By-laws of The United Cherokee Nation (UCN):
NAME AND LOCATION OF ORGANIZATION
The name of the organization is The United
Cherokee Nation (UCN). The headquarters or National
Office of The United Cherokee Nation will be located
with the Principal Chief or National Secretary /
TRIBAL MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION - HISTORY
United Cherokee Nation (UCN) was formerly
constituted under The United Indian Nation, LLC. and
was reorganized as The United Cherokee Nation (UCN),
a Cherokee Tribal Membership Organization, under
American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978
Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment
Free Exercise Clause of The 1968 Indian Civil Rights
United Cherokee Nation (UCN) will be referred to in
the By-Laws as the “organization” or “The UCN”.
PURPOSE AND FUNDING
organization is organized to plan, implement, and
administer, operate, and evaluate programs to carry
out the object and purpose of the organization to
assist in and promote the “Gathering” of the
Cherokee Indians and to promote and study the
heritage of it’s people for the general benefit
and good in the community, in the state and in the
nation and to improve the quality of life, to
promote cultural events, and to preserve the
heritage of the Cherokee Indian Nation. In carrying
out its purpose, the organization may seek out and
accept voluntary contributions, obtain city, county,
state and federal government grants, awards or other
funding, public funding, private funding and grants,
awards or other funding from private or public
charitable organizations and foundations.
membership of the organization shall be open to all
persons of Cherokee ancestry. In order to not
perpetuate the injustices against, and the divisions
among, those American citizens who are descendants
of the Cherokees, which are collectively mis-named
“Indian” by the European conquering peoples of
the Americas, not to view these citizens of Cherokee
descent as legal or governmentally designated beings
of the United States - rather than racial human
beings such as are all other races in America so
recognized - the organization therefore accepts the
integrity and veracity of the Cherokee descendants.
All members shall abide by the organization articles
and Bylaws of the organization.
Members are defined as those that have paid the
initial membership fee, hold a membership ID Card
and are current on their dues and are over the age
of 18 years old. These members are eligible to hold
office and to vote in all tribal elections of the
organization. Once the membership application fee is
paid, dues are assessed yearly on January 01, to
support the organization.
Members-Minors are defined as those that have paid
the membership application fee and are current on
their dues and are under the age of 18 years old.
These members are not eligible to hold office or to
vote in all tribal elections of the organization.
Once the membership application fee is paid, dues
are assessed yearly January 01, to support the
June 19, 2013
CONVERSION OF REGISTERED MEMBERS TO FULL MEMBERS
June 19, 2013
PROOF OF INDIAN ANCESTRY.
of Cherokee ancestry will not be required by The UCN
prior to approval of the application or at any time
during the period of active membership of the
member. A completed notarized application is a sworn
testimony that the applicant is of Tsalagi
(Cherokee) origin. Further documentation is
recommended for the applicant’s personal family
are eligible for associate membership in the
organization. Associate members, eighteen (18) years
of age or older, have all of the privileges of full
members except they cannot vote nor hold an office.
SPOUSES OF FULL MEMBERS.
of full members are automatically accepted as
associate members of the organization should they
choose to register.
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP.
to becoming a member or associate member of The UCN,
a prospective member shall complete and submit to
the National Office, an application that has been
signed and notarized by an official notary. The
application shall be on a form approved by the
Tribal Council. The Principal Chief or National
Secretary / Treasurer will review the application,
and issue statements of fact; and issue membership
ID Cards. In the event there is no local Clan,
applicants will have to establish a new State Clan.
Then, a State Clan Chief will be appointed by the
Tribal Council or elected by the State Clan members.
APPROVAL OF NEW MEMBERS.
Principal Chief or National Secretary / Treasurer
shall review and evaluate all applications for
membership in the organization. The Principal Chief
or National Secretary / Treasurer will return the
original applications, and keep electronic copies
with additional updates, addresses, or personal
information changes on the membership Rolls.
