Artist's rendering of proposed Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina. Image from Catawba Nation Project Brief
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians don't want the Catawba Nation to open a casino in North Carolina. The Eastern Cherokees operate the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in the western part of the state. The facility is more than 130 miles from the Catawba Nation's gaming site but the Cherokees claim it as aboriginal territory. “We do not object to the Catawbas’ having gaming on their reservation in South Carolina,” Chief Michell Hicks said in a statement to The Charlotte Observer. “Our opposition to the proposed North Carolina land acquisition is based on respect for traditional tribal territory.” Catawba territory, however, includes present-day North Carolina as well as South Carolina. The Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina Land Claims Settlement Act includes counties in North Carolina in the tribe's service area. "We were in the state before there was ever a state," Chief Bill Harris told the paper. The Catawba Nation submitted a land-into-trust application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the casino site.
The Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina. Photo from Facebook
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New casino games fuel growth in Cherokee, even as potential for gambling competition looms (The Charlotte Observer 8/23) An Opinion:
Beauford Burton: Casino promises disguise problems it will bring (The Shelby Star 8/23) Related Stories:
Group fighting Catawba Nation casino brings in national figure (07/17)
Eastern Cherokees take on role of casino construction manager (06/18)