Tribal Council

Notice of Open Position


Under the Pokagon Band Constitution (“Constitution”) there are eleven (11) seats on the Pokagon Band Tribal Council (“Tribal Council”), including seven (7) Councilpersons. There is a vacancy in a Councilperson position, and the Tribal Council is seeking letters of interest from Pokagon Band Citizens to fill the vacancy.

The Tribal Council is required to “make a good faith effort to fill the vacant Councilperson position within forty-five (45) calendar days of the vacancy, or as soon thereafter as possible, in manner prescribed by Tribal Council procedures.” Under the Tribal Council Procedures Act (“Procedures Act”), the Tribal Council must post this Notice prior to filling the vacant Councilperson position by appointment. If the Tribal Council is unable to fill the vacant Councilperson position by appointment, the Constitution permits the Tribal Council to waive its authority to make such appointment and refer the vacancy to be filled in an election. 


The vacant Councilperson position has a term that began at 10:00 a.m. on the date of the first Regular Meeting of the Tribal Council in August, 2013 and will expire at 10:00 a.m. on the date of the first Regular Meeting of the Tribal Council in August, 2016. However, as required by the Constitution, the term of the appointment to fill the vacant Councilperson position will continue only until the next General Election, and the balance of the unexpired term will then be filled at the next General Election.  


The Constitution establishes a system of shared governance, under which the Tribal Council is the governing body of the Pokagon Band with the following duties: “(a) To promote and protect the peace, health, safety, education, and general welfare of the Band; (b) To set policy and direction for the Band; (c) To establish and amend Tribal laws as Tribal Council may find necessary or prudent to serve the community objectives of the Band; (d) To guide and oversee management of the affairs, activities and property of the Band; (e) To oversee the Band’s financial resources; (f) To meet in formal session to conduct the business and affairs of the Band in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution; (g) To enact policies and procedures for conducting the activities of the Tribal Council, to be called the Tribal Council Procedures; (h) To appoint members of committees, boards, and commissions, in accordance with the Procedures of the Tribal Council; (i) To provide information concerning the tribal community and the Band’s affairs to tribal members; and (j) To attend the Membership Meetings described in Article VIII of this Constitution.” Article IX, Section 1, Constitution.     

The Tribal Council generally meets on Mondays and the second Saturday each month. The time commitment required to fulfill Tribal Council duties, including preparing for and attending Tribal Council meetings, will be approximately 70 hours per month, but will vary. Additionally, Councilpersons typically are appointed to serve on the Pokagon Gaming Authority, which presently meets on Tuesdays. Apart from time spent at Tribal Council meetings, Councilpersons may spend additional hours each month engaged in other Tribal Council activities. 


Councilpersons are compensated at the rate established in the recommendation for Tribal Council Officials made by the Salary Commission in Section V of its 2012 Final Report, including the “Guidelines for Payment of Monetary Compensation to Tribal Council Officials,” which provides that Councilpersons: (a) are paid compensation of $22,164.30, consisting of base compensation of $15,515.01 and meeting compensation of $6,649.2, provided that the meeting compensation will be reduced by a pro rata portion for each meeting that the Councilperson is absent in the meeting record; and (b) receive fringe benefits consisting of health, vision and dental insurance. 


To serve on Tribal Council, a Pokagon Band Citizen: (a) must be at least twenty-five (25) years of age; (b) must not be incarcerated for any criminal conviction; (c) must not have been convicted within the last ten (10) years of a crime subject to imprisonment for a term of one (1) year or longer, excepting those crimes determined by the Election Board to relate to the furtherance of the Band’s tribal sovereignty rights; and (d) must not be a current Judge in the Tribal Judiciary, or a member of the Election Board, the Salary Commission, the Ethics Board, or any Personnel Committee the Tribal Council may establish, or any employee of the Band. Additionally, a Pokagon Band Citizen must complete an “Authorization to Conduct Criminal Background Check” Form and pass a limited background check performed by the Pokagon Band Police Department to ensure that a Pokagon Band Citizen meets the qualifications to serve on Tribal Council. A copy of the Form can be obtained by contacting Kelly Curran, Executive Secretary to the Tribal Council by telephone at (888) 376-9988 or email at


Pokagon Band Citizens who meet the qualifications, and are willing to be considered for appointment to fill the vacant Councilperson position, must submit to the Pokagon Band all of the following: (a) a written statement of interest; (b) a current résumé; and (c) a completed Authorization to Conduct Criminal Background Check form by one (1) of the following methods:

Mail: Kelly Curran, Executive Secretary to the Tribal Council
          P.O. Box 180
          Dowagiac, MI 49047
Fax: 269-782-9625, Attn: Kelly Curran, Executive Secretary to the Tribal Council

All documents must be received by 5:00 p.m. on December 31, 2014.  A potential appointee must be present at the meeting at which the Tribal Council will interview potential appointees to fill the vacant Councilperson position, provided that the Tribal Council may for good cause waive such requirement. The Tribal Council has not yet established the meeting date at which it will interview potential appointees to fill the vacant Councilperson position.


A Councilperson is subject to the Conflict of Interest and Codes of Ethics provisions of Article XVII of the Constitution and is subject to the Pokagon Band Code of Ethics.

Who we are

An 11-member Tribal Council, which is elected to staggered, three-year terms by Band citizens, governs the Pokagon Band. Within the Tribal Council, the executive officers include a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The Congress shall have power to . . . regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes . . .

Article I, Section 8, United States Constitution 

The sovereign governmental status of Indian tribes was recognized by foreign nations and the colonies prior to the formation of the Unites States and confirmed in the U.S. Constitution. Like state governments and foreign governments, Indian tribes have the inherent sovereign power to govern their people and their lands. Treaties between the United States and Indian tribes represent solemn commitments between governments. Through these treaties, Indian tribes transferred legal rights to millions of acres of tribal lands throughout the United States in exchange for guarantees that the federal government would protect the tribes' right to govern their own people, their homelands and preserve their ancient ways of life. Numerous decisions dating back to the earliest days of the U.S. Supreme Court consistently affirm the rule of law that Indian tribes retain their governmental status and powers unless expressly limited by treaty or by federal law. 

Contribution and Donation Form

Grievance Form for Citizens

Kelly Curran Executive Secretary

Jo Silvia Administrative Assistant