Lumbee open office in federal recognition bid

Pembroke, North Carolina (AP) September 2010

The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina are not slowing down in their effort to win federal recognition by January.

The Robesonian of Lumberton reports that a new campaign office devoted to winning recognition is slated to open this week in Pembroke.

Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett says the tribe has also surpassed its fundraising goal of $120,000 to help pay for lobbyists working for federal recognition.

The 55,000-member tribe has been recognized by North Carolina since the 1880s. The federal government granted partial recognition in 1956, but denied the benefits that accompanied it.

A bill giving the Lumbees full recognition has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently before the Senate.