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      house Committees
      House Committee on Natural Resources
      Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
    IntroducedApril 26th, 2013

Bill Details

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Lumbee Recognition Act

Official Title

To provide for the recognition of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and for other purposes.


Lumbee Recognition Act - Extends federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, which makes its members eligible for the services and benefits provided to Indians because of their status as members of a federally recognized tribe. Deems members of the Tribe residing in Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke, and Scotland Counties in North Carolina to be within the delivery area for such services. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for the Tribe. Prohibits the Tribe from conducting gaming activities. Requires North Carolina to exercise jurisdiction over all criminal offenses committed, and all civil actions that arise, on North Carolina lands owned by, or held in trust for, the Lumbee Tribe or any dependent Indian community of the Tribe.
    There are serious problems with the tribal and individual identity of the Lumbee. These Congressmen and women are not credible experts experts in the area of genealogy researchers who have reached a clear conclusions concerning Lumbee identity that should not ignored,.award winning genealogist Dr. Paul Heinegg, whose work has been recognized by The American Society of Genealogists, concludes that the Lumbee are ``an invented North Carolina Indian tribe,'' and that many of the persons who first self-identified as Indian after switching from mulatto or white in Robeson County, North Carolina, are not of Indian ancestry. Another indisputable expert in this area is Dr. Virginia DeMarce, who formerly served as Chair of the National Genealogical Association and as an expert in this area at the Department of the Interior. Dr. DeMarce concludes from her genealogical studies that Lumbee families do not originate from the Robeson, North Carolina, area, but migrated there from other places. in past testimony before the Congress, Department of Interior officials also have raised serious concerns about Lumbee individual and tribal identity as well. This uncertain background may somewhat explain why the Lumbee have sought federal recognition as descending from four different tribes over the years: Croatan,Cherokee, Siouan, Croatan, and now Cheraw at their own request.. This leads to my second point. The cultural and political integrity of other tribes with living tribal languages and long standing government-to-government relations with the United States is undermined when Congress acts arbitrarily in federal acknowledgement matters, allowing politics and emotion to drive decision making, rather than facts about tribal identity. taxpayers have raised these identity concerns about the Lumbee since at least 1910, when the Lumbees first claimed a Cherokee identity before Congress and asked for funding