Federal backing for Catawba Indian Nation land-into-trust decision

In the United States and President Joe Biden (pictured) reportedly signed legislation into law earlier this week that officially clears the way for the Catawba Indian Nation to bring a $273 million casino resort to the southern state of North Carolina.

According to a report from The Herald newspaper, the Catawba Indian Nations Act was overwhelmingly approved by the United States House of Representatives in November before being passed by the United States Senate via an 89-to-ten margin. The source detailed that this measure was subsequently included in the National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Biden on Monday to bring federal protection to the United States Department of Interior’s earlier positive land-into-trust decision regarding a 16.5-acre plot of Cleveland County land for the Catawba Indian Nation.

Impending insecurity:

The newspaper reported that the Catawba Indian Nation inked a revenue-sharing gaming compact with the state of North Carolina in January in hopes of being able to open its envisioned Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort on this parcel near the small community of Kings Mountain by the end of 2023. However, the whole scheme was purportedly endangered by numerous lawsuits including those filed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which is responsible for the only existing pair of ‘The Tar Heel State’ casinos in the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel and even larger Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

Ultimate endorsement:

Bill Harris serves as the Chief for the Catawba Indian Nation and he reportedly described the ratification of the Catawba Indian Nations Act as ‘the final step in a decades-long fight’ t lodi291 o receive federal support for the tribe’s plan to bring a casino resort to North Carolina. The p purportedly moreover explained that the passage of this legislation means that any future opposition to the earlier land-into-trust decision will represent a challenge to federal law.

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Harris reportedly stated…

“The enactment into law of our lands act will likely have a significant impact on the appeal from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Make no mistake, this legislation means more people will have good paying jobs, more kids will have a better education and more people will have better housing and health care. That’s what this bill really means.”

Righting wrongs:

The Catawba Indian Nations Act was reportedly introduced by South Carolina representative Jim Clyburn with support from North Carolina counterparts Alma Adams, David Price and George Butterfield in an attempt to head off the cancellation of the envisioned tribal casino project. The 81-year-old Democrat from ‘The Palmetto State’ purportedly asserted that his legislation will furthermore ensure that the Catawba Indian Nation remains the scheme’s primary beneficiary and bring the coming Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort under the supervision of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Reportedly read a statement from Clyburn…

“I was proud to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure passage of this bipartisan piece of legislation. The Catawba Indian Nations Act is a very significant step towards rectifying historic injustices that have been perpetrated against the Catawba Indian Nation and this legislation will be crucial in helping the Catawba Indian Nation secure economic self-sufficiency.”