Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan have introduced a bill — S. 1132, the Lumbee Recognition Act — that would recognize the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, WTVD reports.
North Carolina formally recognized the Lumbee Tribe in 1885, and three years later, the tribe began its quest for federal recognition.
In 1956, Congress finally passed legislation recognizing the tribe, but they were denied the benefits and programs that every other federally recognized tribe receives.
The Lumbee Recognition Act introduced Wednesday would provide Lumbees with complete recognition.
Both Burr and Hagan said full federal recognition is long-overdue and deserved.
“Full federal recognition is critical to the heritage and cultural identity of more than 55,000 North Carolinians and the economic vitality of the entire Lumbee community,” Hagan said.
Read more: WTVD