In January, the Lumbee Tribe initiated a student housing voucher program for enrolled members attending UNCP. It provides 50 college students a $300-a-month voucher per semester to supplement housing costs on or off campus. It would provide up to $1,500 per semester.
In 1885, North Carolina formally recognized the Lumbee Tribe. In 1956, Congress finally passed legislation recognizing the tribe, but the bill included an unfair caveat that denied the Lumbee benefits that every other federally-recognized tribe receives.
The Lumbee tribe owns their own land and has a strong community, but they are not federally recognized. That means the Lumbees do not have a reservation or sovereignty rights like other Indian tribes.
The Lumbee are the amalgamation of various Siouan, Algonquian, and Iroquoian speaking tribes.
According to the Lumbees, the Tuscaroras are a splinter group within the larger Lumbee community. Prior to European contact, the historic Tuscarora Nation was based in an area that includes present-day North Carolina and South Carolina.
Many powerful western tribes have “a perception that the Lumbee are really a mixed-race, mainly African group,” says Mark Miller, a history professor at Southern Utah University who has written extensively about tribal identity.
It was a Siouan word, from the unwritten language spoken by the Cheraw tribe, the acknowledged largest of the groups that make up the Lumbee people.
The Lumbee are the descendants of a mix of Siouan-, Algonquian-, and Iroquoian-speaking peoples who, in the 1700s, settled in the swamps along the Lumber River in southeastern North Carolina, intermarrying with whites and with blacks, both free and enslaved.
Lumbee Indians are recognized as the largest-known Native American tribe in North Carolina, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River and the ninth-largest tribe in the nation. The Lumbee take their name from the Lumber River, which winds its way through Robeson County.
Language: The language most commonly referred to as ‘Lumbee’ was an Algonkian language also known as Croatan or Pamlico, but the ancestors of the modern-day Lumbee Indians also included speakers of several other languages, including Tuscarora, Catawba, Cheraw, and other Iroquoian and Siouan languages little is known
The Lumbee Tribe was recognized as a Native American tribe by the United States Congress in 1956, under conditions that it agreed to at the time, which did not allow them to have benefits available to other federally recognized tribes.
They mainly adhere to the Southern Baptist or Methodist faith. In many ways, the Lumbee are unlike most other American Indian tribes.
The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina Cheraw community was first observed on Drowning Creek (Lumber River) in present day Robeson County, North Carolina, in 1724. Almost 300 years later, the Lumbees continue to live along the Lumber River.
But Dial, 72, travels nearly 250 miles each year to attend Lumbee Homecoming, a celebration of family, food and American Indian traditions that draws thousands of people to Southeastern North Carolina. “This is always home,” said Dial, who now lives in Anderson, South Carolina.