At a campaign rally on Wednesday night in Gaston, NC, President Donald Trump announced his support of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina‘s 100-year battle for federal recognition — and pledged to lobby Congress after the election to ensure that it happens.
Officials of the Lumbee Tribe were in attendance at the rally and thanked the President for the landmark announcement. The move comes as the presidential election nears and the electorate in North Carolina looks to be very evenly divided.
Trump has made inroads with Native American tribes in recent years, approving tribal energy reforms, creating a task force on missing and murdered indigenous people, and providing more than $8 billion in coronavirus response funds to tribal governments and businesses.
Many Native American businessmen want Trump’s support of an Indian Bank Regulatory Act to ensure that tribal economies are able to grow in a way that asserts tribal sovereignty rather than undermining it.
Many officials in the Trump administration are increasingly open to amending the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) to give indigenous government a seat at the Treaty making table, so that tribal commerce is protected in the North American Free Trade framework.
In recent days, the Trump campaign has released an Indian policy agenda for the second term: Putting America’s First Peoples First Plan.
Famous members of the Lumbee Tribe include actress Heather Locklear, Gene Locklear of the Cincinnati Reds, the NFL linebacker Kenwin Cummings, basketball coach Kelvin Sampson of the Houston Cougars, and grammy-nominated artist Jana Mashonee.