About Us

About Our Tribe

Wilton Rancheria was terminated in 1959 by the federal government.  After years of struggle, the Tribe regained its federal recognition in June 2009.  In November 2011, the Tribe adopted its modern Constitution, and since that time, the Tribe’s leadership has worked diligently to implement and further develop the tribal government.  Wilton Rancheria’s government is divided into four separate branches: a General Council, a Executive branch, a Legislative branch, and a Judicial branch.   

Branches Of Government

General Council

All eligible voters of Wilton Rancheria are entitled to participate in General Council.  The General Council’s powers include:  proposing amendments to the Constitution; approving amendments to the Constitution; and removing tribal officials.  Meetings of the General Council are held annually and as needed.

Executive Branch - Chair & Vice Chair

The executive branch of the Tribe is composed of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.  The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson administer five (7) departments: Education, Elders, Enrollment, Cultural Rights/Environmental Protection, Health, Housing, and Indian Child Welfare.  A director leads each department.  These departments carry out initiatives and many provide direct services to tribal members.  The Chairperson nominates the directors of each department to their positions, subject to confirmation by the Wilton Rancheria Tribal Council.

The Chairperson’s powers include, but are not limited to:  administering all departments and committees created by the Tribal Council; proposing legislation and an annual budget to the Tribal Council; calling the Annual and Special meetings of the General Council; and negotiating and entering into treaties, compacts, contracts, and agreements with other governments, organizations, and individuals. 

The Vice-Chairperson's powers include, but are not limited to: any powers delegated to them by the Chair, casting the tie breaking vote whenever necessary during meetings of the Tribal Council, attesting the laws, and maintaining the records.  

The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson serve staggered four-year terms and are elected by a majority vote of the eligible voters of Wilton Rancheria. 

Legislative Branch - Tribal Council

The legislative branch of the Tribe is the Tribal Council.  The Tribal Council selects from among its members a Spokesperson who presides over meetings of the Tribal Council.  The Tribal Council’s powers include, but are not limited to:  making laws, including codes, resolutions, and statutes; authorizing expenditures and appropriating funds to the various departments in annual budgets; approving any agreements that waive sovereign immunity; and promoting public health, education, charity, and such other services as may contribute to the social advancement of the members of the Tribe.  All acts and amendments are submitted to the tribal membership for public review and hearing for a period of thirty (30) days before the Tribal Council considers passage of any final draft of the acts or amendments. 

Members of the Tribal Council serve staggered four-year terms and are elected by a majority vote of the eligible voters of Wilton Rancheria.

Judicial Branch - Tribal Court

The Tribe’s Constitution provides that the judicial branch of the Tribe shall be the Tribal Court.  The Tribal Court has original jurisdiction over all cases and controversies, both criminal and civil, in law or in equity, arising under the Constitution, laws, customs, and traditions of Wilton Rancheria, including cases in which Wilton Rancheria, or its officials and employees, shall be a party.  While the Tribe has not yet implemented the Tribal Court, the Constitution and laws of the Tribe already have laid the framework for its structure.

According to the Constitution of Wilton Rancheria, one Chief Judge and one or more Associate Judges shall serve with the Tribal Court. The Tribal Council shall select Tribal Court Judges to serve four-year terms.  Judges must be licensed to practice law in any state.

Wilton Rancheria will also carry cultural identity forward through its Traditional Court.  The Traditional Court shall advise the Tribal Court on matters of custom and tradition, which represent the Tribe’s common law.  In this manner, the traditional values of Wilton Rancheria shall be kept at the forefront of the Tribal Court’s decision-making process.