Membership Requirements and Qualifications
- Definition of Native: The DIA Constitution specifies that tribal members must be Alaska Native. ‘Alaska Native’ shall include Alaska Natives, regardless of blood quantum. [or some other definition which could include a blood quantum or address Alaska Native and American Indian]
- Base Roll and eligibility for membership: Persons listed on the DIA Tribal Base Roll, as adopted by the DIA Tribal Council [the date the base roll was adopted could be listed here, or the actual names of base roll members listed] shall be main basis for tribal membership in the DIA Tribe. Lineal descendants of Base Roll members shall be automatically eligible for enrollment and membership into the DIA Tribe [if the tribe requires a certain blood quantum, then there would be a provision here such as, ‘provided the person is of at least ¼ Alaska Native blood.’].
- Adoption of Alaska Natives who set up homes in DIA: By an affirmative vote of at least 7 Council members, the DIA Tribal Council may vote to enroll new Alaska Natives who set up homes in DIA as tribal members provided that they reside in DIA for at least 1 year before applying. Their children are not automatically eligible for membership in the DIA Tribe unless at least one parent is a lineal descendant of a base roll member. The 1-year residency requirement must immediately precede the application for membership. Adopted members may be disenrolled if they permanently move out of the Village. [This could also cover adopting American Indians if the constitution permits it.]
- Children of members: Children of base roll members and lineal descendants are automatically eligible for membership in the DIA Tribe. Children include both biological and adopted Alaska Native children. Parents and guardians may not relinquish tribal eligibility or disenroll their minor children from the DIA Tribe. Minor children shall either be formally enrolled into the DIA Tribe or remain members of the Tribe by virtue of their eligibility until they reach 18. Children who are not formally enrolled into the DIA Tribe shall have 1 year to apply for membership in the DIA Tribe upon reaching 18 or upon discovering that they are eligible for membership into the DIA Tribe, provided that the Tribe may make exception to the 1 year time period for special circumstances.
Options: Dual enrollment is not permitted for adults, those 18 years of age and older. Dual enrollment is permitted for children under the age of 18. Children who are lineal descendants of base roll members shall be tribal members even if they are not formally enrolled, and may not be disenrolled from the Tribe until the age of 18. Dual enrollment is permitted, provided that persons who are solely enrolled to the
DIA Tribe may be given exclusive or first priority for distribution of tribal assets and services where funding sources permit. Children who are lineal descendants of base roll members shall be tribal members even if they are not formally enrolled, and may not be disenrolled from the Tribe until the age of 18.
- Secured records: All enrollment records are confidential and shall be kept in a secured area and only be accessed by the Its Tribal Council, except that a list of members’ names may be made available to tribal members or other parties upon approval by the Council.
- Special confidentiality arrangements: Special confidentiality arrangements may be made for individual tribal members at their request, upon approval by an affirmative vote of at least 7 Council members. Third parties used to verify records in these cases shall be specifically approved by the Council.
- Application for enrollment: Application forms shall be available at the DIA Tribal Council Office. Persons wishing to apply for enrollment in the DIA Tribe shall submit applications and documentation of family lineage as descendants of base roll members to the Tribal Council.
- Reviewing applications: Applications shall be reviewed for accuracy and completeness by the Its Council or the Council’s designee. If an application is incomplete, the applicant shall be contacted for additional information or documentation for determining eligibility. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide evidence of eligibility in the DIA Tribe. In general, acceptable documentation demonstrating proof of eligibility include certified copies of birth certificates, baptismal records, paternity affidavits, adoption records, and affidavits from family members. Certified copies of birth certificates is the preferable proof, however, other documents listed may be used depending on individual circumstances. Applications may be deferred when there is a question of eligibility, and shall not be considered denied.
- Approval and disapproval of applications: After applications have gone through the review process, the Council may approve persons who are automatically eligible during the regular course of Council business. Applications for adopting New Natives into the Tribe shall be placed before the full Tribal Council in a meeting that shall be open to the tribal membership. In cases of enrolling persons automatically eligible or for adopting New Natives into the Tribe, the Council has the option to defer applications if there is a question of eligibility. Persons who wish to appeal a decision to disapprove an application may do so by waiting for 1 year and then reapplying for membership.
