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Congress recognized the Lumbee Tribe in 1956, but unfairly prevented the tribe from receiving federal benefits. As a result, the Lumbee Tribe is not eligible for vital economic development programs through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and following Hurricane Matthew was unable to receive disaster relief in the manner normally available to other federally-recognized tribes.

As a vocal advocate for the Lumbee Tribe, I introduced the Lumbee Recognition Act (H.R. 3650), which would grant the Lumbee Tribe full federal recognition.

Since introducing the legislation in 2017, I have:

  • Hosted Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin for a meeting with House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) to successfully request a hearing on the legislation
  • Testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs
  • Arranged for Lumbee Tribal Chairman Godwin to meet with White House officials regarding Lumbee recognition
  • Organized meetings between Bureau of Indian Affairs and Lumbee Tribal leadership to discuss recognition
  • Urged House Leadership to advance the legislation
  • Encouraged other Members of North Carolina‚Äôs Congressional delegation to support the Lumbee Tribe

First and foremost, this is an issue of fairness. In heritage, culture, and many times in their relationship with state and federal government, the Lumbee Tribe are every bit as Indian as any other tribe in this country. Congress put the Lumbee Tribe in this situation in 1956, and it is time for Congress to right this wrong.

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