Support Full Federal Recognition for Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

The Lumbee are the present-day descendants of the Cheraw Tribe and have continuously existed in and around Robeson County since the early part of the eighteenth century. A brief timeline of Lumbee history can be found by clicking here.) In 1885, the tribe was recognized as Indian by the State of North Carolina. The tribe has sought full federal recognition from the United States Government since 1888. In 1956, Congress passed the Lumbee Act, which recognized the tribe as Indian. However, the Act withheld the full benefits of federal recognition from the tribe. Efforts are currently underway to pass federal legislation that grants full recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Why are the Lumbee circumventing the administrative process of the Bureau of Indian affairs and seeking full deferral acknowledgement directly from Congress? The Lumbee Act of 1956 recognizes the Lumbee as Indian, but does not grant to them the services that other tribes receive because of their status as Indian. Among the BIA criteria, however, is that the petitioning group cannot be "subject to congressional legislation terminating or forbidding the Federal relationship". Because the 1956 Act, in effect, forbids the federal relationship, it precludes the Lumbee Tribe from utilizing the BIA administrative process to obtain federal recognition. To correct this problem, however, government officials have proposed to allow the Lumbee to participate in a dual process. That is, pass a congressional amendment to the language in the 1956 Act that would allow the Tribe to still participate in the BIA administrative process. However, if passed, this dual process would be contrary to the treatment of other similarly situated tribes. For example, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo of Texas and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona were subject to very similar legislation to the 1956 Act. Yet, they were accorded full federal recognition by special congressional legislation without having to participate in the BIA administrative process. If the Lumbee are required to go through the congressional legislative process and the BIA administrative process, it will be the only tribe in history singled out in this way. Therefore, to be consistent and fair, the Lumbee must be granted the full benefits of federal recognition through special congressional legislation. Please sign this petition and pass it on to your friends to support the Full Federal Recognition for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

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Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

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