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We the First People : The Catawba Constitution Initiative Creating Laws to Provide Harmony A Constitution by the People for the People Community Meeting.

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Presentation on theme: "We the First People : The Catawba Constitution Initiative Creating Laws to Provide Harmony A Constitution by the People for the People Community Meeting."— Presentation transcript:

1 We the First People : The Catawba Constitution Initiative Creating Laws to Provide Harmony A Constitution by the People for the People Community Meeting March 18 th 2014

2 Tonight’s Meeting Why do we need a new Constitution?Why do we need a new Constitution? How can you can participate?How can you can participate? What is a Constitution?What is a Constitution?

3 How did this initiative get started? This initiative is driven by community input.This initiative is driven by community input. We planned to move forward with this initiative, but applied for the grant to enhance the project by allowing for more marketing, food, and prizes, as well as consultants (1 for drafting and 1 for review).We planned to move forward with this initiative, but applied for the grant to enhance the project by allowing for more marketing, food, and prizes, as well as consultants (1 for drafting and 1 for review). The process is being documented and will be shared by the National Congress of American Indians with tribes throughout the country.The process is being documented and will be shared by the National Congress of American Indians with tribes throughout the country.

4 Why do we need a new constitution? 1993 Settlement directs the tribe to pass a new constitution1993 Settlement directs the tribe to pass a new constitution The Settlement Agreement directs the Executive Committee to prepare a proposed Constitution for tribal members to vote on.The Settlement Agreement directs the Executive Committee to prepare a proposed Constitution for tribal members to vote on.

5 Why do we need a new constitution? The 1975 Constitution served the Catawba people well for many years. But the tribe has changed in many ways since 1975 which has led us to need a new Constitution.The 1975 Constitution served the Catawba people well for many years. But the tribe has changed in many ways since 1975 which has led us to need a new Constitution. Number of tribal membersNumber of tribal members Where tribal members liveWhere tribal members live Federal recognitionFederal recognition Full tribal government with a staffFull tribal government with a staff Grants and programs that benefit tribal membersGrants and programs that benefit tribal members

6 Why do we need a new constitution? The tribe and its members have opportunities that were unimaginable 40 years ago.The tribe and its members have opportunities that were unimaginable 40 years ago. More economic development programsMore economic development programs More and improved servicesMore and improved services Tribal courtsTribal courts Tribal policeTribal police

7 Why is the executive committee trying something new? In order to adopt a new constitution, the 1993 Settlement Agreement requires 30% of all eligible voters vote on the constitution, and over 50% of those people vote for adoption of the new constitution.In order to adopt a new constitution, the 1993 Settlement Agreement requires 30% of all eligible voters vote on the constitution, and over 50% of those people vote for adoption of the new constitution. Since then, four constitutions have been proposed, but we have never had 30% of tribal members vote on the proposed constitution.Since then, four constitutions have been proposed, but we have never had 30% of tribal members vote on the proposed constitution.

8 DISCUSSION Imagine 10, 20, or 50 years in the future. What do you hope the Catawba Indian Nation is like?Imagine 10, 20, or 50 years in the future. What do you hope the Catawba Indian Nation is like? EconomicallyEconomically PoliticallyPolitically Programs/ Education opportunities for the tribePrograms/ Education opportunities for the tribe

9 Public Input This process is designed to get as much input as possible from every tribal member that wants to participate.This process is designed to get as much input as possible from every tribal member that wants to participate. We will make every necessary accommodation to make sure everyone who wants to participate is able to.We will make every necessary accommodation to make sure everyone who wants to participate is able to. HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE? Volunteer Volunteer your time to help with focus groups, community meetings, spreading the wordVolunteer your time to help with focus groups, community meetings, spreading the word Contact Elizabeth Harris for more informationContact Elizabeth Harris for more information

10 Community Meetings and General Council Meetings Public meetings will be held where we will discuss what we all value in a constitution and what our hopes are for the future of the tribe and tribal government and discuss results and next steps.Public meetings will be held where we will discuss what we all value in a constitution and what our hopes are for the future of the tribe and tribal government and discuss results and next steps. -Community Meetings:Tonight June 17 th at 6pm There will also be updates provided in the General Council meetings.There will also be updates provided in the General Council meetings. -Next General Council Meeting: July 12, 2014 at 10am HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

11 Focus Groups Small group meetings to ask about hopes for the future constitutionSmall group meetings to ask about hopes for the future constitution Specific questions about requirements for tribal membership, the role of the General Council, the duties of the Executive Committee, the powers of voters, and moreSpecific questions about requirements for tribal membership, the role of the General Council, the duties of the Executive Committee, the powers of voters, and more No limit on the amount of people that can sign up, but everyone will be divided into groups of 15 or less when you arriveNo limit on the amount of people that can sign up, but everyone will be divided into groups of 15 or less when you arrive HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE? Citizen Focus Group Dates: April 22, 2014 at 6pm May 20, 2014 at 6pm

12 Focus Groups Focus groups:Focus groups: 1.Citizen Focus Groups (2 opportunities; same questions each time) 2.Young Adults (18-30) 3.Seniors 4.Teens 5.Parents 6.Tribal employees 7.Online group Sign up sheets at the back of the roomSign up sheets at the back of the room HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE? Citizen Focus Group Dates: April 22, 2014 at 6pm May 20, 2014 at 6pm

