The vote on whether the PGST Constitution should be amended to expand the geographic area where descendants of Tribal members would be eligible for automatic enrollment is scheduled for

May 15, 2024 from 8 am to 7 pm in the Large Conference Room

Only enrolled PGST members aged 18 and above may vote.

If you need an Absentee Ballot, please request one NO LATER than May 8, 2024 by 4:30 pm. Absentee Ballots MUST be returned by 7 pm on May 15, 2024. Any ballots received after this date and time will not be counted. Only the voter who needs an Absentee Ballot may request it. A family member cannot request an Absentee Ballot on your behalf.

Request an Absentee Ballot by calling the Enrollment & Tribal Records Clerk at 360-297-6217 or by emailing or

The vote on May 15, 2024 is to APPROVE or REJECT a Proposal to Amend the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Constitution to expand automatic enrollment to “A child born to a member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe who, at the time of birth of said child, is a resident of…(4) any of the following Washington counties: Kitsap, Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, or San Juan.”

Read the Proposal to Amend the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Constitution in FULL


Because we established a quorum and a majority of the General Council members voted “yes” (by paper ballot), the next step is to hold an election on the amendment. The Election Committee will conduct the election under the election procedures established under the Election Code. Thirty percent (30%) of the eligible voters must vote in the election. The number of registered voters for the purpose of this section shall be determined by calculating the average number of persons who voted in the last three Tribal Council elections. The election is by majority vote. Absentee ballots are permitted under the procedures set out in Section 11.01.05 of the Elections Code. Title 11.01.06 provides that least two weeks’ notice is required before the election date (as opposed to the three weeks required for Tribal Council elections).

If the proposed amendment is approved at the election, the Election Committee issues a Constitutional Amendment Certification, signed by all the members of the Election Committee. In addition, a new version of the Tribal Constitution is drafted to include the newly-adopted language, and that new version also will include a certification at the end by the Election Committee.

If the Constitutional amendment is approved via election vote, then what? Title 25 provides the basic application process (and provides significant flexibility regarding proof and review of eligibility for automatic enrollment if this becomes a question under the proposed new Constitutional amendment). Title 25 will need to be amended to reflect the change to automatic enrollment. Staff in consultation with legal counsel can begin reviewing Title 25 and drafting the needed changes so that they are ready to be adopted if the amendment is approved.

New applicants for enrollment under the Constitutional amendment would need to complete an application form for enrollment.  25.02.01(2)–(3).  Modifications to this application form, if needed to implement the Constitutional amendment, can be recommended by the Enrollment Clerk to the Tribal Council for approval.  25.01.03(1).

Historical background The Tribal Council appointed an Enrollment Eligibility Committee (EEC) over five years ago to consider and recommend changes to the Tribe’s enrollment eligibility criteria. After years of deliberations and data review, the EEC proposed three recommendations to the Tribal Council. The recommendations were then presented and discussed at three community meetings, and a survey was conducted of the Tribal membership. The results of that survey were presented at three subsequent community meetings.

The Tribal Council moved to proceed with one of the EEC’s recommended options: expanding the geographic area within which descendants of Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal members would be eligible for automatic enrollment, regardless of blood quantum. Of the three options, this option would allow the least amount of potential new enrollees, easing the tribe into growth and expanded enrollment. The current area is the Tribe’s reservation. The proposed change would expand this area to include counties where the Tribe has usual and accustomed Treaty sites: Kitsap, Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, and San Juan Counties.

The Tribe completed the first step on October 7, 2023 when the proposed amendment was presented to General Council, which asked questions and considered the materials with a quorum present. Although a vote wasn’t required, the General Council voted to proceed with the next step of the process even though General Council members identified and questioned why Island County wasn’t listed.

The General Council proceeded with the second step in the process at the spring meeting on 3/30/2024 when it established a quorum and 229 members voted “yes” to proceed to an election vote (48 people voted no and 2 votes were invalid). See the attached certified vote.

Proceeding to the election vote on the amendment is the third step in the process.