[HISTORY: Adopted by the Tribal Council of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi 1-19-2012 by Res. No. 01-19-12-09; amended 2-16-2012 by Res. No. 2-16-12-11 (Title II, Ch. 2, of the Tribal Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Creation. A tribally sponsored bereavement benefit for members of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi is hereby established.
Findings. The Tribal Council of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi finds that:
The Constitution of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band delegates to the Tribal Council the responsibility for adoption of resolutions and laws not inconsistent with the Constitution to promote, protect and provide for public health, peace, morals, education and general welfare of the Band and its members.
The development and provision of adequate services for tribal members and their families is a critical priority.
The Tribal Council has approved bereavement assistance to cover funeral and related expenses associated with honoring Tribal Council members who have walked on and the Tribal Council wishes to establish consistent guidelines to provide special bereavement benefits to honor the service of current and past members of the Tribal Council who walk on.
Adoption. The Bereavement Benefit Program is adopted by Resolution No. 01-19-12-09 and amended by Resolution No. 02-16-12-11.
Amendment. This Program may be amended by the Tribal Council in accordance with the Constitution and any rules set forth governing amendment of laws of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band.
Severability clause. If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.
Effective date. This benefit established by this chapter is effective as of the date of adoption by Resolution No. 01-19-12-09; provided that the benefit provided under § 2.2-4A shall be retroactive to January 1, 2010. The retroactive application of the benefit established by § 2.2-4A of this chapter is specifically intended to ratify and confirm bereavement-type benefits received by the families of Laura W. Spurr and RuthAnn Chivis to cover expenses associated with the memorial services for those individuals; however, nothing in this chapter shall obligate the Band to provide additional bereavement benefits to the families of those individuals.
For purposes of this chapter, certain terms are defined in this section. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely advisory.
- An infant or other minor, and includes a stillborn child.
- DEATH CERTIFICATE
- A document or certification of a tribal member's death signed by a medical doctor or other such certification that may be made by a funeral home.
- STILLBORN CHILD
- A tribal member's natural child whose death occurs before extraction or delivery and whose death is required to be reported pursuant to applicable law; provided, however, that the term "stillborn child" shall not include a fetus or child extracted for purposes of an abortion.
- A. A tribal member who was a duly elected member of the Tribal Council of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band at the time of his/her death; or
- B. A tribal member who formerly served as an elected member of the Tribal Council of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi and is duly enrolled with the Band at the time of his/her death.
- TRIBAL MEMBER
- A person who is enrolled as a member of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band at the time of his/her death.
For any tribal member who passed away between January 1, 2010, through January 19, 2012, bereavement benefits in the amount of $7,500 shall be paid, in accordance with the procedures/criteria described in § 2.2-6B;
For any other Tribal Council member, other than those individuals referenced in § 2.2-2D, bereavement benefits in the amount of $7,500 shall be paid in accordance with the procedures/criteria described in § 2.2-6B.
The bereavement benefit for tribal members who pass away subsequent to January 19, 2012, is established at $10,000.
Changing the amount of bereavement benefit. The Tribal Council reserves the right to amend the bereavement benefit amount by resolution stating such change without prior notice to the membership.
General. All tribal members are eligible for the bereavement benefit; however, an individual must be duly enrolled with the Nottawaseppi Huron Band at the time of his/her death in order to have the bereavement benefit paid to his designee.
Child. The custodial parent or legal guardian of an enrolled child may apply for the bereavement benefit on the child's behalf. The custodial parent or legal guardian of an infant or a stillborn child can receive this benefit by presenting documentation to the Enrollment Office verifying that the infant or stillborn child would have been eligible for enrollment, within six (6) months of the child's death.
Filing of designation form. It is the obligation of tribal members to file a beneficiary form with the Enrollment Office.
Distribution of bereavement benefits.
Payment of bereavement benefits will be initiated by the Enrollment Office upon receipt of a written request for bereavements benefits from either:
The beneficiary designated on the beneficiary form completed by the tribal member or the beneficiary form completed by his/her custodial parent or legal guardian; or
By one of the following, if the tribal member did not file a beneficiary form: the decedent's spouse, parent, adult child, adult sibling, personal representative of the decedent's estate or trustee of a trust established by the decedent. The individual requesting bereavement benefits must provide a certified copy of the death certificate or fetal death record for a stillborn child.
Payment to beneficiaries; use of payment.
The designated beneficiary may utilize any bereavement benefit funds for the purpose of covering a funeral luncheon or other purposes at the discretion of the beneficiary.
Payment of bereavement benefits in those cases in which the decedent did not file a beneficiary form will be made as follows:
If the costs of the funeral home or crematorium and monument have already been paid in full by a relative, the relative who paid the funeral home/crematorium and monument company may be reimbursed for those costs by presenting copies of paid invoices and/or receipts verifying payment to the funeral home/crematorium and/or monument company;
If the costs of the funeral home or crematorium and/or monument have not been paid in whole, the bereavement benefits will be paid by two-party check(s) made payable jointly to:
The funeral home or crematorium and the individual identified on the invoice as responsible for payment regardless of whether or not partial payment has been made; and/or
The monument company and the individual identified on the invoice as responsible for payment regardless of whether or not partial payment has been made.
If bereavement benefits remain after funeral/cremation and the monument charges have been paid, the balance, if any, will be paid to the surviving spouse of the deceased or, if a minor child, the custodial parent(s) of the deceased. If the deceased tribal member has no surviving spouse, child/children, or parent(s), the distribution of funds shall be determined by the Tribal Court in accordance with Michigan law governing intestate succession (MCLA §§ 700.2101 through 2114), provided that, in the event there is no taker, as set forth in MCLA § 700.2105, the remaining balance shall inure to the Tribe.