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Editorial: It's time for the Lumbee Tribe to gain full recognition

Filed Under: Opinion | Federal Recognition
More on: 114th, lumbee, north carolina, s.2285
     
   

The Southern Sun Drum Group helps celebrate the 58th anniversary of the Victory at Hayes Pond in North Carolina. The tribe expelled the Ku Klux Klan from its territory in January 1958. Photo from Lumbee Tribe

The Lumbee Tribe has been seeking federal recognition for more than a century. A North Carolina newspaper says it's time for the tribe to gain its rightful status as S.2285, the Lumbee Recognition Act, got its first hearing on Capitol Hill:
In fact, the recognition struggle is only about the benefits, not recognition itself. The Lumbees got that from Congress in a federal law passed in 1956. They already are a federally recognized tribe. But that law specifically prohibits the tribe from receiving benefits that other recognized tribes get. The door was opened 60 years ago, and then slammed in the tribe's face.

Since then, the tribe has struggled to overcome that one final obstacle to receiving the same benefits given to every other recognized tribe in the United States. The tribe does get some federal funding, including Department of Housing and Urban Development grants. But it has been plagued with charges of misuse of those funds. A few clean audits would really help the tribe's recognition cause. So would some strong and effective lobbying.

But in the end, it's a simple issue of fairness. The Lumbee tribe has long had federal recognition but was denied the benefits it deserves.

It's time to make that right.

Read More:
Our View: Lumbee recognition effort rekindled in Washington (The Fayetteville Observer 9/9)

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice:
Legislative Hearing to receive testimony on the following bills: S. 2285, S. 3234, S. 3261 & H.R. 4685 (September 7, 2016)

Related Stories:
Lumbee Tribe makes case for federal recognition at hearing in DC (9/8)
Lumbee Tribe federal recognition bills in conflict on gaming rights (9/6)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs holds first hearing since break (9/6)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on four bills (8/29)
Chairman of Lumbee Tribe concerned about use of HUD funding (04/22)
Lumbee Tribe commemorates 58th anniversary of ouster of Ku Klux Klan (01/19)
Voters of Lumbee Tribe pick newcomer Harvey Godwin as chair (11/20)
Senate measure extends federal recognition to Lumbee Tribe (11/17)
Lumbee Tribe remains in long quest to gain federal recognition (04/16)
Eastern Cherokees oppose Lumbee Tribe federal recognition bill (01/12)
Leader of Lumbee Tribe not optimistic on federal recognition bill (1/8)
Column: Lumbee Tribe should include casino in bid for recognition (1/7)
Editorial: Lumbee Tribe's road to recognition gets steeper (11/12)
Supporter of Lumbee Tribe's recognition loses re-election bid (11/7)
Tribes in North Carolina back Democrat Sen. Hagan in tight race (10/30)
Republican blames Sen. Reid for holding Lumbee recognition bill (08/15)
Senate candidates support federal recognition for Lumbee Tribe (06/25)

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