Lumbee Tribe courted in election

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"Lumbee Tribe courted in election--UNC historian tells N&O focus should be on lingering issues." Center for the Study of the American South, 25 October 2020.


This website post alerts readers to comments from UNC historian Malinda Maynor Lowery, which were included in an article in the Raleigh News and Observer about President Donald Trump's announcement of his support for full federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe, closely followed by his re-election campaign rally in Lumberton, North Caroliina.

The following is a citation and annotation for the Raleigh News and Observer article, which is linked from the website post:


Sessoms, Ben, and Andrew Carter. "Trump holds rally in Lumberton, NC, days after supporting recognition for Lumbee Tribe." News and Observer [Raleigh, NC]. October 24, 2020.

This article describes President Donald Trump's appearance at a rally in Lumberton, NC, on Saturday, October 24, 2020, three days after announcing his support for full federal recogntion for the Lumbee Tribe. Trump stated during the rally, referring to Lumbee federal recognition: "That's why we're here . . . . Under this administration you will never be abandoned."

The article notes that Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden also promised, weeks earlier, to support full federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe.

The  article summarizes Robeson County's support for Trump in the 2016 Presidential election.

Malinda Maynor Lowery, history professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and a member of the Lumbee Tribe, observed that for many Lumbees, political party is not their primary concern: "Lumbee people vote along the lines of whatever we think will fulfill the goal of self determination." She said that the federal government's criteria for full federal recognition have shifted over time, leading to the conclusion, from the inconsistency of the criteria, that politics matters a lot more than cultural legitimacy. She also stated that Lumbee people are deeply concerned about obstacles to their prosperity in the areas of housing, health care, and systemic racism. She believes that the Lumbee people look to Presidential candidates to address these obstacles, and that "federal recognition doesn't lead the change."

The article also cites a statement submitted by Richard Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Sneed views President Trump's support of full federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe as a political ploy. Sneed said, in his statement: "The purpose of federal recognition is to empower authentic Native peoples to protect and preserve their culture and identity, not to grant federal endorsement to large-scale identity theft."

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The newspaper article linked from this webpage announcement, contains two photographs: (1) a photograph of President Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally at the Robeson County Fairgrounds (Lumberton, NC) on Saturday, October 24, 2020 (AP photo); and (2) a photograph of a campaign t-shirt bearing the logo, “Trump Country #Lumbee Nation”