MEMBERSHIP COMPLIANCE WITH RULES.
members shall abide by the rules and regulations of
The UCN, it’s bylaws and it’s articles of the
Principal Chief or the Tribal Council may designate
a person as an honorary member based upon their
contributions, either financial or by service to the
Principal Chief or Tribal Council can review and
suspend membership based upon being inactive, or not
providing updated information. A member of The UCN
that has been inactive may apply for active
membership in the organization by providing written
notice of the desire to return to active status of
the organization and a photocopy of their latest
EVIDENCE OF MEMBERSHIP.
accepted for membership in the organization will be
assigned a permanent identification number. A
permanent electronic file will be maintained by the
organization containing that person’s application
and birth certificate. Termination of activity,
suspension, revocation of membership, or death of a
member will be entered in this file and kept for
posterity. Upon resignation, per Article 4.14, these
electronic files will be deleted.
person who is a member in good standing of this
organization shall be a member of any other
corporation, group, association, or organization
whose purposes are contrary or in conflict with the
organization as may be determined by the Principal
Chief or National Secretary / Treasurer or the
Tribal Council. The violation of this amendment is
grounds for revocation of membership by a vote of
the Tribal Council.
REMOVAL OF A CLAN LEADER.
Clan Leader may be removed from office for an
additional assignment, advancement, or to take
his/her place in the general membership by the
Principal Chief and the Tribal Council. A Clan
Leader will then be called to fill the position.
ELIGIBLE FOR OFFICE.
members who are active, full members as defined in
these bylaws who are eighteen (18) years of age and
above shall be deemed eligible to hold office in the
member that requests to resign from The UCN must
return their membership paperwork and ID Card with a
notarized letter or resignation. There are no
exceptions to this, as all membership paperwork and
ID Cards remain the property of The UCN at all
times, as expressed in that paperwork supplied at
time of acceptance of membership. At that time the
member will be removed from the membership rolls and
their electronic files will be deleted.
COMPLAINTS, ACCUSATIONS AND HEARINGS.
COMPLAINTS AGAINST MEMBERS.
member may make in writing to the Principal Chief or
National Secretary / Treasurer or the Tribal Council
an accusation against any other member of the
organization on his knowledge that such other member
is violating the terms of his membership or acting
against the best interest of The UCN and request
that the Tribal Council inquire into the truth of
such allegations. The Principal Chief will direct
members of the Tribal Council to review the
complaint or accusation to determine the truth and
accuracy of such complaint and to determine what, if
any, action the Tribal Council should take regarding
such complaint or accusation. The Tribal Council
shall have the right to dismiss the complaint
without forwarding it to the Principal Chief. The
member who is being investigated shall, during the
investigation, retain his membership in good
standing with all rights and privileges until and
unless the Tribal Council shall vote otherwise.
SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION.
person’s membership, full, associate, or honorary,
may be suspended or revoked by the Tribal Council
for just cause as a result of a written complaint,
or upon it’s own motion.
the filing of a written complaint, the
recommendation of the membership, or upon it’s own
motion, the Principal Chief or National Secretary /
Treasurer may notify a member that it proposes to
suspend or revoke his or her membership for just
cause, such person shall be provided an opportunity
for a hearing before the Tribal Council.
GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION.
person’s membership may be suspended, revoked or
otherwise sanctioned for any willful action that
violates the terms of membership or by willfully
acting against the best interest of the
GROUNDS FOR INACTIVE STATUS OR REMOVAL OF NAME FROM
member’s name shall be listed as inactive in the
organization rolls if such member fails or refuses
to pay any membership fees, dues or special
assessment established by the Tribal Council. A
member may be reinstated upon the payment of any
delinquent membership dues or assessments.
TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP.
suspension or revocation of membership by the Tribal
Council, the member shall cease to be a member in
good standing for such time as the suspension shall
be in force or until reinstated or readmitted. A
suspended member shall automatically be reinstated
upon termination of the period of suspension unless
the Principal Chief or National Secretary /
Treasurer or the Tribal Council shall determine that
it is in the best interest of the organization that
their membership be revoked, at which time the
Tribal Council shall submit to the member their
recommendation for revocation and the reason or
reasons upon which same is based. A revoked member
may not reapply for membership for a period of one
year from the date of revocation. He shall reapply
as any other person seeking membership in the
organization, unless voted out for life. Termination
of membership of a member of a family belonging to
the organization shall not be deemed to be the
termination of the membership of the family.
suspension, revocation or resignation, the members
shall surrender his membership paperwork and ID Card
and all documents in his possession belonging to The
UCN and all rights and privileges shall cease during
the period of suspension or revocation.
Amended June 30, 2013
January 07, 2008
MEMBERSHIP DUES OR SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS
DUES AND ASSESSMENTS.
