As independent, sovereign entities, Tribes rely on their Councils, which act as governing bodies. The Sycuan Tribal Council consists of seven democratically elected officials who determine and administer laws, conditions and regulations by which Tribal members are to comply. Tribal Council members must be over the age of 18 in order to run for office. Members serve a four-year term and all Tribal members over the age of 18 are eligible to take part in the election process. The head of the Tribe is known as the Tribal Chairperson and also serves a four-year term. All decisions and/or laws with major Tribal implications are presented to the Tribe’s General Council for vote. The General Council consists of all members over the age of 18. Sycuan’s Tribal Council also oversees the business operations of the Tribe, as well as ensures the health, welfare and safety of its Tribal members and the surrounding community.
Chairman Martinez is a hands-on and engaged Tribal leader providing strong direction to the members of his Tribe and the nearly 3,000 employees of Sycuan and its affiliated business entities.
Native American Tribes have federally protected rights to maintain their own Tribal sovereignty. This means Tribes operate as independent, self-determining government bodies in trust with the federal government. Treaties and agreements between the Tribes and the United States government validate this sovereignty.
In fact, the Federal government has acknowledged the the inherent nature of sovereignty in the U.S. Constitution. Indian Tribes are equivalent to states in their relationship with federal government. Indian Tribes, their people and their reservations are no different than any other city, county, state or federal government.