13 For those outside of York County Presentations will be posted online with meeting minutes within one week of the meetings, comments can be sent to Elizabeth Harris or Kristie Ratterree and will be incorporated into the recordsPresentations will be posted online with meeting minutes within one week of the meetings, comments can be sent to Elizabeth Harris or Kristie Ratterree and will be incorporated into the records An online focus group will be held for anyone who is not able to make one of the scheduled groups but especially for those not in this areaAn online focus group will be held for anyone who is not able to make one of the scheduled groups but especially for those not in this area HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

14 Citizen Survey A survey for all voting age tribal members to answer questions about what they value in tribal government, tribal leadership, and a future constitution.A survey for all voting age tribal members to answer questions about what they value in tribal government, tribal leadership, and a future constitution. Survey will be based on the input from the community meetings and focus groups and sent out in July 2014.Survey will be based on the input from the community meetings and focus groups and sent out in July HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

15 Evaluation of Public Input and Drafting of Proposed Constitution After all community meetings, focus groups, and the citizen survey are complete, the legal consultant will evaluate the results, work with the Executive & Constitution Committees, and draft a proposed constitution that reflects tribal members’ input.After all community meetings, focus groups, and the citizen survey are complete, the legal consultant will evaluate the results, work with the Executive & Constitution Committees, and draft a proposed constitution that reflects tribal members’ input. HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

16 Evaluation of Public Input and Drafting of Proposed Constitution The new proposed Constitution will be reviewed by second tribal consultantThe new proposed Constitution will be reviewed by second tribal consultant A copy of the proposed Constitution will be sent to all tribal members by January 2015.A copy of the proposed Constitution will be sent to all tribal members by January HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

17 Comment and Questions Period of New Proposed Constitution Members will be able to submit comments and questions and if necessary, revisions will be made.Members will be able to submit comments and questions and if necessary, revisions will be made. 2 additional community input meetings will be held2 additional community input meetings will be held We will have a final proposed Constitution ready to be voted on by the July 2015 elections.We will have a final proposed Constitution ready to be voted on by the July 2015 elections. HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

18 It is our hope that by doing this, we can create a constitution that reflects the values, concerns, and aspirations of our entire tribe.It is our hope that by doing this, we can create a constitution that reflects the values, concerns, and aspirations of our entire tribe. This will make this a constitution that belongs to each of us throughout the process- from this first community meeting all the way to the vote to adopt the new Constitution.This will make this a constitution that belongs to each of us throughout the process- from this first community meeting all the way to the vote to adopt the new Constitution. We want you and ask you to participate and have your voices heard.We want you and ask you to participate and have your voices heard. HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

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20 DISCUSSION How else can we get tribal members involved in the creating and adoption of a new Constitution and keep them engaged all the way until the Election in July 2015?How else can we get tribal members involved in the creating and adoption of a new Constitution and keep them engaged all the way until the Election in July 2015?

21 "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." - The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

22 What is a Constitution? A document that establishes a government structure. Describes what entities are part of the governmentDescribes what entities are part of the government Describes each entity’s powers, duties, and limitationsDescribes each entity’s powers, duties, and limitations Describes how these entities will work together and how the tribal government will operateDescribes how these entities will work together and how the tribal government will operate

23 A document that allows the tribe to assert its sovereignty. A good constitution allows the tribe to assert its sovereignty, determine its own future, and remain self-sufficient.A good constitution allows the tribe to assert its sovereignty, determine its own future, and remain self-sufficient. Prevents outside influences (like the state and federal government) from asserting power that belongs to the tribePrevents outside influences (like the state and federal government) from asserting power that belongs to the tribe What is a Constitution?

24 A Constitution is the shared vision, values, and aspirations of the people it governs. It should reflect our values and our hopes for the future of our tribal members and tribal government.It should reflect our values and our hopes for the future of our tribal members and tribal government. What is a Constitution?

25 DISCUSSION What do you feel is important in our tribe’s constitution?What do you feel is important in our tribe’s constitution? How should the document look?How should the document look? What are the major sections that need to be included?What are the major sections that need to be included?

26 Good government The first priority of the government should be to work for the happiness and prosperity of all its citizens.The first priority of the government should be to work for the happiness and prosperity of all its citizens. How do we make sure that the citizens are happy and prosperous in our constitution?How do we make sure that the citizens are happy and prosperous in our constitution? Government should treat everyone fairly and equallyGovernment should treat everyone fairly and equally How do we ensure everyone is being treated fair and equal?How do we ensure everyone is being treated fair and equal? Thomas Jefferson’s Ideas of Good Government

27 Government should vigorously protect the right of the people to elect their leadersGovernment should vigorously protect the right of the people to elect their leaders "The excellence of every government is its adaptation to the state of those to be governed by it.”"The excellence of every government is its adaptation to the state of those to be governed by it.” How can we ensure that elected officials reflect the will of tribal members?How can we ensure that elected officials reflect the will of tribal members? Good government Thomas Jefferson’s Ideas of Good Government

28 "It will be said that great societies cannot exist without [a good] government.”"It will be said that great societies cannot exist without [a good] government.” What makes our government a good government?What makes our government a good government? "The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.”"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.” How do we ensure honesty in our government?How do we ensure honesty in our government? Good government Thomas Jefferson’s Ideas of Good Government

29 Questions?


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