Lumbee recognition - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

2.26.03

Lumbee recognition

 Senator Elizabeth Dole's bid to gain full federal recognition for the Lumbee Indians could lead to another casino in North Carolina. That's the forecast from a public policy group.

Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, says passage of Dole's bill would almost certainly grant the Lumbees status to have a casino.

Dole spokeswoman Mary Brown Brewer says the bill doesn't create gambling. She says the governor must approve any gaming activity on American reservations.

Dole introduced her bill last week at a rally in Lumberton. At the time, she noted that the state has recognized the Lumbee Indians as a tribe since 1885 and that Congress acknowledged them in 1956, but withheld tribal privileges such as federal funding.

State Representative Ronnie Sutton, a Lumbee and the only American Indian in the Legislature, says it's too early to talk about gambling. But he says it's a venture the tribe would support.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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