Lac Courte Oreilles Law Library
Constitution and ByLaws of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin


The Governing Board shall exercise the following powers subject to the limitation imposed by this Constitution and Bylaws and by applicable treaties between the Chippewa Nation and the United States.

(a) To employ legal counsel, the choice of counsel and fixing of fees to be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.

(b) To prevent the sale, disposition, lease, or encumbrance of tribal lands, interests in lands, or other assets.

(c) To negotiate, make and perform contracts and agreements of every description, not inconsistent with law or with any provisions of this Constitution, with any person, association, or corporation, with any county, or with the State of Wisconsin or the United States.

(d) To advise the Secretary of the Interior on all appropriation estimates or Federal projects for the benefit of the Band.

(e) To negotiate with Federal, State and local governments.

(f) To manage, lease, permit or otherwise deal with tribal lands, interests in lands or assets, or to purchase lands or to otherwise acquire lands, or interests in lands within or without the reservation. Tribal lands shall not be sold, except by petition signed by seven (7) members of the Governing Board requesting the Secretary of Interior to have introduced appropriate authorizing legislation provided that upon enactment of authorizing legislation the sale of lands shall be subject to approval by a majority of the qualified voters of the Band voting at a referendum called for that purpose.

(g) To adopt ordinances by which tribal lands may be assigned or leased for beneficial use and occupancy of members of the Band.

(h) To engage in any business that will further the social or economic well-being of members of the Band or undertake any programs or projects designed for the economic advancement of the people.

(i) To borrow money from the Federal Government or other lenders for Band use and to make loans to Band members in accordance with regulations of the Secretary of the Interior, this Constitution and other applicable laws.

(j) To administer any funds within the control of the Band; to make expenditures from available funds for public purposes, including salaries or other remuneration of Band officials, employees or members. Such salaries or remuneration shall be paid only for services actually rendered. All expenditures by the Governing Board shall be in accord with a previously approved budget, and the amount so paid shall be a matter of public record at all times.

(k) To deposit tribal funds to the credit of the Band in any depository whose deposits are insured by an agency of the United States, or with a bonded disbursing officer of the United States whenever the conditions prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior require that funds advanced are to be so deposited.

(l) To organize, charter and regulate any association or group, including a housing authority, for the purpose of providing social or economic benefits to the members of the Band or residents of the reservation.

(m) To delegate to subordinate boards, officers, committees or cooperative associations which are open to all members of the Band any of the foregoing powers, reserving the right to review any action taken by virtue of such delegated powers.

(n) To regulate, by enactment of ordinances, the conduct of business within the territory of the band, including the power to impose taxes or license fees upon members and non-members doing business within the reservation.

(o) To enact ordinances governing band members in the exercise of rights to hunt, fish, trap, gather wild rice and other usual rights of occupancy throughout the off- reservation area covered by the jurisdiction of the Band set forth in Article I, Section 2.

(p) To regulate, by enactment of ordinances, the activities of hunting, fishing, ricing, trapping or boating by members and non-members of all lands and waters described in Article I, Section 1, including the power to impose license fees or taxes upon members and non-members for such activities.

(q) To establish a tribal court for the purpose of enforcing tribal ordinance, to appoint tribal game wardens, and to provide by appropriate ordinances, for fines, imprisonment or confiscation of equipment for violation of such ordinances.

(r) To authorize the Governing Board to bring suit in any State or Federal court to enforce any of the band's tribal ordinances.

(s) To promulgate and enforce ordinances governing the conduct of members of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and providing for the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice by establishing a tribal court and defining its duties and powers.

(t) To provide for the regulation of child custody and domestic relations matters by ordinances or resolution.

(u) To provide for the appointment of guardians for minors, aged persons, and mental incompetents by ordinance or resolution.