[or some other method of appealing the decision such as appealing to the tribal court if the court is separated from the council].
- Executive Session: The DIA Tribal Council shall make enrollment decisions on tribal enrollment applications in executive session, provided that the person applying for enrollment, or guardians of persons applying may be present.
- Notification: The Tribal Council, or the designee, shall notify applicants of approvals or disapprovals. Notice of disapproval shall include the reason why the applicant was disapproved and shall state that they may apply again after a 1-year waiting period. [or some other method of appeal].
Representatives of Minors, Handicapped, and Mentally Incompetent Persons
Minor children, handicapped persons, and mentally incompetent persons may be represented by parents, legal guardians, or other adult tribal members as recognized by the DIA Tribal Council.
- Submitting Enrollment Applications and Signing Enrollment Cards: Parents or legal guardians may submit applications for their minor children and sign tribal enrollment cards on their behalf. Parents or legal guardians may not relinquish tribal enrollment or eligibility for membership in the DIA Tribe on a child’s behalf.
- No Authority to Relinquish: Responsible adult tribal members may submit applications and sign tribal enrollment cards on behalf of handicapped and mentally incompetent persons, but may not relinquish their enrollment.
- Mailings, Notifications, Requests for Appearances: All mailings, notifications and appearances on behalf of applicants shall be directed to the representatives of minor children, handicapped, and mentally incompetent persons.
Applicants who have been disapproved or disenrolled may reapply for membership after a 2-year [could be shorter or longer] waiting period.
[or some other method of appealing such as to a tribal court if the tribal court is separated from the council. Appeals could be made to a meeting of the tribal membership.]
Maintaining the Tribal Membership Roll
- Information on the roll: The following information about approved tribal members shall be recorded on the Itsa tribal membership roll: 1. name in alphabetical order by last name first, followed by first name and middle name; 2. gender; 3. date of birth; 4. Native blood degree; 5. social security number, 6. mailing address; and, 7. date of enrollment. Other information may be recorded in a remarks column.
- Information changes: Tribal members or their representatives shall be responsible for informing the Tribal Council of name, address, or other changes affecting the membership roll.
- Updating the membership roll: The DIA tribal membership roll shall be kept updated by the Tribal Council or as designated by the Council.
Relinquishment of Tribal Membership
A tribal member may voluntarily give up his or her right to membership in the DIA Tribe, provided that parents or legal guardians may not give up membership or eligibility for membership for minor children. The DIA Council shall provide forms for relinquishment. The form shall be completed, signed, notarized, and submitted to the DIA Tribal Council.
Upon an affirmative vote of at least 7 Council Members, the Council shall have the right to remove persons from the tribal roll and revoke the privileges of membership under the following conditions:
- If an applicant falsifies information on the enrollment application in order to be eligible for enrollment; or
- If a person is on the tribal roll but does not meet eligibility requirements established in the DIA Tribal Constitution.
- If a member is permanently banished by the DIATribal Court from DIA because of danger to the safety of village residents.
- If a person is adopted into the Tribe as a New Native but permanently moves away from the Village.
Honorary Tribal Membership
The DIA Tribal Membership may grant the title of “Honorary Tribal Member” to individual people. Honorary memberships are restricted from voting, sharing tribal assets, passing the title on to their descendants, and holding tribal office. Honorary memberships do not entitle people to participate in federal programs designed to benefit the welfare of Native people unless they are otherwise eligible.
[Some tribes expand the rights of honorary tribal members beyond this description.]
Amending or Repealing this Membership and Enrollment Ordinance
This Ordinance may only be repealed or amended through a referendum vote to the tribal membership, in a special election for which notice has been posted in at least three public places in DIA, for at least 2 weeks prior to the election, and at which at least 51% of the tribal voters vote. [This is one option, the other option is that the Council would have the authority to repeal or amend this ordinance. If the Council has that authority, then this section would be deleted.]