Actions of the Former Executive Committee

The current constitution of the Catawba Nation, which is virtually identical to the original tribal constitution of 1944, was adopted in 1975 and remains in effect today. In 1996, however, Chief Gilbert Blue requested a charter under which the Executive Committee would function. This charter, known as The Corporate Nation, was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1997. The General Council, however, never approved this charter as required by the original and current Catawba constitutions. In fact, the mere existence of this charter was not disclosed to the General Council. Following BIA approval of "The Corporate Nation" charter, the Gilbert Blue Administration began conducting business transactions on behalf of the Catawba Nation without approval, or even knowledge, of the General Council as required in the constitution. This includes buying and selling land and spending the trust account funds without the financial reports and annual audits required by the Catawba Settlement Act. Much of these funds cannot be accounted for, and seem to have simply "evaporated".

Also, a proposed new constitution for the Catawba Nation was drafted which Chief Blue aggressively supported. This new constitution, which was soundly defeated in July 2002 by vote of the General Council, would have given virtually all powers to the Executive Committee while neglecting the General Council and the basic rights of the individual tribal members (See also The Opinion of a Native American Attorney: Proposed New Tribal Constitution Brings Bad News for the Catawba People and their Future). On September 7, 2002, a tribal election was held under the existing constitution despite the attempts of the Gilbert Blue administration to stop it. In this election, new persons were elected to the positions of Chief, Assistant Chief, Secretary/Treasurer, First Councilman, and Second Councilman positions. (See Tribal Elections page) Although replaced in a lawful election, the former Chief Blue and Executive Committee refused to vacate the Longhouse and continue to function as they had under "The Corporate Nation" charter. On October 10, 2002, the former Executive Committee put forth another " revised Catawba constitution". This "revised" constitution differed only in minor detail from the "proposed new constitution" put forth a few years earlier by the Executive Committee. Since the BIA does not wish to get involved in removing these members of the former Gilbert Blue Administration from the Longhouse, they remain in control of what little is left of the tribal resources. A more complete description of these events is provided in the paper titled "Perspectives of the Catawba Indian Nation in 2003" by Dr. Thomas Blumer.

Links to the various documents and news of events pertaining to these actions of the Executive Committee under Chief Gilbert blue are provided below.