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Left to right: Linda Franklin, Sunksqua. Germain Smith, General Council Secretary. Bryan Polite, Chairman. Randy King, Vice Chairman. Kelly Dennis Esq., COT Secretary. Seneca Bowen, Treasurer. Not pictured: Charles K. Smith II, Sachem.

Shinnecock Council of Trustees can be reached by emailing cotexecutiveassistant@shinnecock.org.

The governing body of The Nation is the Council of Trustees who shall first and foremost serve as representatives of the people, to preserve and protect this Constitution, and to act as protectors and promoters of our Shinnecock lands, tradition and culture.

 

Subject to limitations imposed by the Constitution of The Nation, the Council of Trustees shall have the following rights, responsibilities and duties:

 

a) To represent The Nation and to negotiate with Federal, State and local government. To advise representatives of the Federal and State governments on appropriations, projects, and legislation that affect The Nation.

 

b) To manage all affairs of The Nation, including the administration and allotment of tribal lands and other resources, to approve appropriate contracts, leases, permits, and loan or sale agreements and to implement laws, rules and regulations of The Nation.

 

c) To appoint committees, commissions, and advisory councils and to delegate authority to said bodies, with approval of the General Council.

 

d) To develop, implement, and enforce codes, ordinances, and statutes governing the conduct of all persons and activities within the boundaries of the Shinnecock Indian Territories, providing for the policies and procedure of the Council of Trustees, and being fully vetted. CONSTITUTION OF THE SHINNECOCK INDIAN NATION This is the document on which the Tribe voted to approve on February 26, 2013. Amended by General Council on April 7th, 2015

 

e) Carrying out any duties herein conferred upon the Council of Trustees as ratified by the General Council.

The Council of Trustees shall have seven (7) Officers, which shall consist of a Chairperson, ViceChairperson, Treasurer, General Council Secretary, Trustee Council Secretary, Sunksqua and a Sachem.

 

Held under the Shinnecock Indian Nation Oath of Office, their duties shall be as follows:

 

a) The Chairperson of the Council of Trustees shall preside over all meetings, serve as the spokesperson, representing the will of The Nation in external affairs, affix his or her signature to official documents along with Sachem, countersign warrants duly drawn by the Treasurer against the tribal funds. Chairperson shall not vote except in the case of a tie.

 

b) The Vice-Chairperson shall preside over all meetings of the General Council, shall attest the minutes thereof, shall appoint temporary officers in the absence of the duly elected officers, and shall perform such other duties as are placed upon him/her by this Constitution. The ViceChairperson shall preside at meetings and otherwise act in full capacity of the Chairperson in the absence, disability, or at the request of the Chairperson.

 

c) The Treasurer shall accept, receipt for, and safeguard all funds of The Nation under his or her custody as directed by the Council of Trustees, and keep a complete record of receipts and expenditures. He or she shall be a bonded officer and shall not disburse any funds of The Nation except as duly authorized by the Council of Trustees. He or she shall present a monthly report and account for all business transactions and assets, and transactions involving the disbursement, collection or obligation of Tribal funds to the Council of Trustees. The Treasurer shall make quarterly financial reports, including certified audits not less than thirty (30) days after the completion of the final audit to the General Council. The Treasurer shall also present the Annual Tribal Budget of The Nation at a duly called meeting of the General Council for approval by majority vote of those in attendance.

 

d) The General Council Secretary shall take minutes, record official actions, and shall serve as custodian of all files and records of the General Council. The General Council Secretary shall also conduct all correspondence and issue public notices of General Council meetings. In the absence of the Trustee Council Secretary, it shall be the duty of the General Council Secretary to undertake the secretarial role of duties within the Council of Trustees.

 

e) The Trustee Council Secretary shall take minutes, record official actions, and shall serve as custodian of all files and records of the Council of Trustees. The Trustee Council Secretary shall also conduct all correspondence and issue public notices of Trustee Council meetings. In the absence of the General Council Secretary, it shall be the duty of the Trustee Council Secretary to undertake the secretarial role of duties within the General Council.

 

f) The Sunksqua shall be an elder woman, age fifty-five (55) years or older. The Sunksqua shall serve to promote, enhance, and secure the traditions, history, language, cultural values and practices of The Nation. It shall be her duty to remind the Officers of the Council of Trustees and the General Council of the faith, respect, common sense, compassion, togetherness, peace, prosperity and legacies of our ancestors and our territory. The Sunksqua will assume her role as an elder, initiating or delegating the opening prayer of all meetings of the General Council and the Council of Trustees.

 

g) The Sachem shall be an elder male, age fifty-five (55) years or older. The Sachem shall serve to promote, enhance, and secure the traditions, history, language, cultural values and practices of The Nation. He shall affix his signature to official documents along with the Chairperson. It shall be his duty to remind the Officers of the Council of Trustees and the General Council of the faith, respect, common sense, compassion, togetherness, peace, prosperity and legacies of our ancestors and our territory. The Sachem will assume his role as an elder, initiating or delegating the closing prayer of all meetings of the General Council and Council of Trustees.