CHAPTER 824*
INDIANS

      *See Sec. 12-586f re administration of tribal-state compact.

Table of Contents

Secs. 47-57 and 47-58. Resident aliens and French citizens, rights re real estate. When nonresident aliens may hold real estate.
Sec. 47-58a.
Sec. 47-59. Overseer of Indians.
Sec. 47-59a. Connecticut Indians; citizenship, civil rights, land rights.
Sec. 47-59b. Indian Affairs Council; composition, duties, executive director, regulations, report.
Sec. 47-60. Reservation land held in trust by state. Conveyances by Indians void.
Sec. 47-61. No title by possession against an Indian.
Sec. 47-62. Taking wood from land of Indian.
Sec. 47-63. Definitions.
Sec. 47-64. Use of reservations; restriction of leases; escheats.
Sec. 47-65. Management of reservations and residents thereon. Adoption of regulations. Governor designated administrative agent.
Sec. 47-65a. Hunting and fishing on reservations.
Sec. 47-65b. State assumption of criminal and civil jurisdiction on reservation of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians.
Sec. 47-66. Tribal funds.
Sec. 47-66a. Indian housing authorities. Creation and powers.
Sec. 47-66b. Commissioners.
Sec. 47-66c. Area of operation.
Sec. 47-66d. Lease of tribal property to housing authority.
Secs. 47-66e and 47-66f. Indian burial sites; inventory of state land. Excavation of Indian burial sites; notice, removal and reinterment of remains.
Sec. 47-66g. Management of Indian affairs.
Sec. 47-66h. Trust agreements between Governor and willing indigenous tribes.
Sec. 47-66i. Method of selecting tribal leaders. Disputes.
Sec. 47-66j. Rules for tribal membership.

      Secs. 47-57 and 47-58. Resident aliens and French citizens, rights re real estate. When nonresident aliens may hold real estate. Sections 47-57 and 47-58 are repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7166, 7167; P.A. 74-60; P.A. 85-211, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 47-58a. Transferred to Chapter 821, Sec. 47-7a.

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      Sec. 47-59. Overseer of Indians. Section 47-59 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7168; 1961, P.A. 304, S. 6.)

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      Sec. 47-59a. Connecticut Indians; citizenship, civil rights, land rights. (a) It is hereby declared the policy of the state of Connecticut to recognize that all resident Indians of qualified Connecticut tribes are considered to be full citizens of the state and they are hereby granted all the rights and privileges afforded by law, that all of Connecticut's citizens enjoy. It is further recognized that said Indians have certain special rights to tribal lands as may have been set forth by treaty or other agreements.

      (b) The state of Connecticut further recognizes that the indigenous tribes, the Schaghticoke, the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot, the Mashantucket Pequot, the Mohegan and the Golden Hill Paugussett are self-governing entities possessing powers and duties over tribal members and reservations. Such powers and duties include the power to: (1) Determine tribal membership and residency on reservation land; (2) determine the tribal form of government; (3) regulate trade and commerce on the reservation; (4) make contracts, and (5) determine tribal leadership in accordance with tribal practice and usage.

      (P.A. 73-660, S. 1, 11; P.A. 89-368, S. 16.)

      History: P.A. 89-368 added Subsec. (b) giving recognition of powers and duties of indigenous tribes over tribal members and reservations.

      Cited. 176 C. 318. Cited. 180 C. 474. Cited. 217 C. 612. P.A. 89-368 cited. Id. Cited. 231 C. 563. Cited. 243 C. 115. Although section recognizes the right of tribes to select their own leaders, it does not provide that leadership disputes may be settled through means that violate state criminal statutes. 263 C. 602.

      Cited. 18 CA 4. Cited. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.


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      Sec. 47-59b. Indian Affairs Council; composition, duties, executive director, regulations, report. (a) There shall continue to be an Indian Affairs Council, consisting of one representative from each of the following Indian tribes: The Schaghticoke, the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot, the Mashantucket Pequot, the Mohegan and the Golden Hill Paugussett; to be appointed by the respective tribes, and three persons appointed by the Governor who are electors within the state but not elected or appointive officials of the state or any of its political subdivisions and are not of Indian lineage. Appointments made under this section shall be for terms of three years. Each Indian tribe may designate from among its members an alternate representative who may serve from time to time in place of its appointive representative. Vacancies on said council shall be filled by the respective appointing authority for the unexpired balance of the term. The members of said council shall be compensated for their services thereon at the rate of twenty-five dollars per day and shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses. Said council shall provide services to the Indian reservation community of the state and formulate programs suitable to its needs. The council may select an executive director who shall serve at no expense to the state but may be compensated with funds contributed by the tribes.

