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SEC. 2. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed and adopted at any annual meeting of the general council. No amendment to this constitution shall be made unless it receives a two-thirds vote of the general council.
JAMES I. COFFEY (chairman),
Committee on Constitution. Adopted by the General Council of the Chippewas of Minnesota this 8th day of May, 1913, and as amended by the general council at its fourth annual meeting held at Bemidji, Minn., July 11, 1916.
BY-LAWS OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF ALL THE CHIPPEWAS IN MINNESOTA.
SECTION 1. All nominations of officers shall be made from the floor, and the elections shall be had as the general council may direct. The officers so elected shall hold their respective positions until the next annual meeting of such general council and until their successors have been duly elected and qualified.
SECTION 1. The duties of the officers of the general council shall be such as usually appertain to their office, and they shall have such other duties as are hereinafter set forth.
SEC. 2. They shall report at the annual meetings, and at such other meetings and times as they may be requested to do so by the executive committee.
SECTION 1. Officers: The president, in addition to his general duties shall be chairman of the executive committee and ex officio member of every other committee.
SEC. 2. Vice president: In the absence of the president the vice president shall preside at the annual meeting. In the absence of both the presiding officer shall be chosen from the floor.
SEC. 3. In the prolonged absence or inability of the president to act the executive authority shall be vested in the vice president.
SEC. 4. The secretary, in addition to his general duties, shall give due notice of all meetings of the general council or of the executive committee, of which he shall be ex officio a member. He shall give proper notice to all the officers of the general council and local councils of all votes, orders, and proceedings affecting or appertaining to their duties. He shall distribute all pamphlets, circulars, supplies, and other property as directed by the executive committee. That the secretary shall be the custodian of the seal of the general council, and that upon request for certified copies of any of the proceedings he shall attach his certificate and seal to such copies and shall be entitled to a fee of 25 cents for all proper certifications.
SEC. 5. The treasurer shall collect and receive the funds and securities of the general council. He shall deposit the same to the credit of the General Council of all the Chippewas in Minnesota, and shall draw them thence for the use of the general council as directed by it or by the executive committee upon the order of the president, countersigned by the secretary.
SEC. 6. He shall, if so required by the executive committee, give good and sufficient bond for the safe custody and proper application of the funds and other property of the general council.
ORDER OF BUSINESS.
SECTION 1. Call to order.
SEC. 4. Reading of the minutes of last meeting.
SECTION 1. Any one delegate shall be limited to 10 minutes' time for discussion of any one subject, under debate, and shall not be allowed to speak more than twice on any one subject.
SECTION 1. At the annual meeting the newly elected president shall appoint the following committees for the ensuing year, and such other committees as he may deem advisable:
('ommittee on resolutions.
SECTION 1. The executive committee shall consist of two members from the White Earth Reservation and one member from each other reservation and ceded reservation in the State of Minnesota.
SEC. 2. The members of the executive committee shall be selected by the duly elected delegates from the various reservations and ceded reservations seated in general council assembled, to be ratified by the general council.
SEC. 3. In the event of any reservation or ceded reservation not being represented at the general council meeting in sess on the president shall be empowered to appoint an executive committeeman to represent such reservation or ceded reservation.
SEC. 4. The executive committee shall prepare and execute plans for promoting the purposes, objects, and growth of the General Council of all the Chippewas of Minnesota, shall generally superintend its interest, and shall perform such other duties as may be committed to it at any meeting of the general council.
SEC. 5. Shall have power to fill vacancies occurring among the officers of the general council, and any officer so elected shall serve until the next annual election and until his successor shall have been duly elected and installed into office.
SEC. 6. It shall have the authority to make, alter, and amend the by-laws, provided that this shall not be so construed as to repeal or render ineffectual any by-law expressly restricting the power of the executive committee by a twothirds vote.
SEC. 7. The president may call meetings of the executive committee at any time he may deem necessary, and shall call such meeting upon the written request of any three members thereof, provided that no less than five days' notice of the time and place of such meeting shall be given, and any five members thereof shall constitute a quorum to transact business.
SECTION 1. Local councils shall be organized on the different reservations and ceded reservations, and shall consist of the entire male members of the tribe of the age of 21 and over and regularly enrolled as members of the tribe.
SEC. 2. Local councils shall notify the secretary of the general council of the election or appointment of all officers and delegates.
Roberts' Rules of Order shall govern the procedure of all meetings of the committees and the general council.
FRANK CAJUNE, Chairman.
JOE LOUIS. Adopted by the General Council of the Chippewas of Minnesota this 4th day of October, 1915, and as amended by the general council at its fourth annual meeting, held at Bemidji, Minn., July 11, 1916.
