Indigenous committee voting members must be Dartmouth residents, says Select Board

Aug 1, 2023

Despite fears from the School Committee about a lack of indigenous members on the new Indigenous People, History and Culture Committee, Select Board Chair David Tatelbaum confirmed at a July 31 meeting that voting members on all committees must be Dartmouth residents.

“No person other than a resident of the Town of Dartmouth shall serve as a voting member on any town board, commission or committee,” Tatelbaum read from the Town bylaws. 

At a July 17 School Committee meeting, member Shannon Jenkins said inviting indigenous members as non-voting members is “not a partnership” and that the town should look for ways to have indigenous tribe members as surefire voting members, even if it means changing the bylaws.

Tatelbaum said they’ve tried to find tribal members and indigenous people that are also Dartmouth residents, but “haven’t gotten a lot of interest.”

“We invite anyone and everyone who want to join us on this committee to do so,” he said. “We’ve never excluded [indigenous voices] and have wanted them from the very beginning.”