      (b) The Indian Affairs Council shall review the regulations governing Indian affairs in the state of Connecticut and advise the Commissioner of Environmental Protection on promulgation of new regulations. The council shall report annually, no later than September first, to the Governor and the General Assembly on the activities of the council and the state of affairs of the Indian people in the state.

      (P.A. 73-660, S. 2, 8, 10, 11; P.A. 74-168, S. 1, 2; P.A. 75-129, S. 1, 2; P.A. 81-375, S. 1, 4; P.A. 89-368, S. 20; P.A. 93-435, S. 16, 95.)

      History: P.A. 74-168 continued existence of council, added representative from Golden Hill tribe and allowed compensation of $25 per day where previously members received no compensation but were reimbursed for necessary expenses; P.A. 75-129 authorized tribes to designate alternate representatives; P.A. 81-375 amended Subsec. (a) to change names of tribes as of July 1, 1981; P.A. 89-368 amended Subsec. (a) by substituting "Paucatuck Eastern Pequot" for "Paucatuck Pequot" and by deleting an obsolete provision" concerning terms and deleted Subsec. (b) re qualifications necessary for a person's designation as an Indian and re eligibility for residing on reservation lands and relettered Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (b); P.A. 93-435 amended Subsec. (b) to make a technical change, effective June 28, 1993.

      See Sec. 47-65 re management of reservations and reservation residents and re duties of Commissioner of Environmental Protection in connection with reservation management.

      The Indian Affairs Council is an "agency" within the meaning of Sec. 4-166(1) and is subject to the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act. 180 C. 474. Cited. 243 C. 115.

      Cited. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited 18 CA 4.


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      Sec. 47-60. Reservation land held in trust by state. Conveyances by Indians void. (a) Any reservation land held in trust by the state on October 1, 1989, shall continue to be held in trust in perpetuity to prevent alienation and to insure its availability for future generations of Indians. Except as otherwise expressly provided, all conveyances by any Indian of any land belonging to, or which has belonged to, the estate of any tribe shall be void.

      (b) A tribe shall exercise on reservation land all rights incident to ownership except the power of alienation.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7169; P.A. 89-368, S. 21.)

      History: P.A. 89-368 amended Subsec. (a) specifying that reservation land held in trust by the state shall continue to be held in trust and added Subsec. (b) re exercise of rights to tribal reservation land.

      A prescriptive right-of-way cannot exist over lands, the conveyance of which is forbidden by law. 51 C. 71. Cited. 180 C. 474.

      Cited. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.


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      Sec. 47-61. No title by possession against an Indian. In any action brought by an Indian or Indians for the recovery of lands owned by Indians, or sequestered for their use by the General Assembly or by any town agreeably to law, the defendant shall not plead the statute of limitations, except as against an Indian or Indians authorized by law to convey Indian lands, or as against a town authorized by law to convey Indian lands.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7170.)

      Cited. 180 C. 474.

      Cited. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.


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      Sec. 47-62. Taking wood from land of Indian. Section 47-62 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7171; 1961, P.A. 304, S. 6.)

      See Sec. 47-66 authorizing Commissioner of Environmental Protection to maintain an action to recover property misappropriated from a reservation.

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      Sec. 47-63. Definitions. The following terms as used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings: "Indian" means a person who is a member of any of the following tribes, Paucatuck Eastern Pequot, Mashantucket Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett and Mohegan; "reservation" means the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot reservation in the town of North Stonington, assigned to the use of the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot tribe; the Golden Hill Paugussett reservations in the towns of Trumbull and Colchester, assigned to the Golden Hill Paugussett tribe; the Schaghticoke reservation in the town of Kent, assigned to the Schaghticoke tribe, and the Mashantucket Pequot reservation in the town of Ledyard, assigned to the Mashantucket Pequot tribe; "tribal funds" means the money held by the state for the use and benefit of a tribe as distinguished from legislative appropriations.

      (1961, P.A. 304, S. 1; P.A. 73-660, S. 9, 11; P.A. 81-375, S. 2, 4; P.A. 89-368, S. 22.)

