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Cherokee Case

Essay by   •  April 8, 2012  •  Essay  •  357 Words (2 Pages)  •  805 Views

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For centuries, various American Indian tribes have collaborated and worked together towards many different objectives and goals. Prior to colonization of white Europeans in North America, hundreds of tribes lived all over the country working together through trade, farming, hunting, medicine, travel, and keeping a well being. Although these tribes worked together, there was also room for hostility and conflict between the many different tribes. Many of these conflicts still exist in present day. Historically and presently, there is extreme hostility between the Lumbee and Cherokee tribes of North Carolina.

Little is known about the origins of the Lumbee people, but there are numerous theories of where and when this tribe emerged. Many of these theories are not accepted or supported by the members of the Lumbee tribe. The theory that affects the hositility between the two tribes relationship the most is the Cherokee origin theory. The Cherokee Origin Theory is Angus W. McLean's theory that the Lumbee are descendants of the Cherokee.

Cherokee's had their own struggle for recognition from the federal government Lumbee's suggest in their petition that they could have Cherokee heritage. The Cherokee tribe did not and does not agree or support this claim. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is the only federally recognized tribe in North Carolina and has opposed Lumbee efforts to gain federal recognition. In his unpublished 1934 master's thesis, Clifton Oxendine held that the Lumbee descend from Iroquoian-speaking Cherokee. Relying on oral traditions among some Lumbee, Oxendine claimed that the Lumbee were the descendants of Cherokee warriors who fought with the British under Colonel John Barnwell of South Carolina against the Tuscarora in the campaign of 1711-13. He contended that the Cherokee warriors settled in the swamps of Robeson County when the campaign ended, along with their Tuscarora captives.[19] These individuals, he said, were the ancestors of the Lumbee.

But, no Cherokee were listed in the record of Barnwell's company.[20] There is no documentation of Oxendine's claims and other scholars do not agree with his conclusions. The federally recognized Cherokee Nation rejects the connection to the Lumbee. The Lumbee tribe as a whole never officially accepted the Cherokee origin.

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