Lumbee tribe finalizes contract toward recogniton

May 21, 2010 5:11:02 AM PDT
North Carolina's Lumbee Indian council wants a consultant to secure the tribe's full federal recognition.

However, a dispute over the role gambling should play in the Lumbee Tribe's future remains an issue.

The Lumbee Tribal Council has finalized a contract with a Las Vegas gaming consultant. Opponents failed to get the council to reconsider the agreement.

The contract gives the consultant firm the right to lobby for federal recognition. It also guarantees the firm a stake in future Lumbee economic ventures, including casinos.

Jeremiah Swett, the great nephew of the tribal chairman, argued the deal was damaging the 55,000-member tribe's 54-year struggle for full federal recognition.

Swett lobbies in Washington on behalf of tribes seeking recognition.

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