A group of Tribal Members interested in amending the Constitution and Bylaws of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are currently gathering signatures to put the matter to Tribal Member vote. The process for individual Tribal Members to put a vote before the people starts with collecting a certain number of signatures, which are then presented to the Warm Springs BIA Agency superintendent. Working with the BIA regional office, the superintendent then determines whether a sufficient number of valid signatures have been presented. If indeed the target number has been met, then the BIA will conduct a referendum on the proposed amendment. The referendum would be a BIA secretarial election, meaning the eligible voters would 18 or over. Tribal elections are for people 21 and over, or married.
Mike Clements, Wendell Jim and Sal Sahme have been the main signature gatherers. They have been gathering signatures for a few hours each day at places such as the Warm Springs Market, and on the sidewalk area outside the Post Office. They now are getting close to the point when they will present the signature petition sheets to Warm Springs Agency Superintendent John Halliday.
The number of signatures they need is one-third of the total number of eligible tribal member voters. That is roughly 1,200 signatures. As of last week, the petition signature gatherers had collected about 1,100 signatures. They have until December 4 to present the signatures to the superintendent, but they plan on presenting them sooner, said Mike Clements.
The process then calls for posting the signatures in a public place for 15 days. Then, If enough valid signatures are verified, the BIA would conduct an election within 45 days.