The Lumbee Tribe's first for-profit company, Lumbee Nation Development Corporation (LNDC), was certified as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone. Daucey Brewington, District 18 representative of the Tribal Council, said this company is the first tribally owned company to be certified as a HUB zone in North Carolina. The company was established in May, 2001, and was certified as a HUB zone on September 23, 2001. HUB certification gives the LNDC eligibility for government funds assigned for tribally owned businesses or for minority owned businesses that are certified.
Sources in Washington, D.C. are saying that the Lumbee Tribe's chance at gaining federal recognition this year are now very slim, though tribal leaders still have hope.
The chances are slim because Congress has recessed to prepare for midterm elections and won't reconvene until elections are over. Sources on Capitol Hill feel pessimistic that Congress will consider the Lumbee during what is called the "lame-duck session."
Lumbee Chairman Purnell Swett has said that he is confident that the Lumbee will receive full federal recognition this year. Reporters for The Fayetteville Observer say they hope he is correct.
U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) recently met with Lumbee Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett and other Lumbee leaders. They met to discuss the recognition bill Hagan and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced to give the Lumbee full federal recognition. The bill, previously passed by the House, has been approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and is currently awaiting a final vote on the Senate floor.
Lumbees are making one last push in their federal recognition activities before Congress reconvenes this week.
The Lumbee Tribe has raised over $170,000 in the past few weeks from private contributors to pay Anderson Tuell LLP for one last effort at lobbying for recognition. Anderson Tuell LLP is a Washington, DC-based law firm which specializes in Native American cases.
This article announces that the Lumbee Tribal Council passed a resolution that supports Chairman Purnell Swett's decision in hiring a new legal counsel for the tribe's fight in Washington for true federal recognition. The new firm is Anderson Tuell LLP.
A Winston-Salem group, along with a professor from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP), are beginning research on the correlation between the mental health of Lumbee youth and their knowledge of Lumbee culture.
UNCP professor Alfred Bryant will work with the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity and the departments of Epidemiology and Prevention and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University's School of Medicine. The focus of their study is how cultural education effects suicide ideation among Indian youth.
Last Thursday, Purnell Swett, Tribal Chairman for the Lumbee, discussed his aspirations for the new "campaign headquarters" meant to advance efforts of the Lumbee to receive federal recognition. The office is in downtown Pembroke on West Third Street, in the old Pembroke Hardware store. It is staffed by volunteers.
Swett said, “I feel it’s important to show unity among our people, and to keep the activities of our federal recognition effort separate from the activities of our tribal office...This office, it is my hope, will demonstrate that.”
Since the age of 15, Kenwin Cummings, a member of the Lumbee Tribe, has "played against the odds," football to be specific. When diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 15, Cummings was told by doctors to stay off the football field. "But he refused to accept that," says Cummings' father, Kenwin Cummings, Sr.
Cummings is now 24 and was recently added to the New York Jets as a backup inside linebacker and special-teams player. In 2008 Cummings was "undrafted" from Wingate University in North Carolina. As a Lumbee, Cummings is one of the NFL's few Native American football players.
The UNC-TV program "North Carolina Now" aired a story on July 15, 2010 about the Lumbee Tribe and their long fight for true federal recognition in Washington. Rob Holiday reported, focusing mostly on federal aid that would come to the Lumbee Tribe and on various reasons for opposition to true federal recognition.