The Board of Trustees has created a range of subsidiary bodies that assist the Board by doing a variety of tasks. Each of these bodies is expected to assist the Board by developing expertise in a specific subject area. Nevertheless, the type of work and degree of authority exercised by these bodies varies considerably.
Advisory committees provide policy advice to the Board and tribal staff regarding a particular subject area or the work of a particular tribal department or program. They also educate outside groups about established tribal policy within their subject area. The Board creates advisory committees by passing individual resolutions for each. Each resolution describes the subject matter of the committee and the staff who are expected to work with the committee.
These committees are also governed by the Advisory Committee Code, which describes their internal procedures. The Board currently has six advisory committees. They are the Cultural Resources Committee, the Economic and Community Development Committee, the Education and Training Committee, the Land Acquisition Committe, the Law and Order Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.
Regulatory commissions are delegated authority by the Board to exercise governmental power in a particular subject area. Types of power exercised by regulatory commissions include the power to enact regulations, conduct hearings, issue permits and impose fines. The Board has enacted individual statutes that define the subject area and scope of authority of each regulatory commission.
The seven current regulatory commissions of the Confederated Tribes are: the Election Commission, the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Gaming Commission, the Natural Resources Commission, the Tax Commission, the Tribal Employment Rights Office Commission, and the Water Commission.
Boards of directors are created by the Board to run particular enterprises or service agencies of the Tribal government. They function like the boards of directors of private companies or non-profit groups. These boards of directors can exercise powers like hiring staff, running their own budgets, contracting in their own name or even, in some cases, filing lawsuits.
Current boards of directors created by the Board of Trustees include the Housing Commission (which operates the Umatilla Reservation Housing Authority), the Health Commission (which operates the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Clinic) and the Tribal Farm Committee (which directs the activities of the Tribal Farm Enterprise).
In most cases, these subsidiary bodies consist of five tribal members, appointed by the Board of Trustees for terms of two or three years. The Secretary of the Board of Trustees sends out notification when positions are open on these bodies, and accepts applications for these positions. In addition to these three types of subsidiary bodies, the Board has recently created a tribal corporation, which will operate most of the Tribes' enterprises.