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Tribes of American Indians in North Carolina
North Carolina has also granted legal status to four organizations that represent and provide services for urban
American Indians: the Guilford Native American Association (Guilford and surrounding counties), the
Cumberland County Association for Indian People (Cumberland County), the Metrolina Native American
Association (Mecklenburg and surrounding counties), and the Triangle Native American Society (Wake and
The only tribe in North Carolina recognized by the federal government is the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The federal Lumbee Act of 1956 only nominally recognized this tribe.
Some may believe that land treaties are the sole example of government contacts with Indians throughout
history. The formation of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs by the General Assembly in 1971 is
significant proof that the state has a favorable connection with its American Indian residents, tribes, and
organizations today. The connection between North Carolina and its tribes is thoroughly recorded in legislation,
rules and regulations governing state-funded programs, including restrictions governing historic Indian schools,
court decisions, and religious beliefs. The contemporary federal government has also acknowledged North
Carolina’s significant American Indian history and tradition.