Constitution and Bylaws

NATIVE AMERICAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

ARTICLE I. Name

The Association shall be known as the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (hereinafter, the Association).

 

ARTICLE II. Objectives

The object of the Association shall be to promote Native American and Indigenous studies through the encouragement of academic freedom, research, teaching, publication, the recognition of Indigenous knowledges and methodologies, the strengthening of relations among persons and institutions devoted to such studies, and the broadening of knowledge among the general public about Native American and Indigenous studies in all its diversity and complexity.

 

ARTICLE III. Membership

Membership is open to all individuals concerned with Native American and Indigenous studies on application and payment of dues. The forms and conditions of membership are set forth in the Bylaws, Article l.

 

ARTICLE IV. Officers and Council

Section 1. The Council of the Association shall consist of the following officers: President, President-­‐elect, Immediate Past-­‐President, Secretary, Treasurer, and six Council Members.

Section 2. The President-­‐elect shall be elected for a one-­‐year term, at the conclusion of which the President-­‐elect shall succeed to the Presidency to serve a one-­‐year term. The Immediate Past-­‐President shall serve for one year in that office. The Secretary, Treasurer, and the six Council Members shall each be elected to serve terms of three years. Officers shall assume office at the conclusion of the annual meeting at which each is declared elected.

Section 3. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be eligible for re-­‐election for an additional term of office. A Council Member shall not be eligible for re-­‐election to that office for two years following expiration of the term of office. The President-­‐ elect shall not be eligible for re-­‐election to that office for five years following expiration of the term of office.

Section 4. In the absence of the President, the President-elect shall perform the President’s duties. In the event of the death, incapacity, or resignation of the President, the President-elect shall become Acting President for the remainder of that presidential term, at the end of which he or she shall become President for a regular one-year term.  In the event of the death, incapacity, or resignation of the President-elect, a President and President-elect shall be elected in the next regularly scheduled election.

Section 5. In the event of a vacancy, through absence, death, resignation, or incapacity, in any elective office, other than that of President, the Council shall have the power to make interim appointment to the office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Section 6. The Council shall conduct the business, set fiscal policy, and oversee the general interests of the Association. The Council shall fix the amount of dues and the date upon which any change of dues becomes effective. It may appoint such committees as it deems necessary. It shall call a meeting of the Association at a time and place it deems appropriate. The Council shall hold a business meeting approximately every twelve months, at a time and place to be determined by the Council, for the election of members to committees, for the approval of the budget, for the consideration of reports and recommendations from the officers and committees, for the discussion of policies and of instructions that should be given to the elected or appointed officers, and for the transaction of other such business as may come before it. It shall report on its deliberations and actions through the annual meeting and other media.

Section 7. The Treasurer will be responsible for arranging an annual external audit of the Association’s finances.

 

ARTICLE V. Elections

Section 1. There shall be a Nominations Committee, whose responsibilities include overseeing the elections process from the identification of qualified candidates to the notification of election results. More specifically the Nomination Committee’s responsibilities include: identifying strong candidates from the existing membership of the Association for each office, based on the responsibilities of each office; recruiting said candidates to run for office; and assembling a full slate of candidates that — to the best of the Committee’s abilities — represents the geographic and interdisciplinary breadth and depth of the association membership.

Section 2. The Nominations Committee shall nominate candidates for the office of president-­‐elect, secretary, treasurer, members of the Council, and members of the Nominations Committee.

 

ARTICLE VI. Amendments

Section l. This constitution may be amended by a two-­‐thirds affirmative vote of those voting in a referendum submitted to the voting members of the Association.

Section 2. Amendments may be proposed by the Council or by petition of at least ten per cent (10%) of the voting members of the Association.

Section 3. All proposed amendments to the constitution shall be communicated to the voting membership at least four weeks prior to the vote on the amendment.

 

BYLAWS

Article I: Membership

Section 1: Active members are those who have paid dues during the current calendar year.

