North Carolina lawmakers continue to push Lumbee recognition

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Saxton, Michelle. "North Carolina lawmakers continue to push Lumbee recognition." Lumina News [Wrightsville Beach, NC] December 23, 2010.


North Carolina's representatives in the U.S. House and Senate continue to fight for full federal recognition for the thousands of members of the Lumbee tribe. In addition, Senator Kay Hagan honored Dr. Helen Maynor Scheirbeck, who died in December 2010, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, where she had been a member of the first Board of Trustees.

Dr. Scheirbeck was an advocate for Indian education and, as a Lumbee Indian, a supporter of Lumbee recognition. Senator Kay Hagan, Senator Richard Burr, and Representative Mike McIntyre have been working on getting the federal bill passed.

"It’s important for the dignity of the tribe and the Lumbee people," McIntyre said on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. "There are approximately 53,000 Lumbee Indians living in North Carolina."

Other tribes would not be affected by the passing of the federal recognition bill because the Bureau of Indian Affairs keeps a separate line item in its budget for new tribes. There would also be little effect on the Indian Health Service budget because most of it goes toward existing facilities and services.

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