10.01.09

Burr, Hagan Introduce Lumbee Recognition Bill

Bill would provide full federal recognition to Lumbee Tribe

Today, U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) introduced the Lumbee Recognition Act, a bill which would provide federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

"I am proud to introduce this legislation because the Lumbee Tribe should receive the federal recognition they deserve," Senator Burr said. "Currently, this can only happen through an act of Congress. I hope that the Senate will fulfill its commitment to achieve fairness and justice for the Lumbees."

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.

The Lumbee Recognition Act would provide the Lumbees with complete recognition and make the tribe eligible for all federal benefits and programs.