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.