North Carolina Lumbee overlooks gambling, finalizes contract

Lumberton, North Carolina (AP) May 2010

North Carolina’s Lumbee Indian council wants a consultant to secure the tribe’s full federal recognition despite a dispute over the role gambling should play in their future.

The Fayetteville Observer reports Friday that the Lumbee Tribal Council has finalized a contract with a Las Vegas gaming consultant. Opponents failed to get the council to reconsider the agreement.

The contract gives Lewin International the right to lobby for federal recognition. It also guarantees the firm a stake in future Lumbee economic ventures, including casinos.

Jeremiah Swett argued the deal was damaging the 55,000-member tribe’s 54-year struggle for full federal recognition. The great nephew of the tribal chairman lobbies in Washington on behalf of tribes seeking recognition.

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