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Hagan pushes Lumbee recognition at Congressional hearing

Posted October 30, 2013
Updated October 31, 2013

Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina flag

— U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan testified Wednesday before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in support of a bill that would designate members of the Lumbee tribe as eligible for federal benefits.

In 1956, Congress acknowledged the Lumbee Indians, but it withheld tribal privileges, such as federal funding for health care and housing. The Lumbees have fought for full privileges ever since.

Hagan and her Republican counterpart, Sen. Richard Burr, are sponsors of the most recent bill to would extend to the Lumbees those rights shared by other Native Americans. Congresmen Richard Hudson and Mike McIntyre have supported a similar measure in the House.

"The Lumbee Indians are among the earliest North Carolinians," Hagan said Wednesday. "The Lumbee have maintained a distinct community in what is now Robeson County, North Carolina, with more than 40,000 current members in and around the county seat of Lumberton. 

"Beyond simple fairness, the issue of Lumbee recognition is critically important to the North Carolina economy, and to counties and communities that have been hardest hit by the recent economic downturn."

18 Comments

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  • Danny22 Nov 4, 1:41 p.m.

    Be careful what you ask for. Tribal status money has not helped the other native tribes. PBS did a documentary some yrs back. The Lumbee tribe has been much more successful than those with tribal status who live under the authority of gov't.

  • Danny22 Nov 4, 1:37 p.m.

    Kay Hagan needs to make hay now, because she's coming home in 2014.

  • Nemo5 Nov 1, 5:50 p.m.

    Lumbees traced as having migrated to Robeson County from tide water Virginia area along the same routes and methods as all other colonial citizens as individuals.Paul Heinegg,free African americans and Dubious Descent,David Cohen

    An article In the February 1872, New York Herald, titled "The Mulatto Capitol" listing clearly Robeson County, Scuffleton, (Pembroke) North Carolina as the '''"Mulatto Capitol"''' and as an '''Immemorial Free Negro Settlement''' consisting of "Homogeneous free African Americans "and mulattos in origin. No mention of it as an Indian Tribal Settlement at all but overwhelmingly and clearly as Free African American Settlement for the vast majority of its inhabitants. The Swamp Outlaws, New York Herald 1872 Origins of Scuffleton(Pembroke, NC)

  • Nemo5 Nov 1, 5:49 p.m.

    What happen to the Lumbee claim as the Lost Colony ? and Cherokees of Robeson County claim this is all very unauthentic heritage claims by this group called Lumbees who are unsure of any real native heritage and probably explains why they have no Indian language or customs because they never were Native americans just confused mulattos wanting to pass as anything but black,its called passing...
    switching heritage to get federal dollars and a Casino ! obviously a long running tale to get federal moneys with political help for votes !

  • Nemo5 Nov 1, 5:37 p.m.

    '''Mulatto Descent'''

    Prominent genealogists Drs. Heinegg and Dr.Demarce Genealogists Paul Heinegg and Dr. Virginia E. DeMarce ,DeMarce is former president of the National Genealogical Society, and formerly a historian at the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, Department of the Interior have, using an array of primary source documents, been able to trace the migration of some primary Lumbee ancestral families from the Tidewater region in Virginia into Northeastern North Carolina and then down into present-day Robeson County, North Carolina. and other genealogist and historians have done intensive genealogy and Published genealogy and historical research on the Lumbee ancestral origins using historic documents,Published state records and many types of civil records and have proposed that the Lumbee are an Invented tribe and descend mainly from Free Colonial African American males and European females and that the ancestors of the people now calling themselves Lumbee have been traced as

  • justabumer Nov 1, 3:54 p.m.

    If this thing passes I think I'll search for an ancestor with some connection to Robeson County and maybe I can join the tribe. It must be nice to be paid a pile of money simply for being born.

  • jackaroe123 Oct 31, 6:00 p.m.

    "... trying to buy votes as usual."

    2 questions: 1, Do you disagree w/ recognizing the Lumbee? And 2, what's the difference between "buying" votes and "winning" votes?

  • foodstamptrader Oct 31, 5:15 p.m.

    Like the Seminole, the Lumbee are most likely an amalgam of escaped slaves and renegade NAs of various tribes who avoided being driven out by white encroachment. They retreated to the swamps and forests of the Lumber River and surrounding areas. Eventually became a unique people. They are of MUCH more recent origin than the Roanoke colonies of the 16th century!

  • Combat MP Oct 31, 4:06 p.m.

    My Anthropology professor a recognized authority on NC Native Americans told us his theory of the Lumbee tribe. He and others experts believed that the Lumbees are captured slaves of the Tuscarora Indians (the dominant tribe in NC) The Tuscaroran's traded these captured NAs with Sir Walter Raleigh for goods when Raleigh explored NC. The theory is these slaves mated with Raleigh's men and his African slaves. This theory is reinforced by the appearance of the Lumbees. Some Lumbees have Caucasian features and others have African-American features. Along with this theory, the Lumbee Indians cannot trace their ancestory beyond the time of Sir Walter Raleigh's exploration of NC. This is the biggest hurdle for the Lumbee to overcome in their quest for recoginition. The tie-in to the Croatan is through the Tuscarora Indians. It is believed that the Croatans fled inland and were captured by the Tuscaroa Indians. The women and children taken as slaves to be traded or used by the Tuscaroans.

  • Nemo5 Oct 31, 3:17 p.m.

    The Lumbee past Bills to be recognized as Cherokee

    1. 1910(January24)Introduction of a Federal bill in the U.S.House of Representatives to change the tribes name from"Croatan to"Cherokee"at the request of the Croatans(lumbee)

    THE BILL DID NOT PASS

    2. 1913(July 10)Introduction of another federal bill in the U.S. Senate to"change the tribes name from Indians of Robeson County to"Cherokee Indians"of Robeson County"by the Lumbee

    THE BILL DID NOT PASS

    3. 1924(March 20)Introduction of a bill again in the U.S. House to change the tribal name to"Cherokee"by the lumbee

    THE BILL DID NOT PASS

    4 . 1932(May 9).A federal bill was introduced in the U.S.Senate to"RECOGNIZE AND ENROLL the tribe as"Cherokee Indians"at the request of the lumbee(croatan)council.

    THE BILL DID NOT PASS

    ATTEMPT TO STEAL A FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBES IDENTITY

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