The membership may establish membership fees,
dues or special assessments that shall be paid by
all members. All members are required to pay yearly
dues by vote of the Tribal Council. All dues, fees
and assessments shall be established by the Tribal
Council and shall be evaluated, reviewed, and
published each year. Yearly dues for adult members
shall be $ 15.00 and for children under 18 years old
$ 15.00 per year. Dues for all members are due and
payable on January 01 of each calendar year. Dues
are considered overdue as of March 31, members who
do not pay their dues by this date will be moved to
the inactive list.
WAIVER OF DUES AND ASSESSMENTS.
The Tribal Council may, for good cause, waive
the payment of dues or special assessments by any
member provided special circumstances are
demonstrated. Members must write to the Tribal
Council requesting waiver of dues for each member
and or child, this request must state reasons why
the waiver should be granted and be demonstrated to
the Tribal Council as to why the member cannot
support the organization financially. Members
granted waiver are restricted from voting and of
holding office until dues are brought current.
INITIAL APPLICATION FEE.
non-refundable initial application fee for a new
application for membership shall be established by
the Tribal Council. For Full Members the initial
application fee is $35.00, $15.00 is for the first
year dues and $ 20.00 is for the membership package
and membership ID Card. For Full Members-Minors,
children up to 18 years old, the initial application
fee is $35.00, $15.00 is for the first year dues and
$ 20.00 is for the membership package and membership
ADDITIONAL MEMBERSHIP CARDS.
fee for additional or replacement picture ID
membership cards shall be established by the Tribal
Council. The fee is $12.25 for an additional or
replacement picture ID Card.
members of The UCN that apply for Full membership in
the organization are not required to pay an initial
application fee. The fee for new membership ID Cards
for inactive members is $12.25 plus all back dues
must be paid or the member must resign and return
their paperwork and ID Card and re-apply for
LOST OR DAMAGED MEMBERSHIP CARDS.
January 07, 2008 covered by 6.4
BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
Tribal Council shall be comprised of The Principal
Chief, Assistant Principal Chief, the National
Tribal Secretary / Treasurer, and The Twelve (12)
Elders or State Clan Leaders. A member of the Tribal
Council shall preside over it’s meetings by
priority set forth in listing below. The members of
the Tribal Council are advisors to the Principal
Chief and vote on issues brought forth by the
Principal Chief. If there is a conflict between a
vote of the Principal Chief and the Tribal Council,
the vote of the Principal Chief will prevail unless
the Principal Chief is being removed from office per
Article 7.6. The Tribal Council is constituted as
(A) Principal Chief (Chief Executive Officer/Owner)
(B) Vice Principal Chief
(C) National Secretary / Treasurer
(E) State Clan Chiefs
(F) Assistant State Clan Chiefs
(G) State Clan Secretary / Treasurer
TERMS OF OFFICE.
Principal Chief shall serve for a term of 5 years
and may be re-elected either by vote of the Tribal
Council or the members of the organization. Members
of the Tribal Council shall serve at the will of the
Principal Chief as they are Council to the Principal
Chief and will step down when their successors shall
have been called and qualified to replace them, as
set out herein.
RULES AND REGULATIONS.
Principal Chief or the Tribal Council shall make and
approve such rules and regulations as may be
necessary to carry out their function or to do
anything which may benefit the organization
including but not limited to establishing procedures
and requirements to maintain membership
participation. The rules and regulations shall not
be contrary to law, the articles of the organization
or these bylaws. A rule, policy or regulation may be
modified, amended or repealed by the Tribal Council
in the best interest for the members of the
DUTIES OF THE TRIBAL COUNCIL.
Principal Chief with approval of the Tribal Council,
in its discretion, shall regulate and supervise the
day to day affairs of the organization, attend to
all internal affairs of the organization and shall
have power bestowed upon it by law. It shall create
and terminate contracts, and in addition to the
powers expressly conferred upon it by these laws, it
may exercise all of the powers of the organization
and do all such lawful acts and things as are not by
stature or the charter or these laws required to be
exercised or done by the members, including but not
Meeting as often as necessary to carry on the
day-to-day business affairs of the organization.
Establishing personnel and operational policies to
guide the Clans and Tribe in the conduct of their
Coordinating and, if necessary, arbitrating
complaints and disputes which cannot be resolved by
the members, and, when necessary, recommending
Entering into and termination of contracts and
Providing policy guidance to the disbursements of
funds by the Tribal Council.
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.
