Public Law 103-110
(1) It is the policy of the United States to promote tribal self-determination and economic self- sufficiency and to support the resolution of disputes over historical claims through settlements mutually agreed to by Indian and non-Indian parties.
(2) There is pending before the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina a lawsuit disputing ownership of approximately 140,000 acres of land in the State of South Carolina and other rights of the Catawba Indian Tribe under Federal law.
(3) The Catawba Indian Tribe initiated a related lawsuit against the United States in the United States Court of Federal Claims seeking monetary damages.
(4) Some of the significant historical events which have led to the present situation include:
(A) In treaties with the Crown in 1760 and 1763, the Tribe ceded vast portions of its aboriginal territory in the present States of North and South Carolina in return for guarantees of being quietly settled on a 144,000-acre reservation.
(B) The Tribe's district court suit contended that in 1840 the Tribe and the State entered into an agreement without Federal approval or participation whereby the Tribe ceded its treaty reservation to the State, thereby giving rise to the Tribe's claim that it was dispossessed of its lands in violation of Federal law.
(E) In 1980, the Tribe initiated Federal court litigation to regain possession of its treaty lands and in 1986, the United States Supreme Court ruled in South Carolina against Catawba Indian Tribe that the 1959 Act resulted in the application of State statutes of limitations to the Tribe's land claim. Two subsequent decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit have held that some portion of the Tribe's claim is barred by State statutes of limitations and that some portion is not barred.
(5) The pendency of these lawsuits has led to substantial economic and social hardship for a large number of landowners, citizens and communities in the State of South Carolina, including the Catawba Indian Tribe. [emphasis added] Congress recognizes that if these claims are not resolved, further litigation against tens of thousands of landowners would be likely; that any final resolution of pending disputes through a process of litigation would take many years and entail great expenses to all parties; continue economically and socially damaging controversies; prolong uncertainty as to the ownership of property; and seriously impair long-term economic planning and development or all parties.
(6) The 102d Congress has enacted legislation suspending until October 1, 1993, the running of any unexpired statute of limitation applicable to the Tribe's land claim in order to provide additional time to negotiate settlement of these claims.
(7) It is recognized that both Indian and non-Indian parties enter into this settlement to resolve the disputes raised in these lawsuits and to derive certain benefits. The parties' Settlement Agreement constitutes a good faith effort to resolve these lawsuits and other claims and requires implementing legislation by the Congress of the United States, the General Assembly of the state of South Carolina, and the governing bodies of the South Carolina counties of York and Lancaster. [emphasis added]
(8) To advance the goals of the Federal policy of Indian self-determination and restoration of terminated Indian Tribes, and in recognition of the United States obligation to the Tribe and the Federal policy of settling historical Indian claims through comprehensive settlement agreements, it is appropriate that the United States participate in the funding and implementation of the Settlement Agreement. [emphasas added]
(b) PURPOSE.-- It is the purpose of this Act --
(1) to approve, ratify, and confirm the Settlement Agreement entered into by the non-Indian
settlement parties and the Tribe, except as otherwise provided by this Act;
(2) to authorize and direct the Secretary to implement the terms of such Settlement Agreement;
(3) to authorize the actions and appropriations necessary to implement the provisions of the Settlement Agreement and this Act;
SECTION 7. BASE MEMBERSHIP ROLL
(a) BASE MEMBERSHIP ROLL CRITERIA.-- Within one year after the enactment of this section, the Tribe shall submit to the Secretary, for approval, its base membership roll. An individual is eligible for inclusion on the base membership roll if that individual is living on the date of the enactment of the Act
(1) is listed on the membership roll published by the Secretary in the Federal Register on February 25, 1961 (26 FR 1 680-1 688, "Notice of Final Membership Roll"), and is not excluded under the provisions of subsection (c);
(2) the Executive Committee determines, based on the criteria used to compile the roll referred to in paragraph (1), that the individual should have been included on the membership roll at that time, but was not; or
(3) is a lineal descendant of a Member whose name appeared or should have appeared on the membership roll referred to in paragraph (1). [Emphasis added]
(b) BASE MEMBERSHIP ROLL NOTICE: -- Within 90 days after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register, and in three newspapers of general circulation in the Tribe's service area, a notice stating --
(1) that a base membership roll is being prepared by the Tribe and that thecurrent membership roll is open and will remain open for a period of 90 days;
(2) the requirements for inclusion on the base membership roll: [Emphasis added]
(3) the final membership roll published by the Secretary in the Federal Register on February 25, 1961;
(4) the current membership roll as prepared by the Executive Committee and approved by the General Council; and
(5) the name and address of the tribal or federal official to whom inquiries should be made.
(c) COMPLETION OF THE BASE MEMBERSHIP ROLL -- Within 120 days after publication of notice under subsection (b), the Secretary, after consultation with the Tribe, shall prepare and publish in the Federal Register, and in three newspapers of general circulation in the Tribe's service area, a proposed final base membership roll of the Tribe. Within 60 days from the date of the publication of the proposed final base membership roll, an appeal may be filed with the Executive Committee under rules made by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Secretary. Such an appeal may be filed by a Member with respect to the inclusion of any name on the proposed final base membership roll and by any person with respect to the exclusion of his or her name from the final base membership roll. [Emphasis added] The Executive committee shall review such appeals and render a decision, subject to the Secretary's approval. If the Executive Committee and the Secretary disagree, the Secretary's decision will be final. All such appeals shall be resolved within 90 days follow the publication of the proposed roll [Emphasis added]. The final base membership roll of the Tribe shall then be published in the Federal Register, and in three newspapers of general circulation in the Tribe's service area, and shall be final for purposes of the distribution of funds from the Per Capita Trust Fund established under section 11(h).
(d) FUTURE MEMBERSHIP IN THE TRIBE.-- The Tribe shall have the right to determine future membership in the Tribe; however, in no event may an individual be enrolled as a tribal member unless the individual is a lineal descendant of a person on the final base membership roll and has continued to maintain political relations with the Tribe.