|NJSA 52:16A-53.||New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs; members|
|NJSA 52:16A-54.||Terms; vacancies|
|NJSA 52:16A-55.||Election of chairperson|
|NJSA 52:16A-56.||Commission duties|
|NJSA 52:16A-57.||Expenses incurred|
|NJSA 52:16A-58.||Authority of commission|
|NJSA 52:16A-59.||Annual report|
1. There is established in the Department of State the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs. The commission shall consist of nine members: the Secretary of State, serving ex officio, and eight
public members, not more than four of whom shall be from the same political party. Two of the public members shall be members of the Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Indians, to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Confederation of the Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Tribes and with the advice and
consent of the Senate. Two of the public members shall be members of the Ramapough Mountain Indians, to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Ramapough Mountain Indians and with the advice and consent
of the Senate. Two of the public members shall be members of the Powhatan Renape Nation, to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Powhatan Renape Nation and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Two of the public members shall be members of the Intertribal People, to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Intertribal People and with the advice and consent of the Senate. "Intertribal People" means American Indians who reside in New Jersey and are not members of the Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Indians, the Ramapough Mountain Indians, or the Powhatan Renape Nation, but are enrolled members of another tribe recognized by another state or the federal government.
L.1995,c.295,s.1; Amended 2001, c.417, s.2.
2. Each public member shall serve for a term of two years, except that of the members first appointed, four shall serve for a term of one year and four shall serve for a term of two years.
Public members shall be eligible for reappointment and shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. A vacancy occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled in the same manner as the
original appointment was made but for the unexpired term only. Commission members shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to reimbursement for all necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
3. The commission shall organize as soon as may be practicable after the appointment of its members and shall elect a chairperson from among its public members, who may serve as the chairperson for
the duration of his or her term on the commission, and may appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the commission. The commission shall meet at least once every three months and upon the call of the chairperson
or of a majority of its members. The presence of a majority of the membership of the commission shall be required for the conduct of official business.
L.1995,c.295,s.3; Amended 2001, c.417, s.3.
4. The commission shall:
a. develop programs and projects relating to the cultural, educational and social development of New Jersey's American Indian communities;
b. develop programs and projects which further understanding of New Jersey's American Indian history and culture;
c. promote increased cooperation among all American Indian communities in the State;
d. serve as a Statewide reference and resource center to increase public knowledge of New Jersey's American Indian heritage;
e. act as a liaison among American Indian communities, the State and federal governments, and educational, social and cultural institutions;
f. be authorized to raise funds, through direct solicitation or other fund raising events, alone or with other groups, and accept gifts, grants and bequests from individuals, corporations, foundations, governmental agencies, public and private organizations and institutions, to defray the commission's administrative expenses and carry out the purposes of P.L.1995, c.295 (C.52:16A-53 et seq.), as Amended and supplemented; and
g. when requested by the Governor, assist the Legislature and Governor to investigate the authenticity of any organization, tribe, nation or other group seeking official recognition by the State as an American Indian tribe and submit a report of its findings to the Legislature and Governor within 180 days of the completion of an investigation. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as authorizing the commission to recognize the authenticity of any organization, tribe, nation or other group as an American Indian tribe, which recognition shall require specific statutory authorization, nor shall this subsection be construed as in any way limiting the scope of information that may be considered in determining whether to grant such statutory recognition.
L.1995,c.295,s.4; Amended 2001, c.417, s.4.
5. The commission may incur such traveling and other miscellaneous expenses, including expenses to maintain an office on State property, as it deems necessary in order to perform its duties and as may
be within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for those purposes.
L.1995,c.295,s.5; Amended 2001, c.417, s.5.
6. The commission shall be authorized to:
a. call to its assistance and avail itself of the services and assistance of such officials and employees of the State and its political subdivisions and their departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, authorities and agencies, as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes;
b. utilize existing staff from the Department of State until such time as it may be necessary to employ professional staff, including an executive director and stenographic and clerical assistants; and
c. expend any funds that may be appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purposes.
Professional staff, including stenographic and clerical assistants, may be permitted to serve the commission on a volunteer basis. To the extent possible, the commission shall be permitted to use property owned by the State, without charge or at a minimal fee, for its offices.
The commission shall submit a spending plan to the Secretary of State for review and approval no later than October 1 of each year that lists the sources of all funds raised and actual expenses during the previous State fiscal year and the commission's projected revenues and expenditures during the State fiscal year in which the plan is submitted.
L.1995,c.295,s.6; Amended 2001, c.417, s.6.