I, Paul H. Beaulieu, secretary of the General Council of Minnesota Chippewas and custodian of the records thereof, do hereby certify that I have compared the foregoing copy of Constitution and By-Laws of the General Council of all the Chippewas in Minnesota with the original thereof, now in my custody, and that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of said constitution and by-laws, and of the whole thereof.
Witness by hand and the seal of the General Council of Minnesota Chippewas this 20th day of January, 1917. [SEAL.]
PAUL H. BEAULIEU, Secretary General Council Chippewas of Minnesota. Attest:
J. G. MORRISON, Jr., Chairman Executive Committee of General Council. Mr. JEFFERIS. Is that the general council that you are representing? Mr. BALLINGER. That is the general council that was organized in May. Mr. JEFFERIS. Just answer my queston.
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir. This is the general council organized in May, 1913, specifically referred to in every appropriation bill enacte:) since that time.
Mr. Chairman, it has been charged that I have performed certain work, shown bills drafted and introduced in Congress, that has been injurious to the more ignorant and helpless class of Indians. I throw the cold challenge to any man that makes that accusation to point out any provision contained in any bill that I have ever had anything to do with that is injurious to the more helpless class of Indians. I have with me several of those bills, including one now pending before this committee, and I lay them there and I ask the man who makes those charges to point out so that I may deal with it specifically. That is a fair proposition. If it can not be done I want them to shut up. I will pass them over and I want him to point it out.
The Indian Bureau and the department knew at all times that I appeared before those branches of the Government as the duly accredited attorney for the Chippewa In:lians of Minnesota. This is shown by petition filed April 19, 1919:
“Comes now the general council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, hy its attorney, Webster Ballinger, and respectfully shows unto your honor.”
There can be no question about it.
Mr. BALLINGER. I am reading now from a copy of a petition filed with the Secretary of the Interior that presented and covered the entire Chippewa situation.
The CHAIRMAN. What is that paper and give the date?
Mr. BALLINGER. The Tomahawk, the official paper of the Chippewa Indians, printed at White Earth, Becker County Minn., April 24, 1919. The object in printing that was so every Indian among the Chippewas might know exactly what the general council was doing, and when it has held its general council the resolutions adopted by each general council have been printed in full in that paper so that every Indian, every white man, every person interested, might know exactly what that general council has done.
Mr. JEFFERIS. That is true prior to 1919?
Mr. BALLINGER. Prior to 1919 I can not say that all of them were printed, but the substance of the resolutions as adopted will appear in the Tomahawk after every council.
Certified copies of the records of the general council showing my employment under the resolutions adoptel were annually filed with the department. Certified copies of the annual transcripts of the records were filed so that the department knew exactly what I was doing and what the authorization was. I was at all times received at the department and accorded every recognition that I could have been accorded had I held an approved contract. Every dollar paid me by the general council passed through the Indian Bureau in the form of accounts submitted and were carefully scrutinized. They are there present in the Indian Office so that any man may see them. The Comptroller of the United States held on at least two occasions that sections 2103 to 2107 of the Revise:1 Statutes of the United States had no application to my employment in view of the authority given the general council in the laws annually passed by Congress to look after the affairs of the Chippewa tribe. The Comptroller hel:1 that in looking after the affairs of the tribe the services of an attorney were necessary and overruled the objections of the Indian Bureau to the payment of the accounts on the ground that I had not an approved contract as required by sections 2703–2707 of the Revised Statutes of the United States.
Gentlemen, this bill presents no new proposition. It has been the policy of Congress ever since I can recall or ever since I can find any reference to Indian matters in the statute books to do justice to attorneys who had rendered valuable services to Indians without approved contracts. In many instances Congress has realized that the Indians would have been left helpless, as in the present case, if they had not been able to obtain the services of an attorney without an approved contract. The laws of Congress contain many provisions for payment of fees of attorneys, reasonable compensation for services rendered without approved contracts. I shall refer only to a few of the laws. The act of May 29, 1909 (35 Stats 444, p. 445), referring the claim of Samuel Garland against the Choctaw Nation to the Court of Claims for compensation upon the basis of quantum meruit. At page 451 it referred the claim of Belt and Mullen against the Choctow and Chickasaw freedmen to the Court of Claims for equitable adjudication on the basis of quantum meruit. At page 457, the claims of Vernon et al, and Winton et al. against the Mississippi Choctaws were referred for allowance upon the basis of quantum meruit.
