Editorial: The right time for Lumbee recognition
"North Carolina's two U.S. senators have teamed up on a bill to finally give this state's Lumbee Indian tribe the full federal recognition for which it has long fought. Let's hope this is the year that Congress finally approves this crucial legislation.

Sen. Richard Burr of Winston-Salem, a Republican, and Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro, a Democrat, introduced the bill. "I hope that the Senate will fulfill its commitment to achieve fairness and justice for the Lumbees," Burr said recently in a prepared statement.

Full recognition would entitle the Lumbees to federal benefits for housing, health care and education that other tribes have long received. Recognition would also encourage economic development in the Robeson County area, where most of the 55,000 members of the tribe live. The tribe has worked hard on development throughout the last decade.

Congress approved legislation acknowledging the tribe in 1956. An unfair caveat, however, denied the Lumbees the benefits given to other federally recognized tribes. This year, the House again approved recognition for the Lumbee tribe. Now, Burr and Hagan should push the action through the Senate.

The timing is right. President Obama, who campaigned heavily in North Carolina last fall on his way to the White House, promised full recognition for the tribe. His Interior Department is now supporting that recognition."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Recognize the Lumbee (The Winston Salem-Journal 10/19)

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

Related Stories:
Editorial: Lumbee Tribe needs recognition (10/9)
House once again passes Lumbee recognition bill (06/04)
Lumbee, Virginia recognition bills on House agenda (6/3)
Lumbee Tribe hopeful for House vote on recognition (04/23)
House committee advances two recognition bills (4/22)
House Resources markup on recognition bills (4/21)
Obama supports recognition for Lumbee Tribe (3/19)
Lumbee Tribe hopes to carry Obama boost to Senate (3/19)
Obama administration backs Lumbee recognition (3/18)
Witness list for hearing on recognition bills (3/17)
House Resources hearing on federal recognition bills (3/16)
Road to Recognition: Rival Lumbee bill introduced (3/11)
Road to Recognition: Lumbee Tribe seeks housing (3/10)
Road to Recognition: Lumbee Tribe continues push (3/9)
Indian inmates fight over Lumbee recognition (2/24)
Lumbee Tribe recognition bill introduced again (01/15)