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South Carolina tribe suffers major setbacks

South Carolina's only federally recognized tribe is in the middle of a major crisis.

In the past year alone, the tribe lost its federal funding, saw the indictment of a former executive director, went to court to battle the state over gaming rights and held an election that is being disputed. "This thing looks bad," Chief Gilbert Blue tells The Charlotte Observer.

Eleven years ago, the tribe received federal recognition and $50 million through an act of Congress that settled its land claim. But while living conditions have improved for many tribal members, the tribe has struggled with its government operation.

With the loss of its federal grant, the tribe laid off 70 employees, closed its cultural center and basically shut down its government. Blue says the tribe's financial records are "just a mess."

Get the Story:
Catawbas in midst of crisis (The Charlotte Observer 12/10)

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Indictment of ex-tribal official started with DOI (10/08)
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