House committee tackles Lumbee recognition bill
Friday, April 2, 2004

The House Resources Committee on Thursday held a hearing on a bill to recognize the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

Reps. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) testified in favor of the tribe. They argued that Congress must correct a historical wrong by granting the tribe federal status.

Michael Olsen, an aide to assistant secretary Dave Anderson, said Congress has to act in some manner to change the status quo. But he said the Bush administration does not outright support the recognition bill or a rival one to authorize the tribe to seek recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The testimony he delivered was the same presented by deputy assistant secretary Aurene Martin before a Senate committee last September.

Michell Hicks, principal chief of the federally-recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, accused the "self-identified" Lumbees of not being Indian. He said they lack their own language, culture and other tribal attributes. He also said it would be too costly to provide federal services to the 50,000-plus Lumbees.

Jimmy Goins, chairman of the Lumbee Tribe, Dr. Jack Campisi, a researcher for the tribe, and Arlinda Locklear, an attorney and tribal member, presented the tribe's case. They said Congress, in 1956, passed a law that both recognized and terminated the tribe. Locklear said Congress must not "fix" the problem.

Tim Martin, executive director of the United South and Eastern Tribes, said the tribe should go through the BIA. Several USET tribes did not go through the process and instead gained recognition through Congress.

William Brooks Jr., president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, said the tribe, if granted federal status, would be able to offer Class III gaming. The Eastern Band offers some forms of Class III gaming at a facility in the western part of the state.

Get the Story:
House hears plea for Lumbee recognition (The Fayetteville Observer 4/2)
Federal recognition of Lumbee Indian tribe raises questions (Knight Ridder Newspapers 4/1)
Committee hears arguments for, against Lumbee recognition (AP 4/2)

Get Lumbee Bills:
Dole: S.420 | McIntyre: H.R.898 | Taylor: H.R.1408

Relevant Links:
Official Lumbee Tribe website -
Lumbee Regional Development Association -

Related Stories:
House committee debating status of Lumbee Tribe (4/1)
House committee takes up recognition process (4/1)
House panel holds hearing on Lumbee recognition (3/22)
Supporters of Lumbee recognition bill expect fight (12/18)
Lumbee recognition bill delayed on Senate floor (12/03)
Eastern Cherokee Tribe afraid of Lumbee recognition (11/04)
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Senate panel advances Lumbee recognition bill (10/30)
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Lumbee Tribe makes case for federal recognition (09/18)
Senate panel holds hearing on Lumbee recognition (09/18)
Lumbee delegation pushing for federal recognition (9/15)
Senate panel to hold hearing on Lumbee recognition (09/04)
School board supports recognition of Lumbee Tribe (08/12)
Senate panel to hold hearing on Lumbee recognition (8/4)
Lumbee Tribe hopes for resolution of status (3/19)
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