      History: P.A. 73-660 redefined "Indian" to list specific tribes, replacing reference to persons of tribes "for whose use any reservation was set out"; P.A. 81-375 amended section to change names of tribes and to add reference to Colchester reservation as of July 1, 1981; P.A. 89-368 made technical changes.

      Cited. 180 C. 474. State acquired jurisdiction over crimes committed on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian reservation by enactment of Sec. 1755 of title 25 of the U.S. Code; judgment of appellate court in State v. Spears, 36 CA 106, reversed. 234 C. 78. Cited. 243 C. 115.

      Cited. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.


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      Sec. 47-64. Use of reservations; restriction of leases; escheats. (a) Each tribe shall determine who may live on reservation land provided any person lawfully residing on a reservation on October 1, 1989, may continue to reside on such reservation. Residents may be removed in accordance with rules filed under section 47-66j.

      (b) Each tribe may lease reservation land for not more than twenty-five years.

      (c) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any special act to the contrary, any Indian reservation property that escheats to the state shall be preserved as an Indian historical area, under the control of the Department of Environmental Protection.

      (1961, P.A. 304, S. 2, 3; P.A. 73-660, S. 3, 6, 11; P.A. 89-368, S. 23.)

      History: P.A. 73-660 changed applicable dates from July 1, 1961, to July 1, 1973, added provision in Subsec. (a) re reimbursement for spouse or children who no longer qualify to reside on reservation following death of their relative and deleted provisions which placed burden of proving residency eligibility on claimant and re welfare commissioner's regulation of times when Indians, descendants and guests may use reservation for recreational and social purposes, in Subsec. (b) replaced welfare commissioner with Indian Affairs Council and added Subsec. (c); P.A. 89-368 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize tribes to determine who may reside on reservation land and amended Subsec. (b) to delete prohibition against leasing and to authorize tribes to lease reservation land for not more than 25 years.

      Cited. 180 C. 474.

      Preempted and rendered invalid by federal law. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.


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      Sec. 47-65. Management of reservations and residents thereon. Adoption of regulations. Governor designated administrative agent. (a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection with the advice of the Indian Affairs Council shall have the care and management of reservation lands. The commissioner and the council shall establish the boundaries of such reservations by land survey and shall file a map of the same in the land records of the appropriate towns.

      (b) All reservation buildings not privately owned shall be subject to the care and management of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. The commissioner with the advice of the Indian Affairs Council shall, upon the petition of the resident make major repairs and improvements to the exterior of any such building and its heating, water, electric, sewage disposal and plumbing systems as are necessary to insure habitable living conditions. The resident of any building shall assume responsibility for the interior maintenance of floors, walls and ceilings and minor maintenance of the building and its heating, water, electric, sewage disposal and plumbing systems, provided the commissioner shall supply necessary materials for such systems.

      (c) The council may, upon petition of an Indian resident without sufficient means to support himself, provide assistance in an amount necessary to maintain a standard of living in the home compatible with the well-being of the resident. The council shall provide other services as it deems necessary to insure the well-being of all persons residing on the reservations.

      (d) The commissioner and the council may adopt and amend regulations pursuant to chapter 54 to carry out the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section. The council shall adopt regulations which prescribe eligibility standards for assistance and services under subsection (c) of this section.

      (e) The Governor is hereby designated the administrative agent of the state to apply for any funds or other aid, cooperate and enter into contracts and agreements with the federal government, the Indian Housing Authority or any other appropriate state or local agency for the purpose of providing necessary services to housing projects to be located on Indian reservations within the state of Connecticut or for any other purpose which the Congress of the United States or the General Assembly has authorized or may authorize for expenditures compatible with the services provided for in this chapter. The Governor is authorized in the name of the state to make all applications, sign all documents, give assurances and do all other things necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

      (1961, P.A. 304, S. 4; P.A. 73-660, S. 4, 11; P.A. 76-97, S. 1, 2; P.A. 78-40, S. 1, 2.)

      History: P.A. 73-660 transferred duties of welfare commissioner re care of land, buildings, boundaries and regulations to insure health, safety and well-being to commissioner of environmental protection and Indian Affairs Council, deleting provisions re welfare commissioner's past duties to assist needy Indians, repair and improve buildings, to admit and evict residents, etc.; P.A. 76-97 limited duties of commissioner and council to reservation lands, abolishing their powers re "care and management" of persons, etc. and added Subsecs. (b) to (d) clarifying general statements of prior provisions; P.A. 78-40 added Subsec. (e) re governor's role in obtaining federal assistance for housing projects on reservations.

