Catawba Nation casino opponents meet with BIA officials in DC

Artist's rendering of proposed Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina. Image from Catawba Nation Project Brief

Opponents of the proposed Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina met with Bureau of Indian Affairs officials in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

The Kings Mountain Awareness Group met with Sarah Harris, the chief of staff to Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn, The Kings Mountain Herald reported. According to a participant who spoke to the paper, she said the tribe's land-into-trust application is still in the "early" stages.

The group also met with Paula Hart, the director of the BIA's Office of Indian Gaming Management. If the tribe negotiates a Class III gaming compact with North Carolina, it would go before the office for review.

The tribe plans to build a $600 million casino in Kings Mountain. The 16-acre site falls within the service area defined by the Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina Land Claims Settlement Act. The service area covers land in North Carolina and South Carolina.

The land claim settlement requires the BIA to place up to 3,600 acres in trust for the tribe's reservation. But mandatory acquisitions can still take a long time to review -- in the case of the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona, the agency took 18 months to make a decision.

Get the Story:
Casino opposition group takes petition to Washington (The Kings Mountain Herald 12/17)
Hawkins retracts casino support (The Kings Mountain Herald 11/4)

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Opinion: Catawba Nation makes a sneak attack with casino bid (11/20)
City urged to rescind support for Catawba Nation casino plan (10/09)

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