CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

Fuego Sagrdo de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Corp. Native American Church (Sacred Fire of Itzachilatlan of Colorado Corp. Native American Church) CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

Article I

Fuego Sagrdo de Itzachilatlan of Colorado Native American Church (hereby referred to as F.S.I.C.N.A.C.)

VISION STATEMENT: To be a community which authentically promotes and sustains: traditional Indigenous American rituals and ceremonies; awareness of and practical knowledge of good land and water stewardship; harmonious living with all beings and nature through a self-sustainable community. Our vision is to sustain, administer, protect, facilitate, spread, educate, exercise and express to and for all peoples the indigenous and aboriginal religious ceremonies, ways of spiritual expression, and ways of living in harmony with the earth, each other, and God, Wakan Tanka.

Article II

MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to provide authentic traditional indigenous ceremonies and rituals. Our community will be organized for the expression of indigenous spirituality and to provide religious, spiritual and educational services for all peoples willing to live in a sacred way.

PURPOSE STATEMENT: We preserve indigenous ceremony and ritual, because it is an endangered spiritual practice. We want to help humankind by promoting and ensuring the sanctity of these traditions because we believe they are important for ourselves, future generations, and for the spirit; for the health of humanity and our planet. We promote activities that nourish, stimulate, and further develop human creativity through spiritual expression, cultural identity, cultural art, and historical consciousness, as well as to promote unification of all cultural religious and spiritual workers. We help by teaching prayer technologies and offering workshops, classes, retreats and outreach programs. We are a living example of a harmonious, self-sustaining community and fellowship.

Article III

STATEMENT OF FAITH:

Mitakuye Oyasin/All Our Relations

We believe that we are all related. We are all sons and daughters of God, regardless of race, creed, color, and sexual orientation. We are all related to each other as humans. We are all related to the animals, the two legged, four legged, winged, and all Creation. We are all in turn related to the earth, sky, and all that there is and that we come from the stars. As intelligent beings, we are obligated to act responsibly as stewards of all Creation.

Wakan Tanka/God

We believe in the one God, the Great Mystery, Wakan Tanka. As everything He is four divisible by four and again divisible into the sixteen great powers of the universe: Chief God, Great Spirit, Creator, Executive, Stone, Earth, Sky, Sun, Thunder Beings, Beautiful One, Wind, Moon, Buffalo, Bear, Four Winds, and Whirlwind. The sixteen each divisible by four infinitely into all there is, known, unknown and unknowable.

Chanunpa/Sacred Pipe

We believe in our prayers, in the power of the sacred pipe, and the White Buffalo Calf Maiden who brought the pipe to the earth for all it’s people. We believe in Her teachings, Her blessing power and the promise of Her return.

Inipi Wakan/Sweat Lodge

We believe in the purifying and cleansing power of the sweat lodge ceremony, the sacrifice made by the Stone Nation, the Tunkasila (spirits), and by all the participants. We believe in praying within this mother’s womb for sobriety, clarity, guidance, and health. Hanbleceya/Vision Quest We believe that the everlasting word of God is spoken from every part of Divine Creation, that through nature and the sacrifice of the Vision Quest Rite the Great Mystery speaks to us all directly without exceptions, intermediaries, or interpreters.

Yuwipi – Lowanpi/Night Sing

We believe in the night sing, the power of Inyan/Stone, the miraculous healing power of the ancestors and the sacred songs. We believe in the Wiwila/Little People, animal spirits, and the various other Tunkasila/Spirits. We believe in the emptiness of the Medicine Man/Woman as a hollow bone for the spirits’ work.

Wiyang Wacipi/Sun Dance

We believe in the annual Sundance, the pipe, the sacrifice of the sacred cottonwood tree, the power of the sun, and the eternal flame. We believe that the sacrifices of the dancers, singers, and supporters benefits and purifies all the people.

All Night Prayer Vigils/Tipi Meetings

We believe in the sacred fire, the holy water, the sacred instruments, the half moon altar, and their blessings. We believe in the sacramental use and the healing power of the plant nations. We believe that our prayers are heard and attended to. We believe that we will be judged, held accountable for our actions in the afterlife, and in the forgiveness of sins.

Calendar

We believe in the natural rhythms of day and night, the flow of the seasons, the movement of the stars, and the exultation of these occasions through any indigenous tradition of the earth. We celebrate in sacralizing the act of song, dance, ritual drama, and ceremonial expression. We believe that the times should be kept, honored, reckoned, and observed. We believe in the sacred hoop and the continuity of life.

Tiospaye/Spiritual Family

We believe in family, extended family, adopted family, and our spiritual family. We believe in holding regular meetings to govern, reward, and discipline our group in a humane aboriginal manner. We respect, honor and are obligated to care for our elders as well as our men, women and children in need. We honor the deceased through funerary rites by making offerings, prayers and caring for souls.