      Cited. 180 C. 474. Cited. 217 C. 612.

      Preempted and rendered invalid by federal law. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.


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      Sec. 47-65a. Hunting and fishing on reservations. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 26-27, any Indian may take, hunt or trap any wild bird or quadruped on, or take or assist in taking any fish or bait species in the waters of, the reservation of such Indian's tribe without a license therefor, subject to the regulations promulgated by the council and to such seasonal and bag limitations as may be provided by law. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall issue, without fee, a private land deer permit to any Indian for use only on the reservation of such Indian's tribe provided such reservation is not less than two hundred fifty acres in size and provided further no such Indian shall be issued more than one such permit per season. Such permit shall allow the use of a rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader or bow and arrow on such reservation land from November first until December thirty-first, inclusive, of each year.

      (P.A. 73-660, S. 7, 11; P.A. 00-67, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 00-67 made technical changes and added requirement that the commissioner issue private land deer permits for reservations with limits on reservation size, number of permits issued, type of weapon and season.

      Cited. 180 C. 474.

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      Sec. 47-65b. State assumption of criminal and civil jurisdiction on reservation of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians. The state of Connecticut assumes criminal jurisdiction and civil regulatory jurisdiction pursuant to the May 17, 1994, Agreement and the May 17, 1994, Gaming Compact between the state of Connecticut and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut and Public Law 103-377.

      (P.A. 96-142, S. 1, 4.)

      History: P.A. 96-142 effective May 29, 1996.

      Trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over court case brought against Indian tribe because Congress only extended criminal jurisdiction to state and tribe would have to consent to civil jurisdiction. 260 C. 46.

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      Sec. 47-66. Tribal funds. Tribal funds shall be under the care and control of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection with the advice of the Indian Affairs Council and may be used for the purposes set forth in section 47-65. Said commissioner shall annually settle his accounts of the affairs of each tribe with the Comptroller, and his report to the Governor shall furnish, with respect to each tribe, a statement of the amount and condition of its fund, an estimate of the value of its lands and the income annually received and the expenditures made by said commissioner from such fund. Said commissioner may maintain an action in his name to recover any property misappropriated from a reservation.

      (1961, P.A. 304, S. 5; P.A. 73-660, S. 5, 11.)

      History: P.A. 73-660 placed funds under control of environmental protection commissioner and Indian Affairs Council rather than under control of welfare commissioner.

      Cited. 176 C. 318. Cited. 180 C. 474. Cited. 217 C. 612.

      Preempted and rendered invalid by federal law. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.


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      Sec. 47-66a. Indian housing authorities. Creation and powers. There is created, with respect to each Indian tribe named in section 47-63, a public body corporate and politic, to be known as the "housing authority" of said Indian tribe possessing all powers, rights and functions specified for municipal authorities created pursuant to chapter 128, provided said Indian housing authority shall not transact any business nor exercise its powers hereunder until or unless the governing council of said tribe, by proper resolution declares that there is a need for an authority to function for said tribe. Except as otherwise provided in sections 47-66a to 47-66d, inclusive, all the provisions of law applicable to housing authorities created for municipalities and the commissioners of such authorities shall be applicable to Indian housing authorities and the commissioners thereof, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context. The chief or other governing head and governing council of an Indian tribe are hereby authorized to exercise all appointing and other powers with respect to an Indian housing authority that are vested under part I of said chapter 128, in the chief executive officer and governing body of a municipality. The Indian housing authorities shall be operated in conformity with Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

      (P.A. 76-377, S. 1.)

      Cited. 180 C. 474.

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      Sec. 47-66b. Commissioners. The chief or other governing head shall appoint five commissioners who shall be members of the tribe for which the authority is created. Holding of any tribal office shall not bar appointment of any such tribal member to a tribal housing authority. No person shall be barred from serving as a commissioner because he is a tenant or home buyer in a tribal housing project.

      (P.A. 76-377, S. 2.)

      Cited. 180 C. 474.

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      Sec. 47-66c. Area of operation. The area of operation of a tribal housing authority shall be within the territorial boundaries of the reservation set aside for the tribe as specified in section 47-63.

      (P.A. 76-377, S. 3.)

      Cited. 180 C. 474.

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      Sec. 47-66d. Lease of tribal property to housing authority. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of section 47-64, any real property located on an Indian reservation, as defined in section 47-63, required by a tribal authority for use in its area of operation in providing housing shall be leased to the housing authority by the respective tribal governing body with the approval of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, upon such lawful terms as shall be agreeable to the parties.

