Editorial: Lumbee Tribe should reconsider lobbying contract
"With elusive federal recognition within its grasp, the Lumbee Tribal Council’s last-minute flirtation with the gaming industry could jeopardize the deal.

And if it falls through, several of the state’s poorest counties, home to thousands of Lumbees, won’t get financial aid to pay for programs that would help children and the elderly.

At issue is a controversial contract tribal leaders signed in March with a Las Vegas consulting firm to lobby for both federal recognition and permission to build gambling casinos. If successful, the company could get as much as $35 million in return.

However, the recognition bill, which the House already has passed and enjoys considerable Senate support, specifically denies the tribe the authority to engage in gambling.

The tribal council previously made that concession to increase odds of getting the official recognition it has sought and been denied for more than 50 years. If the bill fails to pass this year, the process must start over.

Changing course so late in the game and allowing Lumbees to set up casinos in eastern North Carolina is a long shot, at best. Other tribes oppose such a move, including the Eastern Band of Cherokees, which operates a popular casino in the western part of the state."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Pursuit of gambling threatens Lumbees’ bid for recognition (The Greensboro News-Record 5/20)

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

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