To the Editor,
The American Indian recognition system of our federal government isn’t broken. There are thousands who have Lumbee cards who do not want this tribal government to get their hands on the millions of dollars that federal recognition of the Lumbee tribe would bring. This would only increase the debt that our government is already in. It would duplicate services which are already provided. Truly, there was a chance once for a person to help bring the Lumbees together to unite them and they didn’t want it.
The Lumbee Act of 1956 was made when a small group of people who didn’t let other area Native Americans know what they were doing went to Congress and had this bill created. There were shock waves around here to put it nicely when the residents of this area found out they were now being called “Lumbees.” Most people knew it is all about money and not the people. They don’t want to give up the membership in their tribe. They want help but, they also want to be who they are.
The Lumbee Tribal Government wants to show the federal government that “they have unity.” However, people cannot believe what they can’t see.
I sincerely hope that Washington will keep the monies. If they want to give the Lumbees money, give it to the people who hold the membership cards, put it in their hands. Let those in those offices get out there and find them a real job. They don’t want unity from the Lumbee people, all they want is total control.
Sorry, but the Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Civil Rights Act outdate and out-speak the Lumbee Constitution that no one really believes in anyhow. If the government has money for the Lumbees, give it to them personally; if they don’t, 99 percent of the people will never see any of it. Like now, it is going to pay salaries of people we do not even know.
Vinita “Cookie” Maynor Clark