House hears plea for Lumbee recognition.

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Jenkins, Venita. “House hears plea for Lumbee recognition.” Fayetteville Observer April 2, 2004.


This article discusses the April 1, 2004 hearing in the House Resources Committee on H.R. 898, introduced by Representative Mike McIntyre on February 25, 2003.  The hearing, attended by nearly 200 people, lasted nearly four hours.

Supporters of the bill who spoke during the hearing included Representative Mike McIntyre; Senator Elizabeth Dole, who introduced a similar bill in the Senate last year; and Representative Richard Burr.  Anthropologist Jack Campisi testified that the tribe meets six of the seven criteria used by the BIA to decide whether tribes should be granted federal recognition through its petition process.

Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, spoke against the bill.  He listed in his arguments questions about the tribe's identity; the fact that over the past one hundred years the tribe has had four different names under which it has petitioned the government for federal recognition; and the Lumbees’ lack of land claims or a treaty with the federal government.  He also estimated that services for the Lumbee would cost over  $682 million for a four-year period.  His estimate was based on a tribal enrollment of 36,000, but total enrollment is actually over 50,000.

William Brooks Jr., president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, testified about his organization’s concerns that federal recognition “would represent a significant step in [the] direction” of casino gambling.

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