      (P.A. 76-377, S. 4.)

      History: (Revisor's note: In 1997 the words "the Department of" in the phrase "Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection" were deleted editorially by the Revisors for consistency with customary statutory usage).

      Cited. 180 C. 474.

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      Secs. 47-66e and 47-66f. Indian burial sites; inventory of state land. Excavation of Indian burial sites; notice, removal and reinterment of remains. Sections 47-66e and 47-66f are repealed.

      (P.A. 81-242, S. 1-3; P.A. 89-368, S. 29, 30.)

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      Sec. 47-66g. Management of Indian affairs. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection with the advice of the Indian Affairs Council shall manage the state's interest in Indian affairs not otherwise specified in this chapter, including but not limited to, maintaining state documents, providing information to tribal members and coordinating governmental grant programs.

      (P.A. 82-178.)

      Preempted and rendered invalid by federal law. 22 CA 229; judgment reversed and case remanded to appellate court with direction to remand it to trial court for further proceedings, see 217 C. 612.

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      Sec. 47-66h. Trust agreements between Governor and willing indigenous tribes. (a) Effective October 1, 1990, the Governor shall enter into a trust agreement with each willing indigenous Indian tribe. Any such trust agreement shall define the powers and duties possessed by the tribe that is party to the agreement and shall be consistent with recommendations on trust agreements contained in the final report of the Indian Affairs Task Force made pursuant to special act 87-103.

      (b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to confer tribal status under federal law on the indigenous tribes named in section 47-59a or to confer additional rights of ownership and title to such tribes to land in the state which was not held in trust for such tribes on June 1, 1989.

      (P.A. 89-368, S. 17.)

      Writ of mandamus will not issue to require governor to enter into trust agreement where task force does not issue final report containing trust agreement recommendations. 51 CA 552.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 243 C. 115.


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      Sec. 47-66i. Method of selecting tribal leaders. Disputes. (a) Each tribal leader shall file with the Governor his name and a written description of the method of selecting tribal leaders and the process by which tribal leaders exercise their authority. The Governor shall file such description with the Secretary of the State and the Indian Affairs Council established under section 47-59b.

      (b) A leadership dispute shall be resolved in accordance with tribal usage and practice. Upon request of a party to a dispute, the dispute may be settled by a council. Each party to the dispute shall appoint a member to the council and the parties shall jointly appoint one or two additional members provided the number of members of the council shall be an odd number. If the parties cannot agree on any joint appointment, the Governor shall appoint any such member who shall be a person knowledgeable in Indian affairs. The decision of the council shall be final on substantive issues. An appeal may be taken to the Superior Court to determine if provisions of the written description filed with the Secretary of the State pursuant to this section have been followed. If the court finds that the dispute was not resolved in accordance with the provisions of the written description, it shall remand the matter with instructions to reinstitute proceedings, in accordance with such provisions.

      (P.A. 89-368, S. 18.)

      Cited. 231 C. 563.

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      Sec. 47-66j. Rules for tribal membership. (a) On or before March 15, 1990, and annually thereafter, the tribal leader selected in accordance with the method filed under section 47-66i shall file a copy of the rules for tribal membership and government and a current membership roll with the Governor. The membership rules may include provisions for revocation of membership. The Governor shall file the rules and membership roll with the Secretary of the State and the Indian Affairs Council established under section 47-59b.

      (b) A membership dispute shall be resolved in accordance with tribal usage and practice. Upon request of a party to a dispute, the dispute may be settled by a council. Each party to the dispute shall appoint a member of the council and the parties shall jointly appoint one or two additional members provided the number of members of the council shall be an odd number. If the parties cannot agree on any joint appointment, the Governor shall appoint such member who shall be a person knowledgeable in Indian affairs. The decision of the council shall be final on substantive issues but an appeal may be taken to the Superior Court to determine if membership rules filed in the office of the Secretary of the State pursuant to this section have been followed. If the court finds that the dispute was not resolved in accordance with the provisions of the written description, it shall remand the matter with instructions to reinstitute proceedings, in accordance with such provisions.

      (P.A. 89-368, S. 19.)

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 243 C. 115.

      Primary jurisdiction of tribal membership dispute belongs with council. Trial court properly dismissed plaintiff's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction where plaintiff failed to follow the procedures set forth in this section. 82 CA 11.


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