indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Lumbee Tribe welcomes 'additional avenues' for seeking federal recognition

Filed Under: National | Federal Recognition
More on: bia, doi, eastern cherokee, harvey godwin, hillary tompkins, lumbee, termination
     
   

A drum group. Photo: Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

The Obama administration has opened the door for the Lumbee Tribe to seek federal recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

For decades, the tribe has been told it could only seek clarification of its government-to-government relationship through Congress. But a legal opinion issued by the Department of the Interior shortly before Christmas changes all that.

"This opinion does not grant us full federal recognition but it does open up additional avenues for us to pursue our efforts," Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr., said in a statement last week.

In 1956, Congress passed a law that defined the Lumbees as "Indians." But, amid the backdrop of the termination era, during which the United States was terminating relations with tribes across the nation, it denied them the services and benefits associated with full federal recognition

Since then, the Lumbees have repeatedly asked Congress to rescind the law and restore them to full recognition. Similar bills have been enacted for at least two other tribes that were stuck in the same status.

But the effort has faltered even as most politicians in North Carolina have rallied to the cause. Fierce opposition has come from the federally-recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, whose leaders have questioned the Lumbee Tribe's legitimacy.

Eastern Cherokee leaders have instead told Congress that the tribe should be allowed to pursue recognition through the Office of Federal Acknowledgment at the BIA. That avenue is now open to the Lumbees as a result of the opinion written by Interior Solicitor Hillary Tompkins.

"Because I find that neither the text of the Lumbee Act nor its legislative history precludes the Lumbee Indians from petitioning for Federal acknowledgment under the department's regulations, I conclude that they may avail themselves of the acknowledgment process," Tompkins wrote in the December 22 opinion.

The Lumbee Tribe's federal recognition efforts date to the late 1800s and some citizens are wary of approaching the BIA. The acknowledgment process typically takes years to complete and can be extremely costly.

"We've been through the BIA process twice. It's a trap," one tribal citizen wrote on Facebook after the tribe shared the legal opinion.

A group calling itself the "United Lumbee Nation of NC and America" petitioned for federal status but was denied in 1985.

Department of the Interior Solicitor Opinion:
Reconsideration of the Lumbee Act of 1956 (December 22, 2016)

Related Stories:
Editorial: It's time for the Lumbee Tribe to gain full recognition (09/09)
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)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Federal court blocks attempt to condemn lands on Navajo Nation (5/26)
Bill removes blood quantum requirement for Five Civilized Tribes (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Voting is just sooo hard in the era of Donald Trump (5/26)
Ryan Benally: Bears Ears was false promise for Native Americans (5/26)
Adrian Jawort: Should non-Natives ever write about our people? (5/26)
Native turnout fails to sway closely-watched election in Montana (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee council ousts chief for only 2nd time in history (5/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe into election season with crowded field (5/26)
Lacrosse documentary 'Pride of a Nation' opens to strong reviews (5/26)
Seminole Tribe working hard to rid new casino of Trump's influence (5/26)
Lawmakers once again seek fixes to 'broken' Indian Health Service (5/25)
Secretary Zinke headed to National Congress of American Indians (5/25)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens listening sessions on reorganization (5/25)
Kevin Washburn: Indian Country feels the pain with Donald Trump (5/25)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as buy-back winds down (5/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (5/25)
Secretary Zinke plans to work with tribes on drilling push in Alaska (5/25)
Republican candidate to replace Ryan Zinke charged with assault (5/25)
Democrats drop Andrew Jackson from name of event in Arkansas (5/25)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (5/25)
Washoe Tribe celebrates 1st anniversary of unique gaming facility (5/25)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares update on casino work (5/25)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (5/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.