Legal Question in Native American Law in Arizona

This is a portion of the by-laws from a Native American tribe that I am submitting an application to join. Could someone explain what this means in simple English. I am concerned that I could be caught up in legal affairs made by the tribe. I live in Virginia but the tribal headquarters are in Arizona.

Many thanks,

Mike

10.3. CONTRACTS.

All 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 Chief.

14. INDEMNIFICATION

Each 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.


Asked on 1/27/10, 11:15 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joan Bundy Joan Bundy Law

I'm not really understanding what your hesitation is. The section you cite appears to relate only to individuals who contract with the tribe to provide products or services, not members. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't join the tribe if you are eligible and you want to join.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Thank you!

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Answered on 2/01/10, 2:51 pm


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