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Whereas, the suit brought by the Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina and now pending in the United States District Court for South Carolina could be lengthy and expensive for all parties, and until finally resolved, could leave a cloud upon title to the real estate in contention; and
Whereas, whatever the outcome of the pending suit may be, it is unthinkable and manifestly impractical for title to real estate to forfeit upon which thousands of citizens reside and enormous investments have been made by industries, utilities, and other businesses ;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Rock Hill, South Carolina, in meeting duly assembled, that this Council does hereby support and encourage the enactment by Congress of legislation making allowable Indian claims assertable only for monetary damages, to be adjudicated in the United States Court of Claims, or before a similar tribunal or Commission, and to be payable, if the claim is established, by the United States Government.
Done and ratified on this 21st day of December, 1981.
CERTIFICATE I, the undersigned Municipal Clerk of the City of Rock Hill, South Carolina, hereby certify that the foregoing constitutes a full, true and correct copy of "A Resolution To Support The Enactment By Congress Of Legislation Making Allowable Indian Claims Assertable Only For Monetary Compensation To Be Adjudicated In The United States Court of Claims And Payable By The United States Government”, and I further certify that the above Resolution was duly and regularly adopted, and that the original thereof has been spread upon the sermanent records and Minutes of Meetings of City Council of the City of Rock Hill, S.O.
Givea under the hand and official seal of the undersigned Municipal Clerk on this 21st day of December, 1981.
GERALD E. SCHAPIRO,
Municipal Clerk of the City of Rock Hill, s.c. Senator COHEN. Would you gentlemen care to proceed! I must tell you when the next round of bells go off, I will have to be departing to go vote again, so if you could summarize?
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN C. HAYES III, REPRESENTATIVE,
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE LEGISLATURE
Mr. Hayes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will try to expedite my testimony. I have some exhibits attached to my statement and also a letter from the Honorable Richard W. Riley, Governor of the State of South Carolina, which I would like to be made a part of the record, and I will not need to allude to them.
Senator COHEN. They will be made a part of the record. Mr. HAYES. I am John Hayes. I represent the district in South Carolina that is most directly affected by this land claim. Almost my entire district is encompassed within this claim.
I would like to say that in my zeal to be an advocate for my 26,000 constituents I have said some things in my statement which I, with retrospect, want to make sure that you understand and this committee understands, which is, any comments I made about the prevailing attitude that I perceived on my earlier trips here. As far as your staff is concerned I was treated with nothing but cordiality and hospitality by the two individuals I dealt with mainly, which were for the most part Mr. Peter Taylor and Mr. Woodcock. I want that clear, that I was treated very kindly, and I am very appreciative of that.
Senator Cohen. That is just Maine hospitality.
Mr. Hayes. And I have also been impressed with your understanding and your interest. I am sure some of that derives from your having been on the line, so to speak, in your claim.
I think the sort of key word in what I want to discuss briefly is the word "frustration.” That is what our community is experiencing. The economic chaos has been discussed. The factionalism which has arisen has been discussed somewhat. But the main thing is that our community is frustrated for several reasons, one of which is, the fear that they really will be dispossessed. We were told yesterday in the House, and we have been told other places, that no one has been dispossessed in any land claim yet. But the courts can, under the theories posed in thë various lawsuits, dispossess, evict, some of the landowners.
So the people in my community really fear that and I believe that is a well-founded fear.
Another reason that I hear my constituents tell me that they are frustrated and cannot understand why something along the lines, if not the Lee bill itself, are not enacted by the Congress is that in our community, our particular tribe, the Catawbas were, in the 1940's, given some land. It was in effect, I think, held by the Federal Government for them, but this was the 3,400 acres earlier alluded to by Mrs. Toal. This is the 3,400 acres that was divided up in 1959 which is the basis for the so-called termination that Judge Wilson has found.
