Senator Burr Introduces Lumbee Recognition Bill

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Burr introduced the Lumbee Recognition Act, a bill that would grant the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina federal recognition. 

“The Lumbee tribe has been seeking federal recognition for more than a century,” said Sen. Burr. “I am proud to reintroduce this legislation so that 55,000 members of the Lumbee community in North Carolina receive the same rights and benefits as members of other federally recognized tribes. Federal recognition for the Lumbee tribe is long-overdue and I will continue my efforts to ensure the Lumbee tribe finally gets the recognition they deserve.” 

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 1956 Lumbee Act actually prohibits the tribe from going through the Bureau of Indian Affairs process for full recognition. As the law now stands, the Lumbee Tribe can only be recognized by an act of Congress.

Senator Burr’s Lumbee Recognition Act would provide the Lumbees with the equal recognition they deserve.