Editorial: Lumbee leaders have to mend fences on lobbying flap
"After his State-of-the-Tribe address last week, Lumbee Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett called for unity in the effort to win federal recognition.

We hope he can find that unity, but he'll have to mend some badly damaged fences.

"We are at a very critical point in the whole federal recognition process," Swett said. "We must work together." A few miles away, nearly 100 people were honoring a Lumbee hero who, unfortunately, is the symbol of why that unity may be elusive.

The tribute, attended by four times as many people as there were in Swett's audience, honored Arlinda Locklear, the Maryland lawyer who led recognition efforts in Washington for more than two decades, without compensation.

Locklear was kicked out of the recognition drive earlier this year and replaced briefly by a Las Vegas gambling consultant, who quickly departed after seeing the dissension his hiring created. Now, the fight for recognition is leaderless, stalled in a year when it made unprecedented progress. A recognition bill has passed the House and a key Senate committee. It only needs passage by the full Senate, but tribal unrest may have derailed it."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Unity - Lumbee leaders need action, not just words. (The Fayetteville Observer 7/12)

Lumbee Recognition Bills:
S.1735 | H.R.31 | H.R.839

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