LDS Church: Honor Your Promise and Return Farm Land to Catawba Nation

LDS Church: Honor Your Promise and Return Farm Land to Catawba Nation

3,820 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
Petition to
Fort Mill Stake President

Why this petition matters

In 1959, the United States Congress passed the Catawba Termination Act meaning that in the eyes of the Federal Government Catawba Nation no longer existed as a tribe. Despite this, Catawbas persevered and spent the next 44 years fighting against termination and restoring our federal status.

One of the last acts of the Catawba Nation as our land was allotted among our citizens by the Federal Government was to sell 100 acres of beautiful, agricultural land along the Catawba River to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to act as a trustee of the land for the continued benefit of Catawbas through agricultural use. These 100 acres were sold for $1.00 in 1961 (see attached deed & letter) and are now valued at over $1 million today. 

In yet another moment of Federal and State governments reneging on their promises to Catawbas, our people turned to the LDS Church which had become an important part of the tribal community with the hope that they would honor the promise they made to our people.

Unfortunately, the Fort Mill (SC) Stake President recently sent a letter to the Catawba Nation declaring that the land would no longer be used for its agreed upon purpose, but would instead become a church youth camp. 

The Good News: It's not too late for the Church to honor this promise. I'm calling on everyone - church members and non-members alike - to contact your local LDS churches and stakes and remind them: "It is not too late to keep the Church's promise to the Catawba people. Return the Church Farm property to Catawba Nation."

While my tribe fought for our Federal Restoration and treaty rights, we entrusted the LDS Church to protect our land for us. Throughout my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood Catawbas have worked diligently to rebuild our institutions, knowledge, and culture. Today we conduct vibrant food sovereignty and ecological stewardship work and it is beyond doubt that we are ready for our land to be returned to us. 

-DeLesslin "Roo" George-Warren

*Important Note: I am a citizen of Catawba Nation but do not speak for the tribe nor for other tribal citizens. I did not grow up in the LDS Church so apologies if I used any church-specific words incorrectly. Hawu kuri!


3,820 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!