Tribal Government Structure
Following federal recognition, the Tribal Council approached the task of developing the infrastructure necessary to provide social and economic programs to Tribal Members. The Poarch Creek Indians operate under a constitution which was ratified by the electoral process on June 1, 1985. The Constitution includes a preamble and defines membership, rights of members, territory and authority of government, Council procedures, elections, powers and duties of tribal officers, popular participation in government, branches and amendments.
The Legislative Branch of the Tribal Government is composed of a nine member unilateral Tribal Council, elected by the general membership. The Tribal Council includes: a Tribal Chair, which also acts as the Chief Executive Officer of the Tribe, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and five at-large positions. The principal function of the Tribal Council is to enact statutes consistent with tribal sovereignty, establish policy, and appropriate funds for the use of the government. Due to the legal concept of tribal sovereignty, which has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court, the Tribal Council has broad powers that include the authority to levy, assess and collect taxes.
The Judicial Branch of the Tribal Government consists of a Tribal Court system composed of a lower court and a supreme court that serves as a court of appeals. The Judicial Branch also consists of a full-time law enforcement staff. The Tribal Court system is operated exclusively for the benefit of the Tribal Members as an important exercise of sovereignty. In support of the Judicial Branch, the following codes and ordinances have been enacted: criminal, civil, probate, traffic, juvenile, domestic relations, and gaming. The federal court system has judicial authority only over major criminal offenses which occur on the Reservation and also serves as an appellate system for the Tribal Supreme Court.
The Executive Branch of the Tribal Government is responsible for the overall management of the daily activities of the government. It consists of the following functional departments: Tribal Chair’s Office, Boys & Girls Club, Education, Environmental, Facilities, Family Services, Government & Public Affairs, Human Resources, Office of Archives and Records Management, Lavan Martin Assisted Living Facility, Legal, Public Safety, Public Works, Senior Services, Tribal Accounting, Tribal Court, Tribal Emergency Management, Tribal Health Department, Tribal Member Benefits, Housing Department, Recreation Department, Cultural Department, TERO Commission, Tribal Gaming Commission, PCI Gaming Authority, Utilities Authority, and Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority.