The Lumbee: 'not a tribe.'

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Houghton, Richard H., III. “The Lumbee: 'not a tribe.'” The Nation 257.21 (20 December 1993): 750.


Letter from the Minority Counsel on Indian Affairs for the U.S. House of Representatives in reply to Cynthia Brown's article, “The Vanished Native Americans” (item BROW002). Chides Brown for “Republican-bashing,” stating that delays in processing petitions were due to underfunding by the Democrat-controlled Congress. Asserts that the Lumbee would probably be unable to get a petition approved, even if the administrative obstacle posed by the 1956 Lumbee Act were removed, because “They bear few of the characteristics of an Indian 'tribe.' They have never had treaty or trust relations with the United States, or a reservation. They do not speak an Indian language, have had no formal political organization until recently, and possess no autochthonous 'Indian' customs or cultural appurtenances, such as a tribal religion” (p. 750).

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