‘We are persistent’: Lumbee Tribe responds after federal recognition bill does not progress in Congress
PEMBROKE, N.C. (WMBF) - The head of the Lumbee Tribe says that the tribe will continue to fight for official recognition from the federal government.
Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin, Jr. released a statement Wednesday, days after Indian tribal recognition was not included in an Omnibus Appropriations bill passed last weekend.
“Once again, the patience and persistence of the Lumbee people have been tested,” he said. “We had great hopes for our recognition bill this Congress. And we were blessed with strong support - from both Republicans and Democrats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.”
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Godwin went on to say that allies from both sides of the aisle worked hard up until the end, but said the bill “fell victim to the partisan spirit that rules now in Congress -where the outcomes does not depend on what’s right or what’s wrong.”
In November, the House approved legislation to unconditionally recognize the tribe on a federal level. The proposed bill would have amended the Lumbee Act of 1956, clarifying the status of the tribe, and would have granted it more rights under federal law.
Godwin later said the tribe will continue to fight for that recognition.
“This is painful, but we are persistent,” he said. “And in the end, we will take our rightful place in Indian country alongside our federally-recognized brothers and sisters. In the meantime, let us show our friends and all of Indian country the strength of the Lumbee community we come together to prepare for yet one more effort.”
You can read Godwin’s full statement below:
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