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North Carolina’s American Indian tribes
North Carolina has also given legal status to four groups that represent and help American Indians who live in
cities: the Guilford Native American Association (Guilford and the counties around it), the Cumberland County
Association for Indian People (Cumberland County), the Metrolina Native American Association (Mecklenburg
and the counties around it), and the Triangle Native American Society (Wake and surrounding counties).
The only North Carolina tribe that is recognized by the federal government is the Eastern Band of Cherokee
Indians. The Lumbee Act of 1956 gave the tribe a name, but that was all.
Some people may think that land treaties are the only way the government has worked with Indians over the
years. But the creation of the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs by the General Assembly in 1971 is a strong
sign that the state has good relationships with its American Indian citizens, tribes, and groups today. There is a
lot of information about the relationship between North Carolina and its tribes in laws, rules and regulations for
state-funded programs, rules about historic Indian schools, court decisions, and religious groups. The modern
federal government has also taken note of North Carolina’s rich history and heritage with American Indians.