Section 2: Only active members may present at the annual meeting, vote in elections, or stand for election.

Section 3: The Council will allocate resources to provide memberships to annual meeting participants who might not otherwise attend. These memberships will be limited in number depending on the financial ability of the Association and will be available by application to the Council.

 

Article II: Annual meetings

Section 1: The Council is responsible for developing the program for the annual meeting through an open call for papers.

Section 2: The Council shall select sites for annual meetings. In selecting sites, the Council should consider the fiscal condition of the Association, our ability to safely meet and freely conduct our business at the annual meeting site, the amount of local and regional support, proximity to Native and Indigenous communities, the adequacy of the conference facilities, the employment practices of conference hotels and vendors, and the ease of access to Association members. The Council will also consider a facility’s compliance with the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act (and its equivalents in other places) and other accessibility concerns. The Council shall, whenever possible, respond to invitations from institutional hosts with active members willing to host the annual meeting. The principles involved in the selection of the convention site shall include geographical rotation in order to maximize attendance, diversify participation, and insure a reliable budgetary surplus of meeting revenues over expenditures.

Section 3. In selecting sites for future meetings, the elected leadership will make it one of its first priorities to consider holding meetings of the association outside of the United States on a regular, rotating basis, including in Canada, Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and other Pacific Island nations, Mexico, and Central and South America. Along with being a major priority of the first elected council and future councils, this issue will be an agenda item for discussion at annual business meetings for either five years or until by a two-­‐thirds vote of those at the annual business meeting it is retired, at which point this section will be removed from the bylaws.

 

Article III: Elections

Sec. 1. The Nominations Committee shall consist of six members elected by the membership-­‐at-­‐large for staggered terms of three years, two members to be elected annually. The Committee shall yearly elect a chair from among the committee’s membership for a one-­‐year term.

Sec. 2. The Nominations Committee shall present no more than two nominees for each elected position on the ballot; plus any nominees made by petition. Candidates for NAISA treasurer must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order without further distinctions.

Sec. 3. In order to preserve the rights of the membership to bring nominees to the ballot outside the processes of the Nominations Committee, nominations may be made by petitions carrying in each case the signatures of at least 10% of the membership of the Association in good standing (membership number at the date of the previous annual meeting); and indicating in each case the particular vacancy for which the nomination is intended. The ballot shall present the names of any persons nominated by such petition. In cases where nominees are included on the ballot through the petition process, the Nominations Committee shall decide whether or not to make additional nominations, up to the limit of 2 per office (for example: if 1 nomination for President-elect is received by petition, the Committee might make one additional nomination, resulting in two candidates on the ballot; OR they might make two nominations, for three candidates on the ballot). Nominations by petition must be in the hands of the Nominations Committee no later than November 20.

Sec. 4. A member may be nominated for, and hold, only one position (officer or Nominations Committee membership) at a time. Should a member be nominated for more than one position (either through the proceedings of the Nominations Committee or by the petition process), the Nominations Committee Chair shall consult with the nominee to determine the one position for which the nominee will stand.

Sec. 5. The chair of the Nominations Committee shall ascertain that all candidates nominated by the committee or by petition have consented to stand for election. The Chair shall request from each candidate a brief biographical sketch, and a personal statement regarding their candidacy. These materials shall be collated and transmitted to the Secretary with the completed ballot no later than January 1.

Sec. 6. The ballot shall be distributed by the Nominations Committee to the full membership of the Association, and the election may be conducted electronically. No vote received after the due date specified on the ballot shall be valid. Election shall be by a plurality of the votes cast for each vacancy. The votes shall be counted, sealed, and held for at least one year under the supervision of the chair of the Nominations Committee. In the case of a tie vote, the choice among the tied candidates shall be made by majority vote of the members of the Council.

Sec. 7. Elections shall be completed no less than 4 weeks prior to the date of the annual meeting.

