Letter from Chief Gilbert Blue Concerning New Catawba Constitution

The Catawba Indian Nation
TELEPHONE (803) 366-ISWA     FAX (803) 366-9150

September 17, 2002

re.    The Catawba Constitution

Dear Tribal Members.

There has been a lot of confusing information being circulated lately. I would like for you to look at, not spoken words or politics, but simply the Law. In May of 1993, the General Council voted to accept the Catawba Land Claims Settlement Act. We had over 300 members at that meeting and approximately 240 of you voted to accept the Settlement. That Settlement became Public Law 103-116. (The Catawba Land Claims Settlement Act) October 23, 1993. It was signed by the President of the United States as well as by the tribe.

One thing that we all agree on is that we would like to hold new elections. This can be done very easily. The Settlement Act states in P.L. 103-ll6, Section 8, Part b that "Until an election of tribal Officers under the new constitution the Executive Committee shall, (A) represent the tribe and its members in the implementation of this Act;..." This section is very specific, but it comes down to this. Once a new Constitution is adopted, then elections for tribal officers can be held within 120 days. (P.L. 103-ll6, Section 9, Part d). SO LETS GET A CONSTITUTION ADOPTED!!!

Members have told us that they were very confused about the last vote to adopt the draft constitution. You were deliberately mislead by people who wanted the constitution to fail. This time let's don't let that happen. We're asking for your comments and suggestion over the next few weeks. Inside this lelter is a self- addressed, stamped envelope. Just write down your thoughts and drop it in the mail. You should also feel free to talk to me or give me a call. We will distribute a new draft to members by October 1O, 2002 and we will have a vote on the Constitution on November 15th, and 16th. 2002.

Thank you for your time, your thoughts, and your support.

/signed/ Gilbert B. Blue
Chief Gilbert B. Blue