Editorial: Lumbees' pursuit of gambling killed tribal recognition effort

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"Editorial: Lumbees' pursuit of gambling killed tribal recognition effort." News and Record [Greensboro, NC] January 5, 2011.


The Lumbee Tribe's attempt at deal-making with the gaming industry has cost the tribe the full federal recognition it has been working towards. The recognition would bring millions of dollars in federal aid for education, health care and economic development. The Tribal Council was holding secret gaming industry meetings with the goal of quietly amending the recognition bill to allow a gambling casino in the Pembroke area. The tribe had previously (in 2007) agreed to a gaming prohibition. Arlinda Locklear, former lobbyist for the tribe, said, "The connection between gaming and recognition is radioactive, politically. But they didn't care because they saw dollar signs." Representative Mike McIntyre will reintroduce the bill this session, but the results are unknown. The hard-learned lesson is that tribe members must demand more accountability and fewer back-room shenanigans from their leaders. And those leaders, going forward, should agree to speak with one voice.

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