And when you discuss this, they shake their heads and say, well, they had all of this land. They are now coming back—they sold that, they were able to sell it—now they want more. They tell us they want land because they cannot have their heritage. Their culture is equated with land. And yet when they had land, they got rid of it. Maybe we are just simple folk, but we do not understand how that jives with their now saying that they have got to have land along with the cash.
Senator COHEN. What was the basis for the transfer of the 3,400 acres?
Mr. HAYES. I believe that was transferred to them and sold.
Mr. Hayes. They came and asked. It is my understanding that they came and asked, in all fairness as I understand, for part of it, and this goes back to the cash. They were not being funded. I am told that one reason they asked that something be done was that they did not have the funds. We go back to this tribal status. They were State Indians.
So they, rather than asking for cash, and rather than asking to be reconstituted, and rather than askingI think they had asked earlier to be recognized as a Federal tribe and some letters were written that said, "No, you are not. We will not recognize you. We will not extend Federal benefits to you."
On that basis, they said, well, let us just take the land. Let us sell it. And I think the money went to the individual Indians. It was, I think, distributed among the Indians.
But the reason was that they did not want it. So when the people in my community hear the arguments that are being made now, they cannot understand it. They are frustrated.
In short, the answer to the point about, yes, we will be back in court with the Lee bill and with the D'Amato bill, and this and that, to determine whether or not it is constitutional, it would seem to beyou have heard about the 12 years it has taken for the Oneida, and they are not through. Mr. Udall had the Indian tribe with the water claim. It took many years because I have discussed that with him. It seems to me that if this bill were to pass promptly and expeditiously, the constitutionality could likewise be disposed of promptly and expeditiously and probably cost-effectively it would be the least expensive to all the parties involved. Now we have multi-litigation, involving multi-governmental entities, multi-individual landowners. If we only had essentially one claim to determine the constitutionality, it seems to me that could be promptly and efficiently expedited and determined.
If it is ruled that this bill is unconstitutional, then you are right, we would be back in court. But if not, that would be the end of the ballgame. It seems to me that if the questions that you have raised in the nonseverability of the act, if that can be worked out as best possible as reasonable minds can do, because we can never reach complete certainty, it seems to me that this bill is a good way to go.
On behalf of my constituents, I do ask that the bill be given due consideration and be enacted, with any potential flaws being resolved here, not all potential flaws_obviously all potential flaws can not be laid to bed—but let us take care of them as best we can and go forward. Senator COHEN. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement and other material follow. Testimony resumes on p. 244.]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE JOHN C. HAYES III, SOUTH CAROLINA
HOUSE DISTRICT 50 Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I first would like to thank you for allowing me this opportunity to appear before you and express some of my thoughts in regard to the Ancient Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1982.
I have been to Washington twice within the last few months to talk with some of you and your staff concerning this piece of legislation. I was cordially accepted and treated with hospitality, but very quickly felt that as a proponent of this piece of legislation I was in somewhat of a hostile camp. At every turn I was informed of the Indians position in regard to this piece of legislation and what Indians would and would not accept and it became apparent to me that the non-Indians involved in Indian land claims areas, while numerically larger than the Indians were in the posture of David as he entered the fray with Goliath. I ask the committee to cease viewing the problem with Indian land claims primarily through the eyes of the Indians and refocus what I fear to be the congressional perspective from that of primarily the Indians view to at least a view whereby the plight of the non-Indian landowners in claimed areas is on at least an equal footing.
I realize we are a nation that sometimes exercises national guilt and when we feel this guilt and determine that some person or entity is an underdog we take it as a cause cēlēbres. It is this basic philosophy which I am afraid has made many quickly embrace the Indians and their causes which in and of itself is admirable. However, in so embracing the Indians' causes I feel many who have done so have, unintentionally I am sure, end up turning their backs to the non-Indians.
