Tribes in Alaska have become known by their primary village locations in federal legislation and formal agency documents. We existed and governed ourselves long before discovery. We continue to transition to the modern world while cherishing our ancestors, history, traditions, and culture.
We lived in various places throughout the year, before encroachment. Our laws were not written; they were passed down generation to generation. Our very survival depended on the whole community cooperating and following the nearly invisible, though well known, regulations.
Today, we operate under a constitution. The people have entrusted their governing powers to the Tribal Council. While similar to the United States, our branches of government are semi-separate. And, individuals wear many hats.
The Eklutna Native Village government office was organized in 1961 by the traditional people of Eklutna Village in order to be recognized for protecting land rights. By then, the 326,000 acre Eklutna Reservation had been reduced over the years to a mere 1,819 acres. The tribe became federally recognized and is recorded under IRS code 83.87, section 7871, the Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act of 1982.
Seven (7) Council Members serve three (3) year staggered terms. Annual elections occur in the winter. We have a Traditional Tribal Government, as in not formed under the IRA.
Five (5) traditional Rule Keepers, (i.e. Tribal Judges) chosen by each prominent clan family. Chief Rule Keepers: “Kla’ ye clan”, “Nulchina clan”, “Chysi’ye clan”, “Tulchina Clan”
Tribal Council President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer have duties outlined in our Constitutions. The President is our primary contact for leader to leader communications with governments and outside organizations.
The Tribal Administrator is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Tribal Office and branches. Through the use of written policies and directions of the Traditional Tribal Council, the Tribal Administrator oversees all staff which includes long-term employees, several seasonal employees, day labor, and numerous consultants, and contractors
A nine (9) member board, includes the Tribal Council and appointed directors. The purpose of the Gaming Authority is “to develop the business capacity and economic expertise of the Tribe and manage gaming enterprises and related enterprises established pursuant to the Amended Tribal Gaming Ordinance.”