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Tribal Code - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Enacted July 5, 1995. Including Updates Through 2004.

CHAPTER 96: OPEN MEETINGS ORDINANCE

96.101 Purpose and Authority.

The purpose of this Chapter is to give Tribal members the opportunity to attend and address meetings of the Board of Directors, to preserve confidentiality in certain areas of tribal government and business operations, and to protect the privacy of individuals. Authority for this Chapter is Article 1 of the Tribal By-laws.


96.102 Scope.

This Chapter shall govern meetings of the Board of Directors pursuant to Article 1 of the Tribal By-laws.


96.103 Definitions.

For purposes of this Chapter, certain terms are defined in this Section. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in this present tense include the future, words in the singular number, include the plural number, words in the plural include words in the singular, and words in the masculine gender include the feminine gender. The word shall is always mandatory and not merely directory.

(1) "Board" or "Board of Directors" shall mean the governing body of the Tribe.

(2) "Closed Session" shall mean those meetings or portions of meetings of the Board of Directors which Tribal members cannot attend.

(3) "Confidential Information" shall mean any and all information, whether verbal or written, which is presented, distributed, disclosed or discussed during any closed session of the Board of Directors.

(4) "Member" shall mean a person enrolled in the Tribe as certified by the Tribal registrar.

(5) "Open Meetings" shall mean meetings of the Board of Directors that are open to the Tribal members.

(6) "Regular Meetings" shall mean those meetings held once a month by the Board of Directors, pursuant to Article 1, Section 1 of the By-laws.

(7) "Special Meetings" shall mean those meetings that are called by the Chairman or by a majority vote of the Board of Directors pursuant to Article 1, Section 2 of the By-laws.

(8) "Tribe" shall mean the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

(9) "Unauthorized Release" shall mean the direct or indirect release of any confidential information by any member of the Board of Directors to anyone without the prior approval of the Chairman or the Board of Directors or the Legal Department of the Tribe.


96.104 Open Meetings.

Both regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to the membership of the Tribe. Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, all Tribal members shall be entitled to attend Board meetings and participate therein.


96.105 Closed Sessions of Board Meeting.

Portions of a Board meeting may be closed to membership attendance as a closed session by affirmative vote of the Board, for any of the following purposes:

(1) To provide a tribal member or employee with the opportunity to discuss a personal or sensitive issue, concern or idea with the Board of Directors.

(2) To consider or render a decision related to a complaint or allegation against a Board member, officer, employee, volunteer, contractor or agent of the Tribe;

(3) To consider or render a decision on any personnel matter involving an individual tribal employee;

(4) To consider or render a decision on any matter involving an individual tribal member's eligibility for any tribal program or service;

(5) To consider or render a decision related to the acquisition or disposition of a business or real property;

(6) To consult with the Tribal Legal Department or other legal counsel regarding potential or current litigation; or any matter subject to attorney-client privilege;

(7) To consider or render a decision related to the finance, operation or management of a business;

(8) To consider or render a decision related to a matter which is required to be maintained as confidential pursuant to applicable law, including federal law or state law;

(9) To consider or render a decision on a matter, including, but not limited to, an enrollment matter, when the Board of Directors determines that the need for confidentiality outweighs the need for immediate public disclosure.


96.106 Membership Participation.

(1) Any tribal member who wishes to address the Board at a regular meeting of the Board of Directors may do so by completing a request form and filing it with the Board Secretary at the beginning of the meeting. A member who requests to do so will be permitted a reasonable opportunity to speak before the Board.

(2) Membership participation is at the discretion of the Board, and may take place in closed session upon request of the member or at the discretion of the chairman. The member must confine his comments to the issue identified in his request. Disrespectful or disruptive conduct will not be permitted. The Members should be brief and should refrain from remarks which are repetitious of previous statements.

(3) Job related issues or grievances relating to individual tribal employees should be raised by the employee pursuant to established personnel and grievance policies and not as membership participation at Board of Directors meetings.


96.107 Minutes of Closed Sessions.

The Secretary shall maintain minutes of closed sessions in accordance with the ordinary practice. The minutes shall be included in the minutes of the regular or special meeting of which the closed session was a part. In its discretion, the Board of Directors may redact or seal minutes of closed session to protect privacy, confidentiality or privilege if the circumstances warrant. Sealed minutes shall be official records of the Tribe but shall not be available for public inspection while sealed.


96.108 Orderly Meetings.

Anyone whose behavior is disruptive or disrespectful may be ordered removed from a Board of Directors meeting by the Chairman and may be barred from attendance at Board meetings by action of the Board of Directors.


96.109 Non-member Attendance at Board Meeting.

Non-members may attend Board meetings at the discretion of the Chairman or the Board.


96.110 Recordation of Board Meeting.

Audio or video recording or photography is permitted at Board of Directors meetings only with the prior permission of the Chairman or the Board.

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