October 31, 2014

Lumbee leaders renew effort to gain recognition

LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – Leaders of the Lumbee Tribe are once again stepping up efforts to win full recognition from the federal government.

The Robesonian of Lumberton reports that Tribal Chairman Paul Brooks and other leaders were in Washington, D.C. last week to meet with members of North Carolina's congressional delegation and American Indian leaders.

U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, D-NC, says a bill granting full recognition has 133 sponsors in the House of Representatives. Both of North Carolina's senators also support the measure.

The 55,000-member tribe has been recognized by North Carolina since the 1880s. The federal government granted partial recognition in 1956 but denied the benefits that other tribes got from the designation.

Lumbee leaders say full recognition would bring hundreds of millions of dollars for education, health care and economic development.

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Information from: The Robesonian, http://www.robesonian.com

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