‘He loved his people’: Catawba Indian Nation mourns leader who died from COVID-19

Catawba Indian Nation mourns one of its leaders who died from COVID-19

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — The Catawba Indian Nation in York County is mourning one of its beloved leaders who died from the coronavirus last weekend.

Butch Sanders was on the tribe’s executive committee and an advocate for the Catawba Nation’s children and senior citizens. He also took part in the nation’s groundbreaking this summer on a casino in Kings Mountain.

[Catawbas break ground on $300M Vegas-like casino in Kings Mountain]

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“He loved his people,” said Jason Harris, the Catawbas’ assistant chief. “He did all he could for them.”

Butch Sanders
Butch Sanders (WSOC)

Harris said he knew Sanders for 20 years and talked to him in the hospital three days before this death.

“He said, ‘I just want to tell you I love you,’” Harris said. “He’d never told me that before in all the years we’d been together. So, I knew that he knew how serious it was.”

The Catawbas are seeking more federal funding to combat the coronavirus and support other health care needs.

>> In the video at the top of this page, South Carolina reporter Greg Suskin learns about the impact the pandemic has had on the Native American community.

Catawbas break ground on $300M Vegas-like casino in Kings Mountain