The Lumbee are a state-recognized Native American tribe in North Carolina. They are concentrated in Robeson County on the southern border. They chose a name associated with the primary waterway traversing the county, which became called the Lumber River because of the extensive 19th-century lumber trade in the region. In December 2011, Paul Brooks was elected as chairman of the Lumbee tribe. He was the fifth chairman in the decade since the tribe established its government. In 1885 the Lumbee were recognized by the State of North Carolina as Croatan Indians under the now discredited theory that they were descended from the Lost Colony of Roanoke and Croatan. On several occasions over the next 130 years, the Lumbee unsuccessfully sought federal recognition under the Croatan and other names. In 1952, the people chose the "Lumbee" name in a referendum conducted by the Robeson County Commissioners.
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