Jenkins, Venita. “Siouan kin contest Lumbee recognition.” Fayetteville Observer April 25, 2004.
Descendants of the Original 22 are protesting the inclusion of historical information about the Original 22 in Lumbee documentation for federal recognition and in testimony at hearings on the current federal recognition bills. [Explanatory note: The Original 22 were certified by the Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Affairs in 1938 as 1/2 or more Indian blood (and thus eligible for benefits under the Indian Reorganization Act). See The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 610. In 1938, 209 of Robeson County’s Indians who had earlier organized and adopted the name Siouan applied for benefits under the Wheeler-Howard Indian Reorganization Act. All 209 were tested by Smithsonian anthropologist Carl Seltzer to determine their degree of Indian blood. The Siouans had adopted their tribal name in early 1934, when a bill was introduced in Congress to recognize the Indians of Robeson County under the name Siouan Indians of the Lumber River. This bill did not pass.]
Descendants of the twenty-two Siouans want the testimony about their relatives stricken from the records of the House and Senate committee hearings on Lumbee federal recognition. They consider Lumbee use of the 1938 certification of their relatives “identity theft,” and they believe the Tuacarora Nation of North Carolina, whose headquarters are in Maxton and whose chief is Leon Locklear, should be recognized before the Lumbee are. Descendants of the twenty-two Siouans are members of the Tuscarora Nation. The Lumbee, they feel, are unfairly using the history of the Tuscarora people and revising the history of Robeson County. Three of the descendants—Katherine Magnotta, Leon Locklear, and Elisha Locklear—have taken action such as submitting letters of opposition to the Lumbee bill to the House Resources Committee for inclusion in the records of the committee hearing, and meeting with a staff member from Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s office.
Jimmy Goins, chairman of the Lumbee Tribal Council, states, “The Tuscarora people are no different than the Lumbee people. . . . We share the same ancestry, live in the same communities, attend the same churches and schools, and are for all intents and purposes the same people. The tribe views the political differences between the various Tuscarora groups and Lumbee as an internal tribal matter. Passage of the Lumbee bill will go a long way toward resolving these differences” (para. 18).
The article notes that the Senate bill currently under consideration specifies that Lumbee federal recognition would not prohibit other tribes in Robeson County from seeking federal recognition through the BIA’s petition process (see item 108-213).
Representative Mike McIntyre, who introduced the House bill for Lumbee federal recognition, has had staff from his office meet with representatives from Robeson County Tuscarora groups. He said in a news release, “According to published reports, there are four different groups of Tuscaroras in Robeson County all claiming to be the certified nation for the Tuscaroras. I have encouraged them to consider uniting as one entity and to also secure North Carolina state recognition. . . . Doing these two important things would put them in a better position to pursue federal recognition options. In addition, I have just received some new documents regarding the Tuscaroras” (para. 35).