Media Contact: Bob Walker (0) 202/208-3171 (H) 703/938-6842
For Immediate Release: September 29, 1992

Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan met today with South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell, Senator Strom Thurmond and representatives from the offices of Senator Ernest Hollings and Congressman John Spratt to discuss the terms of the Catawba \ Indian land settlement.

"This appears to be an excellent settlement proposal, and I will do whatever I can to gain the support of the Administration for it," Lujan said. "All parties to this historic agreement are to be congratulated for their hard work."

Lujan noted that the settlement would provide for the restoration of the Catawbas as a federally recognized tribe.

"This Administration has supported restoration of terminated tribes, and I am pleased the Catawbas will be among those restored, “Lujan said.

“The settlement will provide new economic and education opportunities for the tribe, and it will end 12 years of litigation that has clouded the commercial and real estate markets in the area. The monetary pledges demonstrate a vital commitment by the state and local governments as well as private sources."

Under the proposed settlement:

-- The Catawba Indian Tribe, terminated by the Federal Government in 1962, will be restored as a federally recognized tribe, and will thus qualify for federal Indian programs;

-- The tribe will receive a total of $50 million over five years with 60 percent from the Federal Government, 25 percent from the state and local governments, and the balance from private sources. The funds will be held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior;

-- The tribe may have a reservation of up to 3,600 acres, which could be expanded up to 4,200 acres with the approval of state and local governments.

-- The tribe will have limited authority to regulate matters on the reservation through a tribal council and tribal courts.

In exchange, the tribe 'Will relinquish claims against federal, state and local governments as well as against private land owners.

These claims were filed in 1980 when the tribe brought suit in federal court. The tribe alleged that an 1840 treaty signed by this state and Catawbas transferring 144,000 acres of tribal lands was void because it was never ratified by the Congress as required by federal law.

Legislation will be required to implement the settlement.