Legitimacy of Charter questioned

by Nov 2, 2009NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

Big Y resident desires return to Chapter 207 law

By Scott McKie B.P.
One Feather staff

      Nancy Long, of the Big Y Community, questions the legitimacy of the tribal governing document of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  In a resolution, which was discussed on the last day of Annual Council on Friday, Oct. 30, she declares that the Charter and Governing Document of the EBCI that was passed in 1986 by Tribal Council is “null and void.”  
      “On May 8, 1986, an Ad Hoc committee, known as the Amendments Committee, introduced a document called the ‘New Charter and Governing Document’ calling for a Corporate Charter and a governing document proposed by that Committee,” Long writes in her resolution which was tabled on Friday for further discussion.
      “The Tribal Council voted 8 members for the proposed new Charter and governing document, three against, with 1 Council Member absent,” Long continues.  “There was never a vote of the people on that action, that action was declared null and void by the Resolution #1 Committee, made up of 6 Council Members and 6 Tribal Elders, on December 13, 1993.” 
      During Friday’s discussion, Big Cove Rep. Teresa McCoy agreed with Long.  “I was on that Committee (Resolution #1) and Nancy is right.”  She said they studied the documents for months and came to the conclusion that the 1986 Charter was illegal. 
      Rep. McCoy was in favor of tabling Long’s resolution so that further discussions and work sessions could be held so that all of the Council Representatives could have access to all of the information.  “This might solve the question, once and for all, does the Tribe already have an existing Constitution?  I believe it does.” 
      Long replied, “I know it does.”  She wants the Tribe to revert back to what is known as Chapter 207.  In her resolution, she states, “The Constitution of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was completed in the year of 1875.  The Constitution was adopted as the By-laws of the N.C. State Charter in the year of 1889.  It was amended twice, once in 1891 and again in 1895 before receiving State recognition in 1897 as Chapter 207 of the Private Laws of North Carolina, municipal…”