Lumbee Federal Recognition
•The Lumbee have actively sought federal recognition since 1888.
•US Termination Policy in 1950s – The US government decided that the best way to “deal” with American Indians was to terminate their relationship with tribes (no longer provide federal benefits to tribes).
•1956– The Lumbee Bill. The US government recognized the Lumbee as a tribe but denied them services.
•The language of this bill essentially recognized AND terminated the Lumbee.
•Federal recognition is not about proving Indian identity but is about the legal/political relationship between the tribe and the US government (tribal sovereignty).
7 Criteria For Federal Recognition
1.Identification as American Indian since historical times.
2.Historical connection to a community.
3.Demonstrate political influence over its people.
4.Evidence of a governing system.
5.A list of tribal members.
6.Tribal members are not members of other tribes.
7.Tribe has never been formally terminated by the government.
—From “Robeson County, NC in Historical & Cultural Context” by Jessica Lambert Ward