Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Acknowledging the Lumbee Indians

Dr. Jack Campisi
Anthropologist consultant, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
Testimony before the Committee on Indian Affairs
United States Senate
Legislative hearing on S.660, “To provide for the acknowledgment of the Lumbee Tribe
of North Carolina, and for other purposes.”
July 12, 2006

I hold a doctorate in anthropology, have dedicated my career to research in tribal
communities, and have taught these subjects as an adjunct professor at Wellesley College.
Between 1982 and 1988, I conducted a number of studies for the Lumbee Tribe of North
Carolina. Each of these included fieldwork in the community for periods of time varying from a
week to three weeks. In all, I spent more than twenty weeks in Robeson County carrying out a
variety of research projects. Besides being responsible for synthesizing the thousands of pages of
documentation collected during the ten years it took to carry out the archival research, and for
designing and carrying out the community research, I had the honor of writing the petition that
was submitted on December 17, 1987, to the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research (now the
Office of Federal Acknowledgment) under the federal regulations that govern acknowledgment
of eligible Indian tribes, 25 C.F.R. Part 183. Specifically, I drafted the Historical Narrative
section, and researched and wrote the sections dealing with community and political continuity.
Subsequent to the completion of the petition, I continued research with the Lumbee Tribe, most
recently in 2002. The material that follows is based on my twenty years’ research on the Tribe’s
history and community.

Over the course of the past twenty-five years, I have worked on 28 tribal petitions for
federal acknowledgment. None has exceeded the Lumbee petition in documentation and no
group has exhibited more evidence of community cohesion and political continuity than the
Lumbee Tribe. It is my professional opinion that the Lumbee Tribe exists as an Indian tribe and
has done so over history. I will outline below the main arguments and evidence in support of this

An Overview of Lumbee Tribal History:


No comments: