Appeals for Tribal Membership and Enrollment Procedures

The following are copies of documents relating to the appeals from various individuals for Catawba tribal membership and the responses they received from the Catawba Executive Committee and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Also, we have posted copies of related documents on the problems with the enrollment procedure. Interested readers may also wish to visit the page on BIA Inconsistencies with the Enrollment Criteria.

Comments on October 2000 Catawba Enrollment Information (November 11, 2000)  Comments from the webmaster concerning new information on Catawba enrollment which appeared in the RiverSpeak newsletter in October 2000. From the new information, it appears that some prospective Catawba Members were required to send in their long-form birth certificates prior to the enrollment application deadline while others were still allowed to submit these birth certificates as of October 2000.

Letter from Heyward Canty, Jr. to Chief Gilbert Blue (October 30, 2000)  protesting the draft Catawba constitution as granting to much power to the Executive Committee and not protecting the basic rights of the tribal members.

Letters of Appeal from Johnny Morrow (Feb 14, 2000 - March 21,2000)  The first of these letters was sent by Mr. Morrow to the Catawba Nation Exective Committee appealing for inclusion on the Catawba Tribal Membership Roll. The Committee rejected his application despite the fact that he had documented that his grandmother, Lillie Susan Harris Ballard, was born on the Catawba reservation and lived there for twenty years. The second letter was Mr. Morrow's appeal to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to reverse the decision made by the Catawba Executive Committee. The BIA also denied his appeal and is aggresively working toward publishing the Final Catawba Membership Roll as is before July 11, 2000!

Notice of Denial and Right to Appeal (March 14, 2000)  This notice was sent by the Catawba Executive Committee to the petitioners for tribal membership. It simply states that their tribal membership was denied without providing any basis for this decision.

Tribal Enrollment Procedures   This document was faxed to Cynthia Walsh (January 25, 1999) by Donna Curtis, Tribal Enrollment Coordinator, after numerous attempts to obtain information from the Catawba Nation on the procedures and standards for enrollment.

Serious problems with Catawba enrollment procedure  This memorandum was sent by Ms. Elizabeth Colliflower, Tribal Relations Specialist to Mr. Franklin Keel, Acting Director (Eastern Area Office, BIA), to report on her trip to the Catawba Nation, April 25-27, 1995. The purpose of this trip was to review the Catawba enrollment procedures and report her findings to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She found the Catawba enrollment procedures to be vague, subjective, and in general disarray. A copy of this document was sent to Cynthia Walsh as part of the response to her request (May 22, 1997), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in which Walsh asked for a copy of this report. Walsh also asked for a copy of a second report done by Ms. Colliflower following another visit to Catawba regarding the Catawba roll development in March 1997. Mr. Keel has three times denied the public access to this second report. The last FOIA request submitted to Mr. Keel for the second report was made May 22, 1998.

BIA Inconsistencies with the Enrollment Criteria  Catawba tribal enrollment criteria has not been consistent with the Buerea of Indian Affairs.

Response of BIA to FOIA request (July, 1997)  This letter was sent by the BIA to Cynthia Walsh in response to her FOIA request for the BIA to disclose the criterion for determining whether a person is eligible for Catawba tribal enrollment.

Letter from Wayne Head to Congressman Bill Richardson  requesting assistance with difficulties he was having with the BIA in the handling of the Catawba membership applications for himself and his extended family members (August 14, 1996). Also included is the response letter of Congressman Richardson to Franklin Keel, Director of the BIA Eastern Area Office.

Letter to Judy Canty Martin from her attorney Karin Johnson Chatfield (October, 1995)  Letter indicates that neither the Catawba Executive Committee nor the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) have responded to their tribal membership applications and information requests.

Excerpts from the Catawba Land Claims Settlement Act of 1993 Relevant to those Seeking Tribal Membership. Lineal descendancy from those whose names were or should have been on the Tribal Termination Roll of 1961 are emphasized as the criterion for inclusion on the membership roll of the Catawba Land Claims Settlement Act of 1993. No mention is made about maintaining social, political, or cultural ties with the tribe.