Article IV

COMMUNITY RESIDENT COVENANT: As tiospaye community participants of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. we are expected to:

1. Attend regular council meetings.

2. Participate in prescribed ceremonies and be willing to grow spiritually.

3. Do our share of work.

4. Refrain from alcohol, recreational drugs, pornography, foul language, use of firearms, television, or radio on the premises.

5. Refrain from excessive talking, visitation or inappropriate behavior.

6. Refrain from inviting others to live on the premises without council approval.

7. Be an active or honorary member in good standing.

Article V

GROUP COVENANT: As a member of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. I commit myself to The Great Mystery and to the other members to:

1. Protect the unity of my church by: o acting in love toward other members o refusing to gossip o respecting the statement of faith

2. Share in the responsibility of my church by:

  • praying
  • being involved
  • doing my share of work

3. Support the integrity of my church by:

  • attending faithfully
  • walking the Red Road
  • following the Vision Statement and Mission Statement

4. Reconciliation and Restoration

  • Be willing to change and grow spiritually
  • Bring any trouble before the Council Meeting
  • Be willing to receive counseling and correction

Article VI

MEMBERSHIP: There are four types of membership:Honorary, Beneficiary, Active, and General. Each level of membership has its own qualifications and privileges. Dismissal from any level of membership and restoration of membership or reconciliation are at the discretion of the Directive Council. Refer to Articles of Incorporation Article 7

Naming of Directive Council.

A. Honorary

1. Qualifications

  • -Dedicated life to F.S.I.C.N.A.C.
  • -Regular participation in ceremonies
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Actively help with positive growth of F.S.I.C.N.A.C.
  • -Demonstrate leadership
  • -Regular spiritual practice
  • -Agree with Statement of Faith
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Live on the land full or part time
  • -Voice on the council
  • -Taking care of others
  • -Share community food, supplies, and work
  • -Serve on committees and boards
  • -Contribute to and receive quarterly newsletter
  • -Notification of smaller, private ceremonies
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network

B. Beneficiary

1. Qualifications

  • -$1,000 or more yearly donation
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Short term stays on land
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Voice on council
  • -Quarterly newsletter
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network

C. Active

1. Qualifications

  • -$200 recommended donation a year
  • -Be on committees
  • -Screening and interview process
  • -Agree with Statement of Faith
  • -Regular participation at ceremonies
  • -Regular spiritual practice
  • -Committed to and actively help the spiritual growth of others
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Live on the land full or part time with a 3 month trial period
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Voice on the council
  • -Taking care of others
  • -Share community food, supplies and work
  • -Serve on committees and boards
  • -Contribute to and receive quarterly newsletter
  • -Notification of smaller, private ceremonies
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network

D. General

1. Qualifications

  • -$100 recommended donation yearly
  • -Attend a ceremony
  • -Donate at ceremonies
  • -Agree with Statement of Faith
  • -18 years or older

2. Privileges

  • -Short term stays on land
  • -Access and use of facilities
  • -Voice on the council
  • -Serve on committee
  • -Receive quarterly newsletter
  • -Protection to attend ceremonies and privilege to sponsor private ceremonies
  • -Have access to our international network Article VII F.S.I.C.N.A.C.

COUNCIL MEETINGS

A. Community: All participants have a voice although all authority in the community is vested in the deciding population known as the Governing Council. The following items of business shall be brought to the Council Meetings.

Selection of members and community residents

Budget

Projects

Community jobs

Discipline

Schedule

Use of property

B. Fiscal Year: Fiscal year of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. shall be January 1 through December 31.

C. Council Meetings: There shall be regular weekly meetings of the community for ceremonies, prayer, teaching, learning, support, inspiration and conducting business. At least annually the Governing Council and all members shall be called together to set major goals.

D. Emergency Meetings: Emergency meetings may be called at any time by any Governing Council.

E. Quorum: A quorum of the Governing Council shall be 80%. F. Voting: Voting on the selection of Members/Officers, changing the Articles of Incorporation / Bylaws or buying or selling property will be limited to the Directive Council.

Article VIII

SPIRITUAL ADVISERS: F.S.I.C.N.A.C. will also have a directive position known as Spiritual Adviser. The Spiritual Advisor’s duties will be to oversee rituals and ceremonies with the upmost highest reverence, integrity, and diligence in accordance with tradition of how they received the altars and authority to conduct said ceremonies. Spiritual Advisors will not be part of (unless they are Officers, members, and or Directive Council) administrative duties, governing, and or day-to-day maintenance of the Corporation. Spiritual advisors are those who fulfill all requirements and prerequisites as laid out below, and are also appointed by the Directive Council and have a good standing with all officers and members as understood below. Spiritual advisors can be members, Officers, and or Directive Council, but being any of the latter does not necessarily mean being a spiritual advisor. Being a Spiritual Advisor is a privilege and requires strenuous prerequisites and community approval. There will be categories of Spiritual Advisors according to the different requirements and ceremonies listed, also there will be levels within each category which will define how much authority is granted to perform the functions of the spiritual advisor and preside over or within ceremonies.