Tribal Council members or officer may be removed
from office by a vote of no-confidence by two-thirds
(2/3) majority of the Tribal Council or by a
calling, advancement, or to take his/her place upon
the general membership for the express purpose of
that member. Special meetings shall be called as
provided for herein and for the purpose of removing
a Tribal Council member the Tribal Council or the
membership must have at least thirty (30) days
written notice prior to the date of said meeting. If
there is a conflict between a vote of the Tribal
Council, the vote of the Principal Chief will
prevail unless the Principal Chief is being removed.
a vacancy occurs (other than the Principal Chief),
the Principal Chief shall recommend to the Tribal
Council a person to fill the vacancy. Upon the
approval of the Tribal Council, that person to fill
the unexpired term. In the absence or inability of
the Principal Chief to discharge the duties of the
office, such duties shall be performed by the
Vice-Principal Chief. If the Vice Principal Chief is
unable to serve, the Tribal Council, at a called or
regularly scheduled meeting, shall designate, by
majority vote, the person(s) to perform the duties
of the Principal Chief for the unexpired term of
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Principal Chief shall be the Chief Executive Office
of the organization and the Chairperson of the
Tribal Council and shall preside at all meetings.
The Principal Chief shall give direction to the
organization and operation of The UCN. The Principal
Chief, subject to ratification by the Tribal
Council, shall appoint the individuals to the
positions provided for in the bylaws; appoint the
members and, if appropriate, approve payment of
funds in an emergency; and be an ex officio member
of all committees. The Principal Chief shall serve
for a term of 5 years and may be re-elected either
by vote of the Tribal Council or the members of the
organization. The Principal Chief may appoint a
temporary State Clan leader, from the active members
of that Clan who are eligible hereunder to serve.
The Principal Chief is directly responsible to the
members of The UCN.
VICE PRINCIPAL CHIEF
The Vice-Principal Chief shall assume the
duties of the Principal Chief upon the absence or
disability of the Principal Chief; and shall serve
in such other capacities as the Principal Chief may
SECRETARY / TREASURER.
Secretary / Treasurer shall keep a record of the
members, including names, addresses and telephone
numbers; record attendance at meetings; record the
minutes of the meetings of the membership and the
Tribal Council; shall notify members of their
appointment; shall send out notices of meetings of
the membership and Tribal Council; and shall provide
copies of the minutes of such meetings to each
member at their request; and shall conduct such
correspondence as the Principal Chief shall direct.
Secretary / Treasurer of the organization shall keep
an accurate and up-to-date electronic roll of all
members of this organization and shall at least once
a year cause a copy of such roster to be printed and
placed in the hands of all State Clan Chiefs of the
organization pertaining to their Clan. Furthermore,
the Secretary / Treasurer shall keep an accurate
record of all members and State Clans belonging to
9.4. PRINCIPAL TRIBAL MOTHER
Deleted March 31, 2009
9.5 TRIBAL ELDER
Tribal Elders shall be appointed by the
Principal Chief and approved by vote of the Tribal
Council. The appointment as Tribal Elder is for life
and carry’s the respect of the membership for a
lasting commitment to our collective cause.
Requirements are: to be at least 60 years of age,
have held a leadership position within a State Clan
or National Office and have been a member of The UCN
in good standing for 7 consecutive years. The Elders
are responsible to all of the members in maintaining
the continuity of The UCN and it’s governance
therein. It is up to the Principal Chief to decide
if they want to appoint any Elder to their Tribal
Council for voting purposes, the Elders will
continue to advise the Principal Chief and Tribal
Council on any and all subjects.
United Cherokee Nation (UCN), if authorized by
Principal Chief and the Tribal Council, may operate
its business affairs in operational divisions. Each
division may have such employees, supervisors, and
volunteers as may be needed to carry out its
functions. Each such division shall be subject to
the Tribal Council and membership. Each division
manager or supervisor shall report to the Principal
Chief. The Tribal Council shall adopt rules,
regulations, policies and procedures that may be
necessary to govern the operations of each division.
member of this organization shall be entitled to any
portion of the net earnings of the organization
except as in form of grants or scholarships as
provided in these bylaws. However, this organization
may pay a member of this organization for expenses
for services rendered to it. The organization may
also employ members of the organization to perform
specific tasks, as designated by the Principal Chief
and the Tribal Council, paying them in funds
designated for that purpose.
contracts shall be approved by the Principal Chief
and no loans shall be made by any officer of the
organization or any loan secured on behalf of the
organization without the authority of the Principal
Chief and no mortgage, deed to secure debt, deed
note or other legal document whatsoever shall be
executed except upon the authority of the Principal
land designated as “reservation” by the
organization will be designated on the deed as owned
by the organization. The deed and/or mortgage will
be placed in the hands of the Principal Chief and
approved by the Tribal Council. Rules and
restrictions may be authorized by the Tribal
raised by State Clans, where the name or logo or Tax
ID of the organization is not exploited, may be kept
by the State Clan treasury.
donations to The UCN are not tax deductible.