The act of February 15, 1909 (35 Stat., 619), referred the claim of the Mille Lac Indians against the United States to the Court of Claims and provided for the allowance of just compensation to the attorneys on the basis of quantum meruit. No approved contracts.
The Indian depredation act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat., 851), authorized the court to allow reasonable compensation for work done by the attorneys. The act of June 21, 1906 (34 Stat., at 377, 378), authorized the Court of Claims to allow reasonable compensation to Bulter, Vale & Gordon for services rendered the Colville Indians, which services were rendered exclusively before the committees of Congress.
The act of August 1, 1914 (38. Stat., 582, 600), authorized the Secretary of the Interior to allow reasonable compensation to the attorneys who secured the enrollment of the persons named in the act. The act of July 6, 1912 (37 Stat., pt. 2, p. 220), authorized the Secretary of the Interior to consider the claim of the attorney of record in certain cases therein named, “and to allow said attorney such fee as he may consider reasonable and just.” In that case there was no approved contract.
I could continue the citation of similar acts indefinitely wherein Congress has authorized either the Court of Claims or the Secretary of the Interior to consider the claims of attorneys for services rendered where there was no approved contact, and to allow the attorney fair compensation. The test in each of these cases has been the value of the attorney to his client.
Mr. DALLINGER. Is there any question as to that?
The CHAIRMAN. Those older ones, I expect, were taken to the courts before the bureau was operating under such a regulation as we have now put into the laws, that the contract must be approved by the Indian Bureau and by the Secretary of the Interior.
Mr. JEFFERIS. Is that in the law ?
The CHAIRMAN. Ever since I have been on the committee fees of attorneys have either been fixed or limited to a certain per cent and the contract must be signed by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs or Secretary of the Interior.
Mr. BALLINGER. Sections 2203 to 2207 of the Revised Statutes were enacted back in the seventies, and Congress has been passing just such legislation as this ever since their enactment to do equity and justice between the parties and to the attorneys.
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad you cited those cases because that is information for me, anyway.
Mr. BALLINGER. There can be no question about the attitude of Congress throughout these matters.
Now, I want to deal first as briefly as I can with this mass of stuff that Mr. Coffey has been injected into this record. It is only fair to the general council, because some of the men against whom these charges have been leveled are now dead and they can not speak for themselves. Therefore, it is necessary that I bring to your attention the official records so that you yourselves may decide from those records whether or not there is a word of truth in those charges.
Mr. KNUTSON. I would like to be heard on H. R. 6872 before we get into any controversial matter that is unrelated to the bill under consideration.
The CHAIRMAN. We have had hearings going on for more than a week and have gotten to the point where I supposed the testimony was all in and Mr. Ballinger is to make rebuttal.
Mr. KNUTSON. I have been to the bureaus every morning this week and it has not been possible for me to appear before.
The CHAIRMAN. We have given Mr. Ballinger 20 minutes and after that we will hear you.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, before I proceed, I will ask Mr. Coffey if Benjamin Caswell is president of the general council from whom he claims to hold authority.
Mr. COFFEY. He is president of the incorporated General Council of the Chippewa Indians.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Coffey stated to this committee that he came to me, or rather, that I went to him in the fall of 1917 and solicited employment; that he told me that he would take it up with the Indians out in that country and that he later arranged for my employment under which the contract was signed. Mr. Chairman, the services rendered under the contract to which he referred, commenced with the filing of a suit, as will appear from the official record, on September 17, 1915, in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. That is two years prior to the time he says that I came to him. There is the official record. I will be glad to have anyone check it up.
Mr. JEFFERIS. That is two years before you entered into the contract?
Mr. JEFFERIS. Two years before that you had been bringing suit, or had you, on that same matter?
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir; under authorization from the officers of the general council.
Mr. JEFFERIS. Was it in regard to the same matter?
Mr. BALLINGER. Same subject of litigation. Now, Mr. Chairman, at the meeting of the general council held in July, 1917, at which Mr. Coffey appeared as a delegate from Fond du Lac, there is his name, James I. Coffey, in the record this resolution was adopted by the general council, resolution 12, and he sat in that council and voted for it.
“It is hereby resolved that the president of the general council and the executive committee shall make such arrangements with Webster Ballinger, attorney of the city of Washington, D. C., to continue in his present capacity in representing the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota before the courts and the departments of the United States upon the cases now in progress between the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota and the offices and departments of the United States in Washington, and to arrange to provide for all necessary expenses to continue to completion all suits and action already taken on behalf of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, and provide for and pay the fees of the said Webster Ballinger for said services. The legislative committee of the general council is hereby authorized to procure from Congress an appro