Lumbee tribal members have expressed concern with our enrollment ordinance and rnrollment procedures for some time. The Tribal Government has heard their concerns and knows how important it is to have an enrollment procedure that works for our people and reflects who we are as Lumbee people. I as tribal chairman and the Tribal Council recognize that membership in our tribe is the most important right a tribal member can have and it must be protected. When deciding the rules governing our enrollment, we must consider the shared values of our Lumbee people and the connection our people have to “Home.”
After much consideration and discussion the decision was made to close our Tribal Rolls for a time, so we can update the ordinance that governs tribal enrollment. The Tribal Council passed a resolution on Dec. 21 to close the rolls to new enrollments only. Any tribal member who already has a card will be allowed to update that card during this time. Any applications for enrollment that are pending will be processed while the rolls are closed.
The rolls will open for enrolled members wishing to update their cards beginning Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017.
The Tribal Government promises to work diligently, expediently, deliberately, and with the Lumbee people in mind. This is not about keeping people out, it is about ensuring that our laws fully reflect the values we hold dear.
The government invites the membership to be involved in this process. There will be opportunities for public input and our members will be updated in the status regularly. The rolls will reopen as soon as we have an ordinance that is deserving of our people.
Harvey Godwin is chairman of the Lumbee Tribal Government.