and Bylaws - approved November 27, 1935
and Bylaws - approved July 15, 1960
The Kul Wicasa Oyate (lower…men…nation), the Lower Brule Sioux, are members of the Sicangu (Burnt Thigh), one of the bands of the Lakota Tribe.
The Sioux consist of a group of self-governing tribes speaking one of three dialects of the Siouan language: Dakota, Nakota and Lakota. The Dakota or Santee, known variously to themselves as
Mdewakantonwan, Wahpetowan, Wahpekute, or Sisseton, range from the Ohio River valley to South Dakota. The Dakota or Nakota, known as the
Ihanktonwan/Yankton or Yanktonai/Ihanktonwanna, range from eastern Minnesota to the Missouri River valley. The Lakota, or Western
Teton/Tituwan Sioux, consisting of the Oglala, Mniconjou, Sicangu, Sihasapa, Oohenunpa, Hunkpapa, and
Itazipco, traditionally ranged from lands east of the Missouri River valley to the Rocky Mountains. A common history and language, a strong respect for the land and nature, the common use of Pipestone and the reverence held for the stone, and ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, Sweat lodge and Vision Quest bind these peoples together.
The name 'Brule' comes from the French word brulé (burnt), the name French fur traders used for the Sicangu in the late 1600s. The Sicangu divided into the Lower Brule and the
Heyata Wicasa, or Upper Brule, in the late 1700s. The Lower Brule favored lands where the White River empties into the Missouri River, while the Upper Brule lived further south and west.
The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe is a sovereign nation defined by its government-to-government relationship with the United States; as part of the Great Sioux Nation, the Tribe signed treaties in 1824, 1851, 1865 and 1868 with the federal government that constitute the legal documents establishing boundaries and recognizing the rights of sovereign tribal governments.
The Tribe was chartered under the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934. Its constitution was ratified on July 11, 1936, and bylaws were approved in 1960. The Tribe has contracted several aspects of self-government under the 1975 Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act, PL 93-638. In 1986, the Constitution/By-laws were amended and a code of ethics adopted.
Tribal affairs are conducted by a six-member Tribal Council who are elected to serve two-year terms. Council offices include the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary/treasurer, sergeant at arms, chaplain,
and a Council member. The Tribal Council Chairman serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Administrative head of the Tribe.
The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary-Treasurer are elected at large, while the other positions are selected from within the ranks of the Tribal Council. Elections are comprised of a Primary and General Election. The Primaries are held in August and the General is held in September, with Officials being seated during the October regular meeting. Council members also serve as officers or council representatives on various boards and committees.
The Lower Brule Sioux Tribal courts are established under a quasi-separation of power relationship with the Tribal Government. The 1986 Constitution/By-law amendments created the Chief Judge as an elected position, with a 4-year term. While the Tribal Council is the final authority on the Reservation, it has formally acknowledged the legal authority necessarily vested in the Tribal Courts.
The Lower Brule Sioux Court system also has established an appellate court and attendant processes. The Court hears all civil and minor criminal cases, while the federal courts hear all major felony cases.
The Tribe is a member of the:
· Lake Francis Case Development Corporation
· Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates
· Chamberlain/Oacoma Chamber of Commerce
· Circle of Tribal Advisors, Lewis and Clark National Commemoration Committee
· United Sioux Tribes Development Corporation
· Mni Sose Inter-Tribal Water Rights Coalition
· National Congress of American Indians