Lumbee Tribe may amend laws

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Jenkins, Venita. “Lumbee Tribe may amend laws.” Fayetteville Observer Friday, November 9, 2001.


The tribal constitution which Lumbee voters approved on Tuesday has already caused dissent because it designates North Carolina as the tribe's territory. Many members of the tribe live outside Robeson County and even North Carolina. In spite of this fact, the tribal members who disagree with designating North Carolina as the tribal territory prefer using Robeson and adjacent counties, as stated in the 1956 Lumbee Act. They fear that a larger designated territory would hurt the tribe's efforts to obtain true federal recognition. The chairperson of the Tribal Council's constitution committee, Linda Hammonds, explains that the designation of tribal territory mentioned in the constitution only affects districts for electing members of the Tribal Council. Grants for services to the Lumbee will have their own designated service areas. The tribe's housing grant, for instance, aids Lumbees in Robeson, Cumberland, Bladen, and Hoke Counties only. Some Lumbee people who oppose the territory designation, including Cynthia Hunt (Lumbee River Legal Services), have already begun efforts to amend the constitution.

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Lumbee Constitution | Tribal territory
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Related articles: Fox, Geoff. “Lumbee Constitution Referendum November 6.” <i>Robesonian</i> 8 October 2001. The proposed draft of the constitution was unveiled; a final public hearing will be held at Robeson Community College on October 25, with hearings possibly also held in Mecklenburg, Wake, and Hoke counties. Issues raised in other public hearings include: whether tribal council members can hold other public offices; whether convicted felons who have served their time can be elected to public office; term limits; and what constitutes the tribe's territory. Jenkins, Venita. “Lumbee Tribe Members Oppose New Constitution.” <i>Fayetteville Observer</i> 26 October 2001. Over 50 people attended the public hearing at Robeson Community College. Several speakers objected to Tribal Council members holding more than one public office; several wanted the tribal territory to be Robeson and surrounding counties, rather than the state of North Carolina; and some wanted the Constitution Committee to take more time and get a consensus of members before holding the referendum. Jenkins, Venita. “Lumbee Proposal Encounters Criticism.” <i>Fayetteville Observer</i> 28 October 2001. After over four hours of discussion of feedback from the October 25 public hearing, the Lumbee Tribal Council voted to amend the proposed constitution. The document, which will be voted on in the November 6 referendum, will keep the tribe's territory as the state of North Carolina; allow convicted felons who meet certain criteria to serve on Tribal Council; allow council members to hold more than one office; and lower the percentage of petitioners and voters required to remove a council member from office.