Opinion: Lumbee Tribe persistent in quest for federal recognition
"It is painful seeing important legislation languish on the House or Senate floor for a year or more only to expire at the end of a congressional session. Multiplying that feeling by 61 sessions of Congress gives a sense of the frustration and looming disappointment felt by North Carolina's Lumbee Tribe, American Indians who have been petitioning Congress for federal recognition since 1888.

Numerous recognition bills have been introduced since then, but none has been passed to grant full federal recognition to the tribe. A bill currently in the Senate (co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan) would fully acknowledge the Lumbee Tribe, bringing with it a measure of justice that has been denied for 122 years. Last week, Hagan said she hopes to amend this bill to legislation that will be voted on in the final days of the 111th Congress.

The current Lumbee Recognition bill passed the House over 18 months ago and has been awaiting a full Senate vote since October 2009. Since then, six senators have been playing procedural games with the bill - using the so-called secret hold - to prevent a final vote. By their actions, these six lawmakers perpetuate a long-abandoned, failed federal policy toward American Indians known as Termination.

Simply put, Termination (which lasted from the late 1940s to the late 1960s) aimed to extinguish government-to-government relationships between the United States and American Indian tribes, "freeing" Indians from "Federal supervision and control," in the words of Congress."

Get the Story:
Ryan E. Emanuel: A persistent people's long quest for justice (The Charlotte News & Observer 12/15)

Another Opinion:
David Steven Cohen: Valid objections to recognition by Congress (The Charlotte News & Observer 12/15)

Also Today:
Lumbee bill left out of Senate earmarks bill (The Fayetteville Observer 12/15)

Lumbee Recognition Bills:
S.1735 | H.R.31 | H.R.839

Related Stories:
Supporters still hope for passage of Lumbee Tribe recognition bill (12/9)
Sen. Hagan to push for Lumbee Tribe recognition bill in final weeks (12/8)
Editorial: Lumbee recognition bill falls victim to Senate trickery (10/15)
Editorial: More disappointment for Lumbee Tribe on recognition (10/7)
Hopes dimming for approval of Lumbee Tribe's recognition bill (10/4)
Lumbee Tribe sends leader to DC to make push for recognition bill (9/15)
Editorial: Clock ticking on Lumbee Tribe's federal recognition bill (9/14)
Lumbee Tribe lobbies for recognition with Congress back in DC (9/13)
Lumbee Tribe raising $200K to pay lobbying firm for recognition bid (9/7)
Lumbee Tribe hires new lobbying firm to push for recognition bill (8/20)
Editorial: Lumbee leaders have to mend fences on lobbying flap (07/12)
Lumbee chairman calls for unity in quest for federal recognition (7/7)
Lumbee group starts recall petition over lobbying contract flap (6/29)
Lumbee Tribe maintains Senate support despite lobbying flap (6/25)
Editorial: Only a 'miracle' can rescue Lumbee recognition bill (6/17)
Lumbee Tribe to discuss federal recognition lobbying efforts (6/15)
Lobbying firm sought to end relationship with Lumbee Tribe (6/8)
Lumbee Tribe kills controversial contract with lobbying firm (6/7)
Lumbee lobbying contract was negotiated by last chairman (6/4)
Lumbee Tribe won't give up controversial lobbying contract (5/21)
Editorial: Lumbee Tribe should reconsider lobbying contract (5/20)
Lumbee lobbying contract calls for no gambling restrictions (5/18)
Lumbee leaders host meeting to explain lobbying contract (5/11)
Opinion: Lumbee Tribe lobbying contract makes no sense (5/10)
Lumbee Tribe holds meeting to discuss lobbying contract (5/7)
Lumbee group urges chairman to kill recognition contract (4/27)
Editorial: Lumbee leaders gambling with recognition bid (4/19)
Lumbee council fails in vote to rescind lobbying contract (4/16)
Lumbee leaders threatened with recall over lobbying deal (4/13)
Lumbee group plans to discuss contract for recognition bid (4/8)
Editorial: Hope fading fast for Lumbee Tribe's recognition (03/22)
Lumbee Tribe ends relationship with longtime attorney (3/19)
New Lumbee chairman promises to push for recognition (1/15)
Lumbee Tribe chairman aims to boost credibility (11/18)
Lumbee Tribe moves closer to federal recognition (10/23)