Governmental Structure

The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians (Tribe) is a tribe that has a constitution written during the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) period of Indian Policy. The present constitution and by-laws, originally approved on January 15, 1936, remains contemporary with amendments incorporated to address the changing times.

The governing body of the tribe is a legislative assembly aptly named the “Community Council.” The name “Community Council” is a portrayal of the group composed of eligible voting members of the tribe that live within the community enclosed by the borders of the Tuolumne Rancheria. Prospective Community Council members have to meet a criterion of eligibility and be voted into the group by the other members of the Community Council.

Figure 1 Structure
Figure 1 Structure

The executive duties of the tribe are carried out through the Community Council Officers (Officers). There are four Officers consisting of a Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Officers are elected annually from within the Community Council membership. The Officers oversee the operations and supervise the staff of the various programs and services authorized by the Community Council to serve tribal members.

Programs and services provided to the tribal membership are given advice from committees, commissions, and special boards formed from within the Community Council membership. Community Council members are encouraged to participate in the various committees and special boards. Committee members are elected annually while special board members usually have staggered terms of varying duration. Committee participation provides direct input from the tribal membership and closely links the programs and services to the tribal members.

The structural representation of tribal government is further illustrated in the Structural Block Diagram.