee or Allottees whose name or names appear on the 1902 Kaw Indian Allotment Roll, except the following persons:
    1. Those persons otherwise entitled to enrollment who, as an adult, elect to be enrolled with another tribe.
    2. Those persons otherwise entitled to enrollment who, as an adult, have received any payments in land or money by virtue of having been previously enrolled with some other tribe.
  • No person, otherwise eligible for enrollment, shall be denied enrollment because they have purchased or received through inheritance land or property of another tribe or because they are considered by another tribe as a member of that tribe by virtue of their purchase or inheritance of such land or property or by the circumstances of their birth without affirmative application for membership by or on behalf of such person.

Section 2. Authority of the Executive Council. The Executive Council shall have the authority to establish by law:

  • The procedures for enrollment of persons eligible for membership pursuant to Section 1(b).
  • The procedures and requirements for the adoption of other persons as members of the Kaw Nation. Persons adopted into the Kaw Nation shall be recognized as honorary members and shall not have the right to vote, hold office or otherwise exercise the rights, benefits or privileges of members enrolled under Section 1 of this article.
  • The procedure for disenrollment of a member of the Kaw Nation, Provided, That, a member may be disenrolled without his consent only for fraud in obtaining his enrollment.

Section 3. Judicial Review. A decision denying any person enrollment as a member of the Kaw Nation or disenrolling any member of the Kaw Nation without his consent shall be subject to judicial review in the courts of the Kaw Nation upon the filing of an appeal.

Section 1. General Council and Executive Council. The legislative powers of the Kaw Nation shall be vested in a General Council and an Executive Council. The General Council shall consist of all members of the Kaw Nation, not adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older in council assembled.Section 2. General Council.

  • Matters of business for the General Council shall be decided by a majority vote. A quorum of the General Council shall consist of twenty five (25) citizens of the Council. Once a quorum is established at a regular or special meeting, the General Council may continue to conduct business until the meeting is adjourned. A quorum must be reestablished to conduct any business if, without adjournment, the meeting is recessed or continued to any day other than the day established for such meeting in the notice.
  • Special meetings of the General Council may be held upon the call of the Chairman, in his discretion, and shall be called by the Chairman at the written request of a majority of the Executive Council, or of fifty-five (55) members of the General Council. Special meetings shall be called not less than twenty (20) days after the Executive Council takes any action which is subject to General Council approval pursuant to Section 4(b) of this article.Should the Chairman fail to call a special meeting within the prescribed time, any member of the Executive Council shall call the meeting to be held within twenty (20) days of the Chairman’s inaction.
  • Not less than ten (10) days public notice of special meetings shall be given. Such notice shall state the specific purpose or purposes of said meeting and whether other business may be conducted.
  • Public notice as used in paragraph (c) and (e) of this section means that notice stating the time, date, place and purpose of the General Council meeting is published at least once in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the Kaw City and Ponca City, Oklahoma areas, the Arkansas City, Kansas area, and that a copy of the notice is posted in a conspicuous public place in the Kaw Tribal Administrative Offices.
  • Four (4) quarterly meetings of the General Council shall be held on the second (2nd) Sunday each calendar quarter, Provided, That, the Executive Council may, upon thirty (30) days public notice, reschedule said meeting to an appropriate time not more than thirty (30) days after the regular meeting date. Public notice shall be given for all general council meetings.
  • All meetings of the General Council shall be held at the Kaw Tribal Community Building or at an accessible place within the limits of the territory of the Kaw Nation as designated by the Executive Council. All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts’ Rules of Order except as otherwise provided for in the council’s rules of procedure.

Section 3. Executive Council. An Executive Council shall be elected by secret ballot pursuant to an election ordinance approved by the General Council. The officers of the Kaw Tribe in office at the time of approval of this constitution by the Secretary of the Interior shall continue in office until their successors are duly elected and installed pursuant to this constitution.

  • The Executive Council shall be composed of the following officers: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and four (4) Council Members. No person may be a candidate for more than one (1) office at any election or hold more than one (1) office at any one time.
  • In order to become a candidate for or be a member of the Executive Council, a person must:
    1. Be a member of the General Council not less than twenty-five (25) years of age; and
    2. One-fourth (1/4) degree or more of Kaw Indian Blood; and
    3. No person who shall have been finally convicted of a felony or other crime involving moral turpitude under the laws of the Kaw Nation, the United States, any Indian tribe, band or nation or any state, shall be eligible for election to the Executive Council, unless the person so convicted shall have been pardoned or have had his civil rights restored to him.
  • For the purpose of providing for staggered terms of office, at the first election conducted pursuant to this constitution on September 9, 1990, the Chairman, Secretary, and two (2) Council Members receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to four (4) year terms of office, and the Vice Chairman and the other two (2) Council Members shall be elected to a two (2) year term of office. Thereafter, all members of the Executive Council shall be elected to four (4) year terms of office and until their successors have been duly elected and installed.
  • All vacancies occurring on the Executive Council shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by a majority vote of the General Council at any regular meeting or a special meeting called for that purpose.
  • The regular meeting of the Executive Council shall be held the second Saturday of each month at the Kaw Tribal Community Building in Kaw City unless otherwise designated by the Executive Council and proper notice to the members of the Executive Council shall be mailed to them at least five (5) days prior to the date of each meeting unless otherwise provided by resolution.
  • Special meetings of the Executive Council may be called by the Chairman, at his discretion, and shall be called by him upon the written request of a majority of the Executive Council members. Proper notice of special meetings shall be given as provided in subsection (e) of this section.
  • The Executive Council shall provide for their own rules of procedure.
  • Matters of business for the Executive Council shall be decided by a majority vote. A quorum of the Executive Council shall be four (4) or more members.
  • No executive council member shall vote on any matter coming before the Executive Council in which the member has a personal interest or in which the member stands to gain financially or otherwise be enriched by the outcome of the vote.

