Viewing page 86 of 121

NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS

CONSTITUTION*

*Constitution as amended: September 2, 1955, November 1, 1957, December 10, 1959, and November 4, 1965.

PREAMBLE

We, the members of Indian tribes of the United States of America invoking the Divine guidance of Almighty God in order to secure to ourselves - the Indians of the United States and the Natives of Alaska - and our descendants the rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws of the United States, and the several states thereof; to enlighten the public toward the better understanding of the Indian people; to preserve rights under Indian treaties or agreements with the United States; to promote the common welfare of the American Indian and to foster the continued loyalty and allegiance of American Indians to the flag of the United States do establish this organization and adopt the following Constitution and By-Laws.

ARTICLE I

The name of this organization shall be the National Congress of American Indians with headquarters in Washington, D. C.

ARTICLE II

Membership

Section 1. Membership shall be of five classes:

a. Individual Membership. Any person of Indian ancestry in the United States or a Native Alaska is eligible for individual membership. For the purpose of this section, an Indian is a person who is recognized as a member by an Indian tribe, or band, or combination of tribes and bands recognized by the U. S. Department of the Interior, the Indian Claims Commission or Court of Claims.

b. Tribal Membership. Any tribe, band or identifiable group of American Indians shall be eligible for tribal membership provided it shall fulfill all of the following requirements: (1) A substantial number of its members reside upon the same reservation, or (in the absence of a reservation) in the same general locality; (2) It maintains a tribal organization, with regular officers and the means of transacting business and arriving at a reasonably accurate count of its membership; (3) It is not a mere offshoot of fraction of an organized tribe itself eligible for membership; and (4) It is recognized as a tribe, band, or other identifiable group of American Indians by the Department of the Interior, Court of Claims or the Indian Claims Commission. The All-Pueblo Council and similar Indian groups with a common bond shall be each considered one tribe for the purposes of membership, voting and dues assessments.

c. Alaskan Membership. The Natives of Alaska (which term includes the Eskimos and Aleuts as well as Indians) are eligible for membership upon the same terms as other organized groups in any other State except that the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alaska Native Sisterhood together may hold membership on the same basis as an organized tribe, band, or combination of both and except that their annual dues payment shall be in such amount as may be agreed upon by the officers of ANB and ANS and the Executive Committee of NCAI, and further except that Metlaktla shall be regarded as an eligible organized group separately from ANB and ANS and from the Natives of Alaska.

d. Individual Associate Membership. Non-Indian applicants may be admitted to non-voting associate membership upon the payment of annual dues as fixed by the By-Laws.

e. Organization Associate Membership. Non-Indian organizations may be admitted to non-voting as-
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.