‘Incredible Lumbee, Catawba tribes’ #NativeVote20
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2020
President Donald Trump acknowledges the presence of the Lumbee Tribe and the Catawba Nation during a campaign rally in Gastonia, North Carolina, on October 21, 2020. "With us as well are members of the incredible Lumbee, Catawba tribes, Lumbee, Catawba, where are they?" Trump said, struggling to pronounce Catawba. The president appeared to say the two tribal names together, even though they are separate and distinct Indian nations. "Lumbee, Catawba, thank you very much for being here. We appreciate it," Trump said. During the rally, Trump announced his support for extending federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe. He noted the tribe's long struggle to gain formal acknowledgment of its sovereign status, an effort that goes back to the late 1800s. "As you know, the Lumbee Tribe has been fighting for federal recognition for more than a century," Trump said. During the termination era of federal policy, Congress enacted a bill that identified the Lumbees as "Indians." But the law denied them all of the benefits associated with federal recognition. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-North Carolina), who attended the rally, is sponsoring legislation to rescind the termination-era restriction. While Trump said he supported the tribe, he did not outright commit to ensuring the bill passes during the current session of Congress. "When I am re-elected, we’ll work with Congress, and we’ll work with Dan, and we’ll work with all of them, on the Lumbee Recognition Act and we’ll get it done," Trump said. "It’s about time." H.R.1964, the Lumbee Recognition Act, enjoys bipartisan support. The bill was approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources last month, meaning it could be passed by the full U.S. House of Representatives at any time. Similar recognition bills have been passed the House in prior sessions. But the tribe has never seen much success in the U.S. Senate. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also supports the Lumbee Tribe. During the Barack Obama administration, the Bureau of Indian Affairs supported recognition for the tribe for the first time since the termination-era law.