Section 4. Powers.

  • The Executive Council shall serve as the legislative body of the Kaw Nation and shall have the authority to act in and on all matters and subjects upon which the Tribe is empowered to act, now or in the future, including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. To represent the Kaw Nation and act in all matters that concern the health, peace, safety and general welfare of the Nation and all persons within its territory, and to make decisions not inconsistent with or contrary to this constitution.
    2. To negotiate and make contracts with Federal, tribal, state and local governments, and with any individual, firm or company.
    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, or his authorized representative, so long as such approval is required by Federal law.
    4. To veto the sale, disposition, lease or encumbrance of tribal lands, or interest in tribal lands, tribal funds or other tribal assets which may be authorized by any agency or employee of the Federal Government.
    5. To regulate and provide for permits, leases, and assignments of land for business, homesite, and other purposes, and generally to provide for proper use and development of all tribal lands, natural resources, and other tribal property.
    6. To regulate its own procedures, to appoint subordinate committees, commissions, boards, tribal officials and employees not otherwise provided for in this constitution, to prescribe their salaries, tenure and duties. Appointees may or may not be tribal members.
    7. The authority to establish and prescribe rules for governing tribal courts and tribal law enforcement agencies, and to provide for the maintenance of law and order on Kaw tribal lands.
    8. To protect and preserve the wildlife and natural resources of the Tribe; to regulate hunting, fishing, and trapping on tribal lands.
    9. To levy and collect taxes; to regulate the conduct of business within the territory of the Kaw Nation; to charter public or private business, financial, and similar entities; and otherwise provide for the development of the economy within the territory of the Kaw Nation.

    The foregoing enumeration of powers shall not be construed to limit the powers of the Kaw Nation and in no way shall be deemed an abdication or forfeiture of the Nation’s inherent attributes of sovereignty and such powers may be exercised through the enactment of ordinances by the Executive Council.

  • The following enumerated actions of the Executive Council shall be of no effect until the General Council has approved them.
    1. The sale, mortgage (except purchase money mortgages on the land being purchased) or other alienation of tribally owned lands. Leases entered into pursuant to Federal statute, revocable permits, and assignments under tribal law where legal or trust title of the Kaw Nation remains unaffected, are not alienations for purposes of this subsection.
    2. The establishment, enactment, amendment, or repeal of ordinances respecting tribal elections or recall or removal of tribal officers.
    3. The exercise of the tribal power of eminent domain.
    4. The appointment of judicial officers, except for judicial officers of an interKaw Nation Judicial Branch authorized by Article V, Section 7(b) of this constitution.
    5. Pay increases of constitutional tribal officers if such raises are to be paid from tribal funds.

Except as hereafter provided, Executive Council actions submitted under this section must be approved by a majority vote of the General Council at a properly called meeting before they are of any force or effect. If the General Council fails to act on actions under this section at a properly called meeting for any reason, its approval shall be deemed to have been given if, and only if, a statement or notice that such action would be considered was included in the public notice of the meeting.


Section 1. Executive Officers. The executive functions of the Kaw Nation shall be vested in the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.

Section 2. Chairman. It shall be the duty of the Chairman to preside at all meetings of the General Council and the Executive Council. The Chairman shall have general supervision of the affairs of the General Council and Executive Council and shall perform all duties pertaining to the office of Chairman, including the authority to cause laws of the Kaw Nation to be faithfully executed and obeyed, and to carry out obligations entrusted to the office of Chairman. The Chairman may, in his discretion, delegate his functions, except as may be prohibited by law or by Section 3 of this article.

Section 3. Vice-Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman in the event of his absence, incapacity, or refusal to act without good cause. A majority of the Executive Council may find good cause under this section by stating their determination in writing with signatures of the Executive Council members. If the office of Chairman shall become vacant, he shall succeed to the office of Chairman until a new Chairman, who shall serve for the unexpired term, is properly selected and installed in office.

Section 4. Secretary. The Secretary is the recording officer of the General Council and Executive Council and the custodian of its records. The duties of the Secretary are:

  1. To keep a record of all the proceedings of the Kaw Nation and to maintain record books in which all ordinances, special rules of order, standing rules, minutes, committee reports and amendments are entered.
  2. To keep the official roll of the citizens of the Kaw Nation.
  3. To make the minutes and records available during normal business hours at the Kaw Nation’s office for inspection upon request by citizens of the Kaw Nation, unless declared confidential by ordinance or resolution.
  4. To provide such notice as required by this constitution or the laws and ordinances of the Kaw Nation.
  5. To administer oaths, to attest to the signature of other governmental officers, and to certify as true, accurate, and complete copies of any records of the Kaw Nation filed in his office.
  6. In the absence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman, to call the meeting to order and preside until the immediate election of a chairman pro tem.

All or part of the duties of the Secretary as outlined above may be delegated to an employee staff member upon request of the Secretary and approval by majority vote of the Executive Council. All papers, records and effects of the Kaw Nation in the possession, custody, or control of the Secretary shall be delivered to the proper official of the Kaw Nation upon the expiration or termination of the Secretary’s term of office. Section 5. Treasurer. The Treasurer of the Kaw Nation shall be appointed by the Executive Council from within or without the Executive Council, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Council. The Treasurer, and all officers authorized to handle funds of the Nation, shall be bonded at the expense of the government of the Kaw Nation for a sum sufficient to protect the Nation from loss of such funds. The Treasurer shall provide the Executive Council and General Council with an annual financial report and also provide such interim reports as the Executive Council may direct.

Continued on next page –>

Share This
I would like to…