Part 6: Reflections on the Battle for Lumbee Recognition

Record Number: 
BLOG031
Citation: 

Locklear, Arlinda. "Part 6: Reflections on the Battle for Lumbee Recognition." YouTube. 28 April 2010.

Annotation: 

Arlinda Locklear continues her lecture on the Lumbee's fight for recognition to a group of students at UNC- Chapel Hill in this sixth video segment by discussing the Lumbee's legislative efforts at gaining federal recognition.

Locklear says that the Lumbee took their recognition bill to Congress in 1989 and told them that the Solicitor's opinion was that they could do nothing for the Lumbee. So, the Lumbee told Congress that they, Congress, had created the mess, with the 1956 Lumbee Act, and that it was up to Congress to fix the mess.

The Lumbee took their bill to three Congresses between 1989 and 1992; the bill passed the House of Representatives twice, and was favored by Congress at one point. She says that the bill was filibustered by Jessie Helms, and thus the Lumbee needed a special four vote to pass the filibuster. She says that they had the votes on paper, but when the bill was voted on three democratic senators were out campaigning for the presidency and the Lumbee lost.

Locklear says that she realized it would be prudent to wait for Helms to leave Congress and so they waited. She says since Helms left Congress, the Lumbee bill has gone to three more Congresses, has passed the House of Representatives twice, and is currently waiting on the Senate floor. With an optimistic note, Locklear mentions a huge change in the Lumbee's fight. She says that in the 125 years the Lumbee have fought for recognition, this is the first time that they have had the support of the president. She says that President Obama has gone on record stating his support of the Lumbee Tribe gaining federal recognition.

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