It is hard for me to understand why congress is reluctant to pass legislation of the type embodied in the Ancient Indian Land Claim Settlement Act of 1982 if Congress fully understands the gravity and real human impact the Indian land claims are having on communities such as mine. I get the uneasy feeling that the problems embodied in the Indian land claims are approached from an ivory tower, detached, textbook, academic standpoint. I submit that this approach is imminently unfair to communities such as ours and the public in general.
The possible dispossession of one innocent landowner will be recorded in history as every bit as black a day as is recorded concerning treatment of the Indians. Our posterity will rightly be confused as to how and more importantly
See appendix, p. 313.
why our elected officials would allow such a drastic thing to happen. To supposedly right an alleged ancient wrong by means which are completely alien to any conduct by the present landowners is confusing to these landowners and they can not understand why our government seems to sit by while there is the very real possibility of these individuals lives being in effect destroyed.
I hope my remarks are not offensive to anyone. I am merely trying to put into words what I hear the people in my community telling me and trying to convey to this committee the perception those of us who are involved on the front line so to speak of these claims are seeing. I certainly do not want this committee to feel any animosity toward myself or the people I represent. The bottom line of my remarks is that while I do not feel the congress is insensitive to the non-Indians, I feel that the congress is over sensitive to the Indians and this over-sensitivity has worked to the detriment of the non-Indians.
I ask that in consideration of the Ancient Indian Land Claim Settlement Act the landowners perspective be given at least equal footing with that of the Indians and I believe that if both perspectives are closely examined and fair weight given to both then this congress will be convinced, as am I, that the Ancient Indian Land Claim Settlement Act of 1982 should be enacted into law.
With the above in mind let us briefly look at what I consider are some important factors in determining the equities in this matter.
The information I have indicates the Catawba Indian Land Claim consists of some 144,000 acres, the vast majority of which is in York County, South Carolina. Small portions of the claim are in Lancaster County and perhaps Chester County, South Carolina. The claim area, with only very small exception, includes House District No. 50 which is the District I represent in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
While I have never seen any figures indicated to be exact, everything I have seen indicates we are talking about some 37,000 landowners owning land in the area. As with any land mass this size the ownership entities include individuais, estates, trusts, lending institutions, corporations and various governmental entities.
Since the District I represent is in York County and the vast majority of the land claim area is in York County many of my remarks will use York County as a reference point. While I can not speak for Lancaster or Chester County, I feel comfortable in stating that for the most part my remarks concerning York County would apply to Lancaster and Chester Counties.
York County is a textile manufacturing center with cotton, livestock, peaches, grapes and poultry farming. Rock Hill, South Carolina, a city of approximately 35,000 residents is totally included in the land claim area. The City of Fort Mill with a population of approximately 4,000 is also totally included in the land claim area. Within the City of Rock Hill is a State owned college, chartered in 1886 and with approximately 5,000 students enrolled during the past school year.
With basically mild year round temperatures and gentle rolling hills typical of a piedmont region, it is an area, we residents feel, is as attractive as any in our nation for living, working and raising our families.
The perspective I ask this committee to focus on in considering whether or not the Ancient Indian Land Claim Settlement Act of 1982 is meritorious legislation (as I submit it is) is the perspective of the citizens of York County who reside or and/or own land within the Catawba Indian Claim area. When I speak of citizens I include all of those entities I listed above and include those members of the Catawba Indian tribe who reside within the claim area also.
The reason I ask that you look with particularity at the citizens and particularly the landowners is that I believe the basic issue in regard to whether or not the Ancient Indian Land Claim Settlement Act of 1982 is meritorious is whether or not it is fair. As stated above, I ask that this committee and the Congress and the Senate cease looking primarily through the eyes of the Indians to determine the issue of fairness and look with me at the basic issue of fairness, not only through the eyes of the Indians, but also through the eyes of the innocent landowners.
