Federal Recognition

Lumbee Tribe waits for federal recognition bills in new Congress





The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina is once again looking to Congress for federal recognition.

During the height of the termination era in the 1950s, Congress passed a law that identified the Lumbees as "Indians" but denied them the benefits associated with federal status. The tribe has been lobbying for recognition ever since and won the support of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the first time when President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

The tribe has allies on Capitol Hill too -- Rep. Richard Hudson (R-North Carolina), a new member of Congress, plans to introduce a recognition bill in the House next month, The Fayetteville Observer reported. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina) said she and Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) will be taking up the matter in the Senate.

Despite the support, a prominent Lumbee attorney doesn't think federal recognition bills stand much of a chance. "Congress hasn't recognized a tribe in over 20 years. And it's gotten more difficult to pass legislation," Arlinda Locklear told the paper.

Get the Story:
GOP freshman Richard Hudson will guide legislation seeking federal recognition for Lumbee tribe (The Fayetteville Observer 3/12)