Native American Tribe Closer to Full Recognition

Saturday, April 04, 2009

After a century of controversy, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi, with 55,000 members, is on the verge of complete federal recognition. A hearing on the matter was held on March 18th in front of the House Committee on Natural Resources and it is expected to go before the full House in the summer of 2009. Full recognition would provide the Lumbee with millions of dollars in aid funding for education, health care, housing, and economic development. 

Because the Lumbee do not have a traditional Native American language and their ancestors are thought to have intermarried with runaway slaves and Europeans, the Lumbee have had difficulty establishing their legitimacy as Indians. During the last century, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has considered the Lumbee case at least 11 times. In 1956 Congress formally recognized the Lumbee…but denied them access to federal Native American programs and barred them from seeking full recognition. Ever since then, the tribe has been trying to overturn this decision, and in 2009 it may finally achieve its goal. The Lumbee have even suspended allowing new members for the last four years in an effort to keep its numbers steady for federal review. The Lumbee also have the support of both North Carolina senators, as well as the Department of the Interior, which, although previously opposed to Lumbee recognition, has changed its stance with the entrance of the Obama administration. 
There is still opposition to Lumbee recognition though. This comes mainly from a number of other Native American tribes who feel the recognition of a tribe as large as the Lumbee will cause their own federal aid funding to diminish. Especially strong resistance has come from the Cherokee Tribe, which is worried that Lumbee recognition may lead to Lumbee casinos that would compete with theirs, even though last year Congress passed a bill banning Lumbee gaming. The Lumbee Tribe supported this bill in order to help its bid for recognition and has also worked with the federal government to reassure other tribes that their funds will not be reduced. 
-Kyle Kuersten
Hagan Supports Recognition of Lumbees (by Jon Ostendorff, AshevilleCitizen Times)
Lumbee Council Split on Reopening Tribal Rolls (by Venita Jenkins, Fayetteville Observer)      
Recognize the Lumbee (editorial, Winston Salem Journal)


