Lumbee Tribe presses for federal recognition
Leaders and members of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina pressed for federal recognition at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Wednesday.

The tribe is subject to a termination-era law that identifies them as Indians. But the law prevents the federal government from treating the Lumbees as a tribe.

H.R.65 would repeal the law and grant full recognition to the tribe. Lumbee representatives said the legislation is long overdue, citing attempts as far back as 1888 to gain federal status.

The main opponent to the bill is the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the only recognized tribe in North Carolina. The tribe wants the Lumbees to go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs federal recognition process to prove their Indian identity and tribal status.

In order for the Lumbees to file a petition, however, the termination-era law has to be repealed. The Interior Department can't do anything for or against the tribe with the law on the books, assistant secretary Carl Artman testified.

The bill has 207 sponsors but some key members are opposed due to opposition from the Eastern Band and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Both tribes are active lobbyists in Washington.

Get the Story:
Lumbees again try for recognition (The Fayetteville Observer 4/19)
Lumbees testify in Washington for full federal recognition (AP 4/19)
IU coach testifies in tribal push for full federal status (Gannett News Service 4/19)
Lumbees again seek federal recognition (McClatchy Newspapers 4/19)
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Committee Notice:
Full Committee Legislative Hearing: H.R. 1294 and H.R. 65 (April 18, 2007

Recognition Bill:
Lumbee Recognition Act (H.R.65)

Relevant Links:
Official Lumbee Tribe website - http://www.lumbeetribe.com
House Resources Committee - http://resourcescommittee.house.gov

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