Sec. 8. The Chair of the Nominations Committee shall contact successful candidates to inform them of their election; and transmit election results to the Secretary to be posted to the website. The Chair will report the work of the Nominations Committee, including the election results, at the business meeting held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association.

Sec. 9. All persons elected to Association office in the annual election shall assume office at the end of the annual meeting.

Sec. 10. The Council may, by resolution, provide for additional nominations and a special election to be made for any position where there is a vacancy through death or by resignation.

Sec. 11. After consultation with Nominations Committee, Council has reached the conclusion that the terms for Secretary and Treasurer should be staggered by a year, so as better to maintain continuity and facilitate the transition among officers.  In order to do so, there will be a one-time extension of the current Secretary’s term for one additional year to run from the end of the annual meeting in 2015 to the end of the annual meeting in 2016.

 

Article IV: Responsibilities of Officers

Sec. 1: Unless and until the Association generates more than US$400,000 in annual revenue, the treasurer can arrange what he or she deems as appropriate external financial review to fulfill his or her responsibility to arrange an annual external audit under Constitution Article IV, Sec. 7.

 

Article V: Standing Committees

A Finance Committee will be responsible for overseeing financial health of the association and planning for the association’s financial security. It will meet regularly in order to monitor all financial issues facing the association, including financial matters relating to day-to-day operations of the association, making recommendations to the council regarding membership and meeting registration rates, handling the financial decisions surrounding the annual meeting in coalition with the local host, and all related activities including fundraising initiatives. The Finance Committee shall consist of the Treasurer, President, Immediate Past President, and President Elect, and it shall recruit additional members where deemed appropriate (e.g., a member of the local host committee for consultation on matters relating to the finances of the annual meeting).

 

Article VI: Amendment of the Bylaws

These bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed at any business meeting of the Council by a resolution adopted by two-­‐thirds of the members of the Council, provided that such changes have been set forth in the notice of such meeting communicated to the Council members at least thirty days prior to the meeting.

Council members unable to attend a business meeting for a valid reason may submit a proxy in writing prior to the meeting.

 

Article VII: NAISA Council Meeting Quorum

As per Section 1 of Article 1V of the NAISA Constitution, the Council of the Association consists of the following officers: President, President-­‐elect, Immediate Past-­‐President, Secretary, Treasurer, and six Council Members.

A quorum of a minimum of no less than 50% of the current council (officers and members combined) must be in attendance for the conducting of official business. At least two of those councilors must be officers of the Council.”

 

Article VIII: Public Statements

Sec. 1. The NAISA Council is empowered to speak for the association on public issues where these directly affect our work as scholars and educators. Such issues include, but are not restricted to, academic freedom and freedom of access to information. The NAISA Council is empowered to speak for the association on public issues where these directly affect our ability safely to meet in national or regional conventions, and freely conduct our business.

Sec. 2. Should an issue arise which, in the opinion of the NAISA Council, seems to require public action, speech or demonstration by the association at a particular annual meeting, the Council shall meet to formulate a response. The Council shall convene an emergency meeting of the membership on the first full day of the annual meeting, to recommend a course of action, and conduct a public discussion of the issue(s); and the vote of two-­‐thirds of those in attendance may approve the recommended action.

Sec. 3. NAISA may not intervene, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign for or against a candidate for public office or tribal office. The association may not endorse candidates, contribute to campaigns, raise funds, distribute statements or become involved in any other activities that may be beneficial or detrimental to a candidate.

Adopted April 11, 2008, Athens, Georgia Amended May 21, 2009, Minneapolis, Minnesota Amended May 22, 2010, Tucson, Arizona Amended May 11, 2011, Council meeting (Skype)

Amended March 16, 2012, Council meeting (Skype) and March 16, 2012, Council email circulation

Amended August 15, 2012, Council meeting (Skype)

Amended November 5, 2014, Council email circulation and November 20, 2014, Council meeting (Skype)

Amended May 1, 2015 via vote of the membership via electronic ballot

Amended April 18, 2016 via vote of the membership via electronic ballot