The Lumbee Have Self-Identified As Four Different Tribes
This uncertain genealogical background illuminates the remarkable
story of Lumbee efforts to attain federal acknowledgement as four
different Indian tribes, including the ``Cherokee Indians of Robeson
and Adjoining Counties.''
The Lumbee group seeking Congress's acknowledgment today has been
before the Congress on numerous occasions in the past, beginning in
1899. The tribal identity of the Lumbees, who have over the course of
history self-identified themselves as four different tribes before
Congress``Croatan,Cherokee, Siouan, and now Cheraw-is highly in question. These appellations do not correlate with each other.
Heinegg,whose work has been recognized by The American
Society of Genealogists,concludes that the Lumbee are an invented
North Carolina Indian tribe,and that many of the
persons who first self-identified as Indian in Robeson County,North
Carolina,are not of Indian ancestry.