Road to Recognition: Rival Lumbee bill introduced
The Fayetteville Observer concludes its series on the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and its efforts to win federal recognition.

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-North Carolina) introduced a bill to recognize the tribe. But Rep. Heath Shuler (D-North Carolina) countered with a bill to make the tribe go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs process.

McIntyre says the Lumbees have already proven their legitimacy. But Shuler says there are doubts about the tribe's heritage.

Shuler's district includes the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, whose leaders oppose Lumbee recognition. They say the Lumbees at one point claimed Cherokee ancestry.

Congress passed a law in 1956 that identified the Lumbees as Indians but barred them from receiving federal services. The law has been interpreted to mean they can't follow the BIA process.

Get the Story:
New bill puts recognition in hands of regulators (The Fayetteville Observer 3/11)
Critics see bias in federal process (The Fayetteville Observer 3/11)
A Lumbee cry for help (The Fayetteville Observer 3/11)

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

Related Stories:
Road to Recognition: Lumbee Tribe seeks housing (3/10)
Road to Recognition: Lumbee Tribe continues push (3/9)
Indian inmates fight over Lumbee recognition (2/24)
Lumbee Tribe recognition bill introduced again (01/15)