Along the Robeson Trail (column).

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Knick, Stanley. “Along the Robeson Trail (column).” Carolina Indian Voice 4 February 1999: 6.


In this installment in a series on the context of the Lumbee people, Knick discusses Lumbee connectedness (or what some consider lack thereof) with their prehistory.  Because there were no systematic archaeological studies of the area until a decade ago, there was no concrete information about Lumbee origins until the arrival of nonnatives in the 1700s.  There was, however, discussion of the Lost Colony theory. 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other tribes that are federally recognized, have asserted, “If you can't prove your connection to a historical tribe, then you must not be 'real' Indians.” Knick notes the flaws in this reasoning - first that there are federally recognized tribes that have rather little proof of their own connection to the ancient past.  In addition, the Lumbee can now point to archaeological studies which show “that there was a consistent occupation here along the Lumbee River throughout prehistoric times, and that their late Woodland period occupation continued into the 1700's.” In addition, there are Lumbee people today who trace their genealogy back to the 1700s. Thus, through these two paths a connection does exist to the ancient past for Lumbee people.

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