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Catawba Two Kings Casino groundbreaking June 7th

The Catawba Two Kings Casino held its official groundbreaking, or MANUU HAR HE WE, which in the Catawba language means "We intend to dig the earth," at 538 Kings Mountain Blvd. in Kings Mountain on Friday, June 7.
Kathy George, President of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority, welcomed guests and local dignitaries, saying, "What a great day to have you all join us, and what great weather we have. So, thank you to all who dialed that in today.
"A special thank you to our tribal elders, the entire Catawba Nation citizens, the Executive Committee leadership, and the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority Board leaders. In addition, thank you to all of the tribal members who have come before us to pave the way for today, tomorrow, and future generations to come.
She added, "Also, thank you to all of our partners, vendors, and government officials who are with us today or have stood by us throughout the last few years to get us to today. I'd also like to thank our distinguished speakers, who will share a few words with us to help memorialize the day."Last but certainly not least, I want to thank all
of the team members of the Catawba Two Kings Casino who make it happen daily. Every day at the casino, I ask the team to provide great guest service by creating special experiences and being a little better every day. We are committed to being better in every way possible and know that the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort will make us the best.
"We look forward to continuing to serve our guests well and helping to provide for the Catawba Nation, and all of the surrounding communities today, tomorrow, and for the next seven generations. So, to start us off right, we'd ike to welcome the Catawba Men's Group, who will perform a Calling Song. Following the song, George introduced Chief Brian Harris. The Chief welcomed everyone and recognized the Catawba citizens by asking them to stand. He reminded the community of the most recent tribal election, with the most participation in Catawba history. Chief Brian Harris ran on a platform of change, and he reminded the citizens, "Change is what you got. Not only did we make history with the most citizen turnout, but we also made history in the fact that we elected our first female assistant chief."
He shared, "It is with great pleasure and pride that I stand before you today on this momentous occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Catawba Indian Nation's Catawba Two Kings Casino and Resort. This groundbreaking represents not just the physical construction of the building but the realization of a dream. It's always been a dream for the Catawba to get out of the shadow of others, to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. It is one of my jobs, along with the ladies and gentlemen of the executive committee, to create generational wealth to cherish and deserve. And that is what we are doing.
"The establishment of this casino is a major accomplishment for the Catawba Indian Nation, the residents of Cleveland County, and the City of Kings Mountain. It signifies our ability to come together and create opportunities. Mayor Wagman, we are going to do that, correct? (Mayor Wagman confirmed.)
"As we start the process of building and growing, it's important to remember the significance of unity, collaboration, and perseverance. Let's continue working together towards a shared goal of prosperity and success," he urged.
"And let's never forget the sacrifices and struggles of those who came before us, the legacy we honor today with this groundbreaking ceremony."
"During the event, Chief Brian Harris acknowledged the presence of Donald J. Trump, Jr., and thanked Donald Trump for his support of the Catawba, as well as many North Carolina and South Carolina politicians who supported them, including Governor Roy Cooper.
Several dignitaries spoke at the event, including Ryan Foxx, Chair of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority; Lou Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North; Mayor of Kings Mountain Rob Wagman; Jason Falls, Business Development Director of Cleveland County; Kevin Gordon, Chairman of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners; Christine Cribb, President of Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce: Nory Hazaveh, Principal of SOSHNY Architects; Chet Nadolski, COO of Yates Construction; and Aaron Thomas President and CEO of Metcon Construction.
During his remarks, Mayor Wagman shared, "It is an honor to represent the city of Kings Mountain on this incredible day. People may not know that I am also Native American from a tribe in northern Wisconsin, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. What I love about the partnership that I have with the Catawba Nation and Chief Brian Harris is that we don't celebrate things; we celebrate people. So, a groundbreaking is an amazing thing, but more important than the groundbreaking is every person it represents. Mayor Wagman noted that Kings Mountain is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year by honoring the people who make it a great place to live. He then honored the chief of the tribe with a proclamation from the city, stating that ongoing conversations would continue between the Catawba Nation, the City of Kings Mountain, and Cleveland County.
After reading the proclamation, Mayor Wagman said, "I, Robert C. Wagman, Mayor of Kings Mountain, and an official member of the Red Cliff Band Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewas, do hereby acknowledge the contributions, communication, friendship, and community impact of Catawba Nation Chief Brian Harris.
He continued, "This endeavor is single-handedly allowing the city of Kings Mountain and the County of Cleveland County officials to have conversations we should have had a long time ago. And for that, you deserve a round of applause.
He then explained, "If you have an eagle feather in your car or your garage, you're going to jail, unless, of course, you are Native American. Native Americans are allowed to gift an Eagle feather to another Native American.
"The impact of the moment that you guys are experiencing is pretty incredible honestly." Choking back tears, Mayor Wagman continued, "So, from the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas, we would like to give you this feather for the honor, the dignity, your character, and all things that you are."
After the ceremony, the Friendship Song - Southern Eagle dance, was led by Monty Branham, followed by the AIM Honor Song performed by the Catawba Men's Group and Southern Eagle Warpaint. The Traveling Song was played, and the event concluded with the Groundbreaking Ceremony.

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