What's in Lumbee name? Not much

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Locklear-Brayboy, Ervin. “What's in Lumbee name? Not much.” Robesonian Friday, June 16, 2000, p. 4A.


In this editorial column, Ervin Locklear-Brayboy, chief of the Tribal Council of the Tuscarora, asserts that the tribal name Lumbee and the organization LRDA are not representative of most Native Americans in Robeson County. His first argument is that the 22 Robeson County Indians who were federally recognized in the 1930s were Tuscaroras, not Lumbee (see The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, items 610 and 1372). He then objects to an unspecified newspaper article which gives D. F. Lowry credit as the first president of the Lumbee. He asserts that the vote for the Lumbee name used a ballot with only two choices--Cherokee or Lumbee. Many Native Americans in the region did not vote because they did not consider themselves allied to either choice. He states that the 2000 votes in favor of the Lumbee name represented “far less than 10% of the Native American population of Robeson in the time period from 1951 to 1956.” He states that not all Native Americans in Robeson County are Lumbee and that LRDA is a private, nonprofit organization, not a tribal government. He adds, “This is also why LRDA does not help the Native American community as a whole.” He believes that tribal names such as Cheraw (by itself) and Tuscarora are ancient and can stand the test of time, but Lumbee cannot. D. F. Lowry, by championing the Lumbee tribal name, “made it possible for many tribes to lose their dignity of being recognized as the Native American tribe they really are, especially the Tuscarora Indians.”

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Additional Information: 
Tuscarora Indians of Robeson County | Lumbee (tribal name) | Lumbee Regional Development Association (LRDA) | D. F. (Doctor Fuller) Lowry | Original 22
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