Burr and Pittenger Reintroduce Lumbee Recognition Bill

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Lumbee Recognition Act, a bill that would grant the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina federal recognition.  Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation so that the 55,000 members of the Lumbee community in North Carolina receive the same rights and benefits as members of other federally recognized tribes,” said Senator Burr. “The Lumbee tribe has been seeking recognition for more than a century. This is long overdue. I want to thank Representative Pittenger for working with me to advance this important cause.”

“The Lumbee Tribe deserves the same recognition and benefits as other federally recognized tribes,” said Representative Pittenger. “Yet just last year, following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, the Lumbee Tribe was forced to pursue disaster relief in a different manner than other federally-recognized tribes would have.  They aren’t treated as equals.  Thank you to Senator Burr for working with me, on behalf of the Lumbees, to correct this century-old wrong.”

North Carolina formally recognized the Lumbee Tribe in 1885, and three years later, in 1888, the tribe began its quest for federal recognition. In 1956, Congress finally passed legislation recognizing the tribe, but it included a terribly unfair caveat - the Lumbees were denied the benefits that every other federally recognized tribe receives. 

 Godwin Indian Affairs

WATCH: Lumbee Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. testifies before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

The Lumbee have been part of eastern North Carolina’s history for centuries, and they have served their community effectively, and tirelessly.  The Lumbee Recognition Act will provide the Lumbees with the equal recognition they deserve.