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Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina

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Some Catawba take issue with the revamped constitution's provision for electing the chief. A vote is scheduled Jan. 12 and 13 on the first major revamp since 1975, part of a multimillion-dollar federal land settlement. Many critics say a provision requiring the next chief be chosen from the current ruling body is outrageous. "That limits us to the players that are already there, the ones we are trying to weed out," tribe member Claire Wilson said. Others argue against enlarging the executive committee's powers to make major decisions when the General Council is not in session. Jack Canty said executive committee members "want people to reject it ... They want to stall any elections. There is always going to be something there to keep them in office." Oct. 11, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Anderson Jr. urged the tribe to meet to work out its problems - and keep a federal court from making a ruling. He agreed with many of the arguments of the 16 members who sued the tribe in 1998. The tribe has not held a full election since 1975 though a secretary-treasurer and an assistant chief were selected in 1993. The roll of 2,107 Catawbas, was finally printed this month.