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Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina

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South Carolina's only federally recognized tribe published its roll in The (Rock Hill) Herald Oct. 7, moving one step closer to completing requirements of its recognition agreement. The 2,107-name roll was published in July in the Federal Register. "This is the next step in the process under the settlement legislation,'' said Catawba lawyer Bob Jones. The nation was recognized in 1993 under a $50 million agreement between the tribe and federal and state governments. In a federal suit filed in Denver in May, members of the Western Catawbas sued the BIA because they were not included on the list. Western Catawbas are descendants of five families which left the Carolinas with Mormon missionaries in the late 1880s. Rod Beck, one of 16 local Catawbas who filed a separate federal lawsuit over election procedures and financial accountability, said the roll has not been approved by the Catawba people. Assistant Chief Buck George said a draft constitution must be approved for the settlement to be complete. Jones said about 15 percent of the $50 million, plus interest accrued, would be divided among tribal members. The BIA and bank trustees must approve the disbursement before checks can be distributed, George said.

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