By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Hardly a session of Tribal Council goes by that doesn’t involve some disagreement over the Cherokee Code – many times those discussions involve conflicting parts of law. During its regular session on Thursday, Sept. 14, Tribal Council approved legislation to establish a Code Committee whose job will be to clean and condense the Tribe’s laws.
“The Cherokee Code should be reviewed and revised to ensure consistency in style and formatting, to ensure internal accuracy, consistency and improve readability,” reads the resolution which was submitted by Painttown Rep. Tommye Saunooke and Cherokee County – Snowbird Rep. Adam Wachacha. “The Tribe should develop standards and guidelines for the language, style, formatting, citation form, readability and accuracy of all ordinances and resolutions submitted to Tribal Council and for ordinances that are published in the Cherokee Code of Ordinances.”
In their legislation, Reps. Saunooke and Wachacha also call for the Cherokee Code to be published again in book form for those who do not have access to the internet. The Committee, as established, will include the Tribe’s Legislative Counsel, the Tribe’s Attorney General of their designee, a Judge or Justice of the Cherokee Tribal Court, a member of Tribal Council, and a representative of the Office of the Principal Chief.
Rep. Wachacha said a major job of the committee will be to condense the Code. “If you’ll recall, I think it was a residency clause that was located in a couple of parts of the Code, and it kind of conflicted with each other…I think the Code gets repetitive in a lot of areas.”
Rep. Saunooke echoed the sentiments and stated, “I think it needs to be updated.”
Vice Chairman Brandon Jones noted, “I think it’s a great piece of legislation. These are all people that can sit down and make that determination on how to condense it and make it work. There’s so much that needs to be tied up there.”
You can find the existing Cherokee Code online at: https://library.municode.com/nc/cherokee_indians_eastern_band/codes/code_of_ordinances