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Lumbees Closer to Recognition?

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  • wintyreeve@aol.com
    This is from The Circle , a Native newspaper... Pres Obama said he will endorse the recognition of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. 6 others tribes in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2009
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      This is from "The Circle", a Native newspaper...
       
      Pres Obama said he will endorse the recognition of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. 6 others tribes in Virginia and North Carolina are also under consideration, however they will not get rights to build a casino if this happens. They will be eligible for up to $800 million in federal funds for housing, education and health benefits. The recognition bill passed in the house but stalled in the Senate.
       
      LUMBEE INDIANS OF NORTH CAROLINA SEEK FEDERAL RECOGNITION, SOCIAL JUSTICE  [HUNTER GRAY [A slightly older post on a continuing issue -- edited, expanded and updated -- most recently in late March 2009].  Widely posted.
       
      The Lumbees are a very large Indian nation indeed and it's obvious that the
      major reason for blocking their full Federal recognition involves a sorry
      reluctance on the part of the U.S. government to incur service
      responsibility for such a relatively large number -- more than 65,000.  But
      the government -- and the U.S. as a whole -- have a special obligation and
      responsibility to all Native Americans.

      The Lumbees have some Anglo admixture -- nothing noteworthy at all about
      that these days in any Native circles in the Hemisphere.  And, like all
      Southern tribes in the 'States [with the exception of the Eastern Band of
      Cherokee in the North Carolina mountains], they have some African ancestry
      as well.
      In the mid-1960s, I spoke on our civil rights organizing work at Hollister,
      North Carolina -- in the piney woods of the Northeastern Black Belt. Half
      the people present were Haliwa Indians and the other half were Black.
      Although each group sat on opposite sides of the church aisle,  each
      group had the same "color" variations: White, African-American, Native.

      The  Black group was African-American,  the Haliwas were Indian.
      A kind of analogy would be the contemporary Puerto Rican situation.

      But the existence of some African ancestry among the Lumbees has
      been used by its enemies in the past -- in the most blatantly racist
      fashion -- as a reason to deny the Lumbees full Federal recognition.  That
      multi-victim tactic is now certainly more covert than overt -- but it's
      still lurking poisonously in the shadows.

       
       
      Time and time again, the hopes and dreams of the Lumbee people have been raised, only to be dashed as each Congress fails to get the job done,’’ said Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the committee. “Yet throughout these long decades you have continued to hold your heads high, with the dignity and respect you deserve.’’

      The committee is holding hearings on the Lumbee bill and on a separate bill that would recognize six tribes in Virginia.

      “Both the Lumbee and Virginia tribes require the attention of Congress,’’ Rahall said. “Let us now seriously go about the business of rectifying wrongs to the Lumbee and to the Virginia tribes.’’

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