G.Hill 5 years ago
Just because someone manages to pull off a scam for nearly 200 years does not mean they should be rewarded. I saw a story on the news about a man posing as a decorated Marine and he went to jail as it offended so many who had fought for their country and died. They are a unique culture in their own rite as no other community like theirs has maintained itself for so long. There are some real treasures in their bloodlines and they should take pride in who they are. What is it about Native Americans that drive people to create such exotic fantasies. NA have the same social ills as everyone else and probably moreso.
duyukdv 5 years ago
The Lumbee Constitution refers to these census lists as the“Source Documents.”Yet the individuals on these lists cannot be specifically identified and verified as”Cheraw Indians” on any source.*In fact, these individuals cannot be identified as belonging to any tribe whatsoever”. These are simply lists of people who self-identified themselves with the census as“Indian Scuffletown(pembroke,NC)the Lumbee/Croatan Capitol,got its name from the long scuffle of the whites and the slaves and make freedom under the condition of color,contemptible among the “mulattoes”.I conceive that these “negroes” have been the slaves of Tories driven from the State at the close of the Revolution,and of the emancipated slaves of the Quakers,that they increased and multiplied by accessions from runaways,by the birth rate of force exerted on them an by the necessity of union or the sympathy of all neighboring free negroes with a homogenous Negro settlement.”NEW YORK TIMES 1872″note*negro not Indian*
SteveTruth 6 years ago
lumbees are negro. a complaint of 13 october 1773 listed "free negors and mullatus living upon the kings land...raitously assembled together" in bladen county: captain james ivey, joseph ivey, ephraim sweat, william chavours clark, bengman dees, william sweat, george sweat, william groom, senr, william groom, junr, gidion grant, thomas groom, james frace, isaac vaun, sol. stableton, edward locklear, tiely locklear, major locklear, recher groom, and ester carsey [g.a. 73, box 7]. actually, most of these families were either granted or purchased land in bladen county during the eighteenth century. john groom entered 200 acres in 1748, john locklear entered 100 acres in 1752, and major locklear was living on 100 acres in 1753 when a land entry was recorded for that land in the name of two white men. thomas ivey recorded a land entry for 150 acres in february 1754 and in december 1754 robert sweat was granted 150 acres which was sold by philip chavis in 1768. the lowerys had once been slave-holders, and henry berry always referred to the full blacks as “neggers.” the mulatto capital,new york herald, feb 1872 origin of the free negro settlement lumberton,n.c.feb.26,1872 at the same time robeson county had 126 slave mulattoes and 5,329 slave blacks. altogether the county contained 15,489 souls, the free population making almost two-thirds. new york herald 1872,feb,26 it stood considerably above the average counties of the state in slaves and population, and out of the full-blooded indians(1,158 in number)ascribed to north carolina,“none“were set down either to robeson or halifax county or scuffletown,”free negro settlement an immemorial free negro settlement.i conceive that these negroes might have been the slaves of tories driven from the state at the close of the revolution,or of the emancipated slaves of the quakers,and that they increased and multiplied by accessions from runaways of all neighboring free negroes with a homogenous negro, also were the scuffletown mulattoes--that curious race--imposed upon for many generations by master and slave, their husbands cuckolded their women debased and intimidated, their freedom not worthy of the name. had robeson county exerted decent endeavors to protect these immemorial free negro people, when slavery was the law and the horrible radical had not yet subverted "the constitution" which few of the folks who weep for it ever read, or, reading, respected--this existing outlawry would have been precluded. scuffletown,possibly got its name from the long scuffle of the whites and the slaves to reduce it to peonage and make freedom under the condition of color, contemptible among the mulattoes. nobody in the whole region could account for this free negro settlement--one of the two large aggregations of yellow men which has existed in north carolina since the organization of society.
roger rewty 6 years ago
keep federal native american tribes authentic vote "no" to assimilated creole groups as full federal recognized tribes in short "vote no to "lumbee bills" keep native american "native american" i see how your lumbee bills" keeps the bia from verifying indian ancestry of lumbee tribal members" a clause the lumbee inserted into their bill 27 ,pretty slcik one there.this will allow the lumbee to insert non-verified non-native americans under the bia for benefits the lumbees already have 65,000 plus un-verifiable and rolls have been re-opened again so soon there will be 100,000 people claiming some unknown fractional indian ancestor
Bill watch 6 years ago
the reason the lumbee arent federal is because they are really negro mulattos posing as indian according to all records. public and taxpayers!!!any group claiming to be native american they hasnt kept their ancestorial stories straight and change them constantly is a fraud intentional or not,passed down tall tale or not.dont have sympathy for a group called lumbee that has no irrefutable basis in indian history and grasp at tenous at links to a tribe.they never no treatys no land base no reservation ever no indian language no indian customs ,no indian relegion,or traditions and were not included and were not considered indian ever during indian removal "trail of tears" and were never mistreated by the federal government as indians infact were treated as well as any poor white and most times were even considered white and lived as "individuals not as a "governing indian tribe in history with control over its so called members.this is a rip off and an attempt to get benefits and money a casino,benefits that were created for reservation indians and tribes that warred with the usa and got treatys not for mulattos or creole.s all you lumbee can flood this page with that you want recognition but your still not native americans by dna ,genealogy or customs you lumbee have no indian blood dna has prooved that and no historical records or reservation,treatys or anything indian going for ya !!!! yall are fake political self-identified as indian only ,the word here is fake wanna the way the lumbee is a river in africa in the republic of the congo, check it out lumbi is one of the most commom names in the congo the president there is mr.lumbi or lumbee how ever you spell it , it says africa not native american here is a real clue for you lumbee called mother mulatto africa.
Norma Locklear 9 years ago
Why is money always the problem? Money should not be an issue at any point of this recognition. We should not have to agree to any bill just because other tribes feel that we will profit from them. Which is not the case.

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