Editorial: Recognize the Lumbee Tribe

"Leaders of North Carolina’s Lumbee tribe were in Washington again last week, battling for the federal recognition that is long overdue. The Senate should listen to what North Carolina’s senators have to say about the Lumbees.

“The Lumbee deserve better than a partial nod to their legitimacy - they deserve full recognition, and the time is now,” Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who has fought for that recognition since she arrived in the Senate, told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee at a hearing Wednesday.

And Sen. Richard Burr, a member of the committee and a supporter of recognition, said, “It is my hope that the Senate will fulfill its commitment to achieve fairness and justice for the Lumbees.”

The Lumbee tribe has been fighting since the last years of the 19th century for federal recognition. Congress has acknowledged the tribe in a limited way. “In 1956, Congress finally passed legislation recognizing the tribe … but it included a terribly unfair caveat: The Lumbees were denied the benefits that every other federally recognized tribe receives,” Dole told the committee.

That recognition comes with substantial housing, education and health benefits. The Lumbees passed a major hurdle earlier this year when the House voted to give the tribe that recognition. The fight, however, is far from over."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Recognize the Lumbee (The Winston-Salem Journal 9/25)

Recognition Bill:
Lumbee Recognition Act (H.R.65)

Relevant Links:
Official Lumbee Tribe website - http://www.lumbeetribe.com

Related Stories:
Editorial: Lumbee recognition long overdue (9/24)
Lumbee Tribe presses for federal recognition (9/20)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing on federal recognition (09/19)
Witness lists for Senate and House hearings (09/18)
Senate Indian Affairs sets hearing on recognition (9/13)
Lumbee Tribe hails House action on recognition (06/08)
Lawmakers urge no vote on Lumbee recognition bill (6/7)
House vote expected on Lumbee recognition bill (6/6)
Lumbee Tribe seeks to limit re-enrollments (05/18)
Editorial: Lumbee Tribe takes step to recognition (5/3)
Lumbee Tribe accused of stealing heritage (5/1)
Editorial: Lumbee recognition long overdue (4/27)
House committee approves Lumbee recognition (4/26)
House Resources markup: IHCIA, recognition (4/25)
Editorial: Lumbees erect barriers to recognition (4/24)
Lumbee Tribe presses for federal recognition (4/19)
House hearing on Lumbee, Virginia recognition (4/18)
SCIA sets April 12 meeting, hearing on tribal colleges (4/4)
House hearing on Lumbee, Virginia recognition (4/2)
Bill to recognize Lumbee Tribe introduced again (01/08)
Lumbee Tribe faces recognition battle again in 2007 (12/19)