A former integral part of the leadership at the Catawba Indian Nation has died.
Evans “Buck” George, Jr., died Sunday at the age of 81.
Buck served as an assistant chief in the for 35 years and briefly served as interim chief in 2007. Current Catawba Chief Bill Harris remembers George as one who studied — and understood — Tribal politics.
“He knew that some times… you had to stand for what you believe in,” Harris said. “Buck was very instrumental in the tribe getting its 1993 settlement agreement.”
That 1993 agreement was an end to a long-held dispute between the federal government and the Catawba tribe — a dispute that halted a number of real estate transactions while a compromise was drawn.”
Harris also remembered George as a driving force behind development efforts.
“Buck was a leader who understood what he tribe needed was economic development,” Harris said. “Economic development is all about sustainability — it’s all about stretching your sovereignty and means you’re not as dependent on grants telling you what you can and cannot do.”