All financing put out by the State Clans or members
will be counted as a donation, unless designated by
the Principal Chief to reimburse the appropriate
person or State Clan.
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING.
annual meeting of the members of the organization
may be held in various locations, on a day, and at a
time designated by the Principal Chief and the
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING.
regular notice of the annual meeting shall be
emailed to each members of record at their email
address as it appears upon the rolls of the
organization directory no less then two weeks prior
to the meeting by the Secretary / Treasurer of the
organization or by such other person designated by
the Principal Chief.
REGULAR MEETING OF TRIBAL COUNCIL.
meetings may be held monthly or as more often as the
Tribal Council deem necessary at such time and place
as shall be determined by the Tribal Council and may
be held in conjunction with the regular monthly
meeting of the members. Regular email communications
and business transacted or electronic votes, between
the Principal Chief and the members of the Tribal
Council shall be considered a meeting of the Tribal
SPECIAL MEETINGS OF THE TRIBAL COUNCIL OR
special meeting of the Tribal Council or the
membership may be held at the call of the Principal
Chief or the Secretary / Treasurer or by a majority
of the Tribal Council or upon the call by petition
of any fifty members of the organization. Special
meetings shall be held in a place, date, and time
designated in the call.
regular or special meeting of the Tribal Council or
the membership shall require a ten (10) day written
email notice. This notice may be waived for
emergency called meetings provided reasonable notice
has been given, a quorum is present and those
councilors or members present sign a waiver of the
written notice requirement.
SPECIAL MEETING BUSINESS.
business to be transacted at all special meetings of
the Tribal Council or the membership shall be
confined to the matters set forth in the notice of
the meeting. This restriction shall not apply if
there are two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at
DISRUPTION OF MEETINGS.
member of this organization shall be allowed to
remain at any meeting or at any function of the
organization or otherwise be allowed to participate
in any way in any meeting or function while drinking
any alcoholic beverage or under the influence of any
drug or alcohol or while in possession of any drug
or alcohol, unless such drugs are prescribed by a
doctor. Likewise, no guest shall be allowed to
remain or participate as specified above while
drinking or using, being under the influence of or
in possession of any drug or alcohol, unless such
drugs are prescribed by a doctor.
meetings of the Tribal Council shall be open to
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Tribal Council may adopt such reasonable rules and
regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to
carry on the business of the organization. Unless in
conflict with these bylaws all meetings of the
organization shall conform to these laws.
person who was or is made a party or is threatened
to be made a party to or is otherwise involved in
any threatened, pending or completed action, suit of
proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative
or investigative (hereinafter a “proceeding”),
by reason of the fact he or she, or a person of whom
he or she is a legal representative, is or was a
member, shall be indemnified and held harmless by
the, as the same exists or may hereafter be amended
(but in the case of any such amendment, only to the
extent that such amendment permits the organization
to provide broader indemnification rights than the
codes permitted the organization to provide prior to
such amendment, against all expenses, liability and
loss (including attorney’s fees, judgments, fines,
arias excise, taxes or penalties, and amounts paid
or to be paid in settlement), actually and
reasonably incurred or suffered by such member who
has ceased to be a member and shall inure to the
benefit of the member’s heirs, executors and
administrators. Except with respect to proceedings
to enforce rights to indemnification by a member,
the organization shall indemnify any such member in
connection with a proceeding (or part thereof)
initiated by such member only if such proceeding (or
part thereof) was authorized by the Tribal Council
of the organization. The right to indemnification
conferred in this article shall be a contract right.
bylaws may be altered or amended and additional
bylaws adopted by a majority vote at any annual
meeting of the Tribal Council, if in the notice of
such special meeting, the proposed amendment of the
new bylaws shall be set forth verbatim, or by a
two-thirds (2/3) majority vote at any members’
meeting having a quorum where the notice of such
amendment or new bylaws is not given: provided,
however, that no change in the time or place for the
election of the Tribal Council shall be made within
thirty (30) days next before the day on which such
election is to be held without the written consent
of all the Tribal Council members.
These bylaws shall be effective as Amended by
vote of the Principal Chief, on June 19, 2013.