Bylaws are the rules agreed upon by members as to how they will make decisions and control the actions of their members.

Checks and Balances

Checks and balances within the US government provides a system in which the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government have the power to check each other to maintain a “balance” of power.  This includes the impeachment authority of the Legislature, the veto authority of the President, and the power of the courts to review the constitutionality of actions by the legislative and executive branches


A Constitution is an approved document that outlines the fundamental principles established to govern and organization, state, or Nation; it contains the rules governing the conduct of the entity and outlines its concept, character, and structure.

Enrolled Member

An Enrolled Member of the MCT is an individual who has met the criteria for enrollment and has been recognized by the Tribe as a member and is therefore listed on the rolls as registered. Enrollment criteria is listed in the MCT Constitution and the Enrollment Ordinance details the requirements.

Executive Branch

The Executive Branch of the US Federal government is one of the three branches of government (Executive, Judicial, and Legislative); it consists of the President, Vice President, and departments within the federal government; they have the duty of implementing and enforcing laws. MCT does not have an Executive Branch. 


The IRA is the Indian Reorganization Act, also referred to as the Wheeler-Howard Act.  It was passed in 1934 by the US Federal Government as the centerpiece of what has been called the "Indian New Deal"; the IRA was aimed at decreasing federal control of American Indian affairs and increasing Indian self-government and responsibility.

Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch of the US Federal government is one of the three branches of government (Executive, Judicial, and Legislative); they consist of Judges and the court systems and are responsible for interpreting laws and resolving disputes.  MCT does not have a Judicial Branch.

Judicial Review

Judicial Review is a power the US Courts have to review the constitutionality of acts passed by the Congress or actions by the president.  The MCT Constitution does not address judicial review.

Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch of the US Federal government is one of the three branches of government (Executive, Judicial, and Legislative); they consist of Congress, which is bicameral meaning there are two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives; the Legislative Branch is the law making body of the US government.  MCT does not have a Legislative Branch.

Lineal Descent (a/k/a Descendant)

Lineal descent is a term describing a straight line of genealogy: the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc of a person.


MCT is the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe which is the entity formed when the six Chippewa Reservations came together to form the government in 1936, including Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth Reservation. Interesting fact is the MCT does not have any treaties with the US Government, because it was created after the US ended treaty making. 


A preamble is an introduction usually found at the beginning of a document. The MCT Constitution contains a preamble that identifies the member bands and states the intent of the Constitution which is to form a representative organization to maintain and establish justice for our Tribe and to protect resources and promote the welfare of descendants. 


A quorum specifies the number of members required to be present for business to be legally conducted.  The quorum is normally outlined in a Constitution or Bylaws.


The RBC (Reservation Business Committee) is also referred to as the Reservation Tribal Council (RTC),  Reservation Tribal Government (RTG) or the Band Assembly (Mille Lacs).  Each of the six Reservations within the MN Chippewa Tribe have an elected 5 member RBC referred to in the MCT Constitution who is delegated to make decisions on behalf of the Reservation.


A referendum is a general vote by those eligible to decide a specific political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision.

Separation of Powers

Separation of powers is a term indicating a balance of power within a government; in the US the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) have their own specific powers that the other branches cannot assume. The MCT does not have a separation of powers.


Sovereignty is a western concept that is the power of a distinct political unit to be self-governing.  A key aspect of sovereignty is for a nation to exercise self-governance without extensive outside interference. In the MCT Constitution we have numerous allowances for the US Secretary of the Interior to approve specific aspects, such as approving a change to our Constitution even after we vote on it.


The TEC (Tribal Executive Committee) is the governing body of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe which consists of 6 MN Reservations; the Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer of each Reservation (12 in total) join to become the TEC.