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Chairman Says Lumbee Tribe Won't Get Federal Recognition This Year

lumbee tribal building.JPG
Dashiell Coleman
Lumbee Tribe Of North Carolina
The Lumbee Tribal Housing Complex is seen in Pembroke.

The chairman of North Carolina’s Lumbee Tribe says it appears that the tribe will not be getting federal recognition this year. Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. posted a statement on Facebook on Sunday. He said that federal recognition would not be included in Congress’ year-end spending bill.

Godwin's statement said "it is with a heavy heart that I inform you we have not been successful," but he said the tribe will keep fighting.

There had been optimism earlier this year that the tribe would get recognition. There was support from President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. There was passage of a recognition bill in the U.S. House. North Carolina’s U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis also backed the effort.

Many of the tribe's members live in North Carolina’s Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke and Scotland counties.

The leader of North Carolina's Lumbee Tribe says it appears federal recognition is dead for now. Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. says the tribe had hoped Congress would pass a recognition bill or include recognition in the stimulus bill nearing approval. But Godwin says in a statement on Facebook (quote) "it is with a heavy heart that I inform you we have not been successful." But he says the tribe will keep fighting.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.