Regardless of the technical legal merit or lack of merit of the Catawba Indian Land Claim I suggest that it is imminently unfair for innocent landowners to suffer the threat of being dispossessed. While I have been told that no individual landowners have yet been dispossessed in an Indian land claim and while I am told that the Catawbas don't really intend to dispossess individual landowners, I personally feel the threat of dispossession, if the Indians claim is meritorious, it is very real. While the Catawbas bave indicated they do not intend to dispossess individual landowners several have been named as party defendants in a pending suit, the purpose of which is to establish title in the entire claim area in the Catawba Indians. In addition, the Catawbas are seeking to join as party defendants, by way of a class action, every landowner in the claim area. The Catawbas actions belie their words on this point.
Again, on the issue of dispossession of the landowners, the only clear protection for the landowners can come through Congressional act as none of us can predict, nor control (as it should be) the ultimate decision of the Federal Courts. The issues involved in the Catawba Indian Land Claim and the other Indian land claims must be viewed through the eyes of those who stand to lose what for most is their greatest physical asset and their most valuable (from a monetary standpoint) asset. I personally believe that this side of the issue must be addressed and when addressed leads to the conclusion that the Ancient In. dian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1982 is a fair conclusion to the land claims in New York and South Carolina and particularly the claim in the District I represent
Within the issue of fairness there are several other issues. One is the creation of financial chaos which the land claim has created. While I am told by those in the lending business that the availability of title insurance has lessened the financial chaos for the individual homeowners I am told by these people (in conversations within the last few weeks) that commercial and large industrial projects are still being affected by the existence of the Catawba Indian Land Claim.
Coupled with the above is a second aspect of the claims which lies within the concept of what is fair and that is the fact that the claim is stiiling growth in what has been a rapidly growing area. I realize the economy is somewhat at fault, but I ask this committee not to discount the effect the Catawba Indian Land Claim is having on our community growth.
In looking at the fairness of the situation, the existence of the Catawba Indian Land Claim and the spector of landowners being dispossessed has created tension and to some degree polarized our community. The relationship between the non-Indians and Indians bas deteriorated. Factions bave grown up within the community, some feeling the Catawba Indians deserve nothing, some feeling the Catawba Indians may be entitled to something, but feel it should only be cash payment; some who feel that it is all right for the Indians to have some land, as long as it is not theirs or near theirs; some who feel that if the Indians ultimately obtain land it should have no reservations status ; some who feel that any land obtained by the Indians could have some “tribal” status, but not along the lines of what we understand as a "western Indian reservation,” but more along the lines of the Maine settlement; and some who really do not know what is right, but only know and fear they may be removed from their land. A very close friend of mine who owns some family land near the Catawba Indian Claim is genuinely afraid that he will end up being a “sacrificial lamb” in this matter and while we are being told (as indicated above) that there is only a very small likelihood of disp ssion of individual landowners, this friend of mine is genuinely disturbed.
One last aspect which I believe is an element in determining the fairness issue is the expense being borne by the taxpayers of our County and State in the resolu. tion of the Catawba Indian Land Claim. I have been told that one particular instance involving an Indian land claim in the western part of our Nation took years for resolution and cost several million dollars. Our community cannot financially endure such a war. I submit it is not fair to ask our community to endure and finance such a war.
Trite as it may sound two wrongs will not make a right. If it is determined the Catawba Indians were wronged in some way then dispossession of the present landowners, who are entirely blameless for any such wrong, only compounds an injustice and certainly does not right any wrong which may have been perpetrated on the Catawba Indians.
I believe any resolution of the Catawba Indian Land Claim which carries with it the threat of dispossession of innocent landowners or the actual dispossession of Innocent landowners is punitive. Our Country's tradition is that of punishing only the wrong-doers, not the innocent. While I am sure it immediately runs through your mind that the Catawba Indians were likewise innocent I submit that the facts as they exist in 1982 weigh in favor of the landowners and that fairness dictates these individuals and other entities be protected and resolution of Indian Land Claims be by means other than means which may lead to landowners being dispossessed. I submit the concept embodied within the Ancient Indian Land Claim Settlement Act of 1982 does treat the landowners and the