1. General Functions, responsibilities, and privileges of Spiritual Advisors. a) Spiritual leadership and guidance

b) Prophesying

c) Healing and protecting

d) Conducting and facilitating ceremonies

e) Working positions and performing duties within ceremony

f) Being an example of spiritual life and living in a sacred manner

g) Representing F.S.I. C. N.A.C.

2. General Qualifications and Requirements of Being a spiritual advisor

a) Walking the Red Road in a sacred way: as the Spirits, the white buffalo calf woman, the ceremonies, and the sacred teachings have defined it for us, passed through the ages by medicine people, chiefs, wise ones, and our ancestors.

b) By living and exemplifying the sacred virtues; including the Lakota 4 sacred virtues humility, compassion, humor, and courage, and the 7 arrows of the sacred fire, Faith, Hope, Charity, justice, temperance, prudence, and Fortitude.

c) Carrying a Canupa; which is received in a good way, by vision quest, marriage, Hunka, inheritance, and or by receiving as a gift from an elder or medicine person.

d) Doing vision quest annually; praying and fasting alone in the woods for the benefit of oneself and more importantly for the benefit of all living beings. To be in connection with tunkasila and the spirits.

e) To be in good standing with the community, members, officers, and directive council. To help the community and to be of service to it. To understand the functioning of ceremonial life and to not over step boundaries, comforts, and roles of leadership within the community and positions of spiritual advisors.

f) Being appointed by the directive council and most importantly being ordained and or officially recognized by the Chief Spiritual advisor and the other spiritual advisors, to have formally offered tobacco or opagi the Chief Spiritual Advisor for those specific purposes.

3. For a detailed description on categories and Types of Spiritual Advisors see attached appendix to the bylaws.

Article IX

CHURCH OFFICERS: Any two or more offices may be held by the same Person, except the offices of President and Secretary.

A. President: The president is a servant whose privilege it is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C. as a leader. The President shall:

  • -Compile and present the agenda for each meeting
  • -Preside over Council Meeting and other meetings
  • -Keep the Spiritual Advisors informed
  • -Be responsible for public relations

1. Term: The President is not limited by a term of office.

2. Nomination: Nominations for President shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council Meeting at least a week before the Annual Council Meeting. Any candidate for President should be an Active/Honorary Member in good standing.

3. Selection: The President will be selected at the annual meeting by the Directive Council or whenever necessary. B.Vice President: The Vice President is a servant whose privilege it is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C. by handling the Church’s Organization.

The Vice President shall:

  • -Manage all officers and/or committees
  • -Fill in for the President in his/her absence
  • -Assign tasks to officers and/or committees
  • -Deposit all church monies and oversee Treasurer activities
  • -Notify Treasurer of amount and designation of each deposit
  • -Oversee the management of property and/or residents of property

1. Term: The Vice President is not limited by a term of office

2. Nomination: Nomination for Vice President shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council Meeting at least a week before the Annual Council Meeting. Any candidate for Vice President should be an Active/Honorary member in good standing.

C. Treasurer: The Treasurer is a servant whose privilege is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C. by caring for the finances of the church in maintaining the church books.

The Treasurer shall:

  • -Receive all church monies, Count monies, Record monies
  • -Pay the bills
  • -Keep and present an accurate record of transactions
  • -Present an annual report
  • -Prepare and file reports for Federal, State and County taxes
  • -Maintain given records According to state law, the treasurer shall not receive or deposit any church monies.

1. Term: The Treasurer is not limited by a term of office.

2. Nomination: Nominations for Treasurer shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council meeting at least a week before the Annual Council Meeting. Any candidate for Treasurer should be an Honorary/Active Member in good standing.

3. Selection: The Treasurer will be selected at the Annual Council Meeting by the Directive Council or whenever necessary.

D. Secretary: Secretary is a servant whose privilege is to serve F.S.I.C.N.A.C by maintaining the church records.

The Secretary shall:

  • -Keep minutes of all council meetings
  • -Keep records of membership
  • -Maintain historical records

1. Term the Secretary is not limited by a term of office

2. Nomination: Nomination for Secretary shall be given to the Directive Council at a Council Meeting at least a week before the Annual CouncilMeeting. Any candidate for Secretary should be an Honorary/Active Member in good standing.

