Sociology: Case Study Paper on The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina: Why Their Struggle for Federal Recognition

The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina: Why Their Struggle for Federal Recognition


Lumbees are absolutely genuine Local Americans.  They rose as a notable country when various tribal remainders amasses in the Southern Atlantic waterfront district met up in the 1600s and early 1700s in the wake of the genocidal European assault (Blu, 1980). The Lumbee presumably began from leftovers of a few indigenous gatherings that looked for asylum in the swamp lands of southeastern North Carolina, where they were joined by liberated slaves and a couple of poor Whites. Their fight for Distinguishment has taken years. In 1956, Congress recognized the Lumbee as American Indians, yet it explicitly denied the authority recognition that might permit them to get federal administrations through the Department of Indian Issues. Pundits contend that the Lumbee don’t constitute an honest country, as they are of blended root and fail to offer a local dialect. The Lumbee themselves have proposed a few distinctive tribes as their principle forebears. Numerous link their heritage to the Tuscarora, an Iroquoian aggregate that to a great extent relinquished North Carolina for New York in 1700 (Sider, 2003). The Tuscarora tribal government, in any case, rejects the association and has restricted authority Distinguishment. Right now, the generally supported hypothesis joins the Lumbee to the Cheraw, a South Carolina tribe that was for all intents and purpose obliterated by a smallpox pestilence in 1738.

Most Local American tribes in what’s known as the United States are “Federally distinguished” – generally through formal settlements with the U.S. government; and in a few cases through Congressional statute or regulatory methodology or, in a not many cases, by means of legal incidents. Some, for different reasons frequently historic, are “state distinguished.”  And some, through no flaw of their own, have no formal legislative Distinguishment of any sort.  Federal Distinguishment gives various significant profits to tribes and their members: e.g., financial, instructive, wellbeing, welfare, criminal equity, trust insurance. Most tribes that have essentially “state Distinguishment” get far less undoubtedly – and some of the time not a lot whatsoever (Brooks, 2002).  No formal administrative Distinguishment of any sort dependably implies any legislative Indian profit.

The Lumbee have so far been unable to discover composed documentation which consummately demonstrates where the tribe began and where they lived throughout authentic times. This prerequisite is identified with the provision process for Distinguishment through the BIA which the Lumbee are unable to do on the grounds that they fail to offer this report. In 1956, tribe members were angered by the Lumbee act that was passed .Inside this bit of assembly, the central government really did distinguish the Lumbee as an authority tribe; on the other hand, they then continued to end obligations, saying that the tribe might not receive any of the profits of federal Distinguishment. This archive keeps the tribe from requesting Distinguishment through the BIA, leaving congress as their just feasible choice.

Yet even inside congress, the Lumbee tribe has been met with resistance and rejection much of which is because of the vast size of the tribe. Lumbee is the biggest tribe east of the Mississippi Waterway and right now incorporates upwards of fifty five thousand members. In that capacity, giving the profits that are offered through federal Distinguishment might oblige a lot of financing and might potentially influence the financing of other federally distinguished tribes (Den Ouden & O’Brien, 2013). One of the primary adversaries to this is the Cherokee tribe, the main federally distinguished tribe in North Carolina. Members of the Lumbee tribe illustrated that the Cherokee regularly campaign against them in congress in light of the fact that Lumbee Distinguishment might diminish the benefits the Cherokee get from the central government.

With these inconveniences, one may ponder whether federal Distinguishment is worth the exertion for the Lumbees. The members of the tribe expounded on what they needed from federal Distinguishment. The Lumbee said that they didn’t need a lot of budgetary backing. The tribe has a decently extensive wellspring of income which is utilized to give numerous critical assets to members of the tribe, including lodging, power, and administrations for the elderly. They did say that they might acknowledge help from the legislature with education and restorative forethought programs. Nonetheless, they didn’t need “handouts,” and they would not like to live on a reservation.

The Benefits of Distinguishment

For the Lumbee, full federal Distinguishment will permit their tribe to be well known, to be acknowledged completely as a gathering of Local Americans who can acquire government control for their kin alongside getting numerous different manifestations of administrations for the enhancement of the Lumbee. To be judged on whether they “act Indian enough” or what amount of immaculate Indian blood goes through the veins of a Lumbee is totally pointless in separating themselves as an Indian bunch completely meriting Distinguishment. They are a unified gathering with enrollment traversing in excess of forty thousand who have their social character with or without a rich history dating   many years (Lowery, 2010). They have needed to reproduce themselves close by their neighbors, knowing who they are, yet battling against losing the last of their character. With federal  Distinguishment they will have the capacity to at long last declare themselves as they’ve for the longest time been itching to do.


In conclusion, Rep. Mcintyre, a Democrat from Lumberton, is a co-patron of the Indian federal Distinguishment administrative Methodology Act. The bill might create an independent requisition to assess provisions for federal Distinguishment. The bill is pending in the House resources Advisory group. The bill is set for a hearing but the date is yet to be set. It could be years before the assemblies get federal Distinguishment, if at any point. The Lumbees have been looking for federal Distinguishment for more than twenty years.


Blu, K. I. (1980). The Lumbee Problem: The Making of an American Indian People. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Sider, M.G. (2003). Living Indian Histories: Lumbee and Tuscarora People in North Carolina. North Carolina: The University of North Carolina press. Retrieved from

Brooks. (2002).Ed. Confounding the Color Line: The Indian-Black Experience in North America. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved from

Den Ouden, A. E., & O’Brien, E.  (2013). Recognition, Sovereignty Struggles, and Indigenous Rights in the United States. North Carolina: University of North Carolina press. Retrieved from

Lowery, M.M. (2010).Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation. North Carolina: University of North Carolina press. Retrieved from