Article X

STANDING COMMITTEES: A member of a standing committee must be a member in good standing of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. The chairperson shall be chosen by each standing committee from among its members. Committees may bring decisions to the Governing Council for affirmation or a vote as they deem it necessary. The Standing Committees of F.S.I.C.N.A.C. may include, but not be limited to:

  1.  Ceremonial
  2.  Communal
  3.  Kitchen
  4.  Security
  5.  Shop
  6.  Educational/childcare
  7.  Woman’s
  8.  Men’s
  9.  Song/Language
  10.  Retreat
  11.  Fundraising

Article XI

INDEMNIFICATION: The Directive Council shall have and may exercise the power to indemnify any director, officer, employee, fiduciary, or agent or former director, officer, fiduciary, or agent of the Corporations, and the Personal Representatives of all such persons, against expenses actually and necessarily incurred in connection with the defense of any suit, action or proceeding, in which such person is made a party by reason of being or having been such director, officer, employee, fiduciary, or agent. Expenses actually and necessarily incurred shall be deemed to include the costs to such person of reasonable settlement made with the consent of the Corporation. Such indemnification, if approved by the Directive Council, shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which such person may be entitled, under this Constitution, by agreement, by vote of the Directive Council, or otherwise. The extent of the Corporation’s power to indemnify the above-enumerated persons shall be as defined by Section 7-22-101.5 of the Colorado Revised Statues, which incorporates by reference Sections 7-109-101 to 1-109-110 and Section 7-108-402.2 of the Colorado revised Statues. Notwithstanding the above, nothing contained in this article, or elsewhere in this Constitution, or in the Articles of Incorporation, shall be construed to require the Directive Council to indemnify any director, officer, employee, fiduciary, or agent nor to grant to any such person a right of indemnification.

Article XII

ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY

1. Real Estate. Any council meeting at which decisions are to be made to buy, sell or encumber the real estate or approve new construction on the property will be announced, and the nature of the business publicized at all regular meetings for two weeks prior to the meeting and the resident members shall be notified of said meeting by e-mail not less than ten (10) days before the meeting. Such decisions regarding the real property shall be approved by a vote of the Directive Council.

2. Organic Division. Should any unfortunate conditions arise which would bring division in the membership of this church, the property shall belong to the members who abide by this constitution. Should there be a question as to who is abiding by this constitution, a board of arbitration shall be appointed by the Directive Council, the association or convention with which the Church is affiliated at the time of division to determine which party of the division is following the constitution.

3. Dissolution and Disposition of Property. In the event of dissolution of the Corporation, the property and assets thereof remaining after providing for all obligations shall be distributed pursuant to the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act at Article 134.11

Article XIII

AMENDMENTS: These articles or rules or order may be altered, amended or stricken out at any regular council meeting provided that copies of the amendment have been presented in writing to the membership and duly publicized at Church meetings for a period of at least two weeks prior to such meeting, and provided further that such change shall not conflict with the articles of incorporation of the Church.

Article XIV

ORGANIZATIONS: No organization shall be formed or considered a part of church activities until it is approved by the Directive Council/Governing Council. Approved organizations must confer with a designated honorary member or officer from time to time regarding their objectives and plans. No organization shall incur financial obligations for the Church to pay, outside budgeted funds or special organization treasury, without the approval of the Directive Council/Governing Council. Each organization shall prepare a program and financial report of the annual meeting of the Church.

Article XV

ORDAINING, LICENSING, AND COMMISSIONING

1. Ordination. The church shall have the authority to ordain a member who has proven himself/herself to the Directive Council/Spiritual Advisors and having formally offered tobacco. The ordination process shall follow the recognized procedures of the F.S.I.C.N.A.C.

2. Licensing. The Directive Council shall have the authority to license a member of the Church who has demonstrated prolonged, consistent, and active ceremonial participation and/or having formally offered tobacco to carry out those spiritual functions and duties as approved by the Directive Council/Chief Spiritual Advisor. The license granted by the Directive Council/Spiritual Advisors may be ongoing and may be for a specified term. The Chief Spiritual Advisor may revoke this license at any time with or without cause.

3. Commissioning. F.S.I.C.N.A.C. will not commission anyone for any work to be done for the Church.

Article XVI

WAVIER OF NOTICE CONTRACTS: F.S.I.C.N.A.C. will not authorize any officer or officers, official or officials, agent or agents of the Church to enter into any contract for the Church. Whenever any notice is required to be given under the provisions of the State of Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act or under the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation or the Constitution of the Corporation, a wavier thereof in writing signed by the person or persons entitled to such notice, whether before or after the time stated therein, shall be deemed equivalent to the giving of such notice.