One state-recognized tribe in North Carolina, the Lumbee tribe, does receive federal funding and has for years. The tribe, located in Pembroke, N.C., claims to have more than 50,000 members.
In February, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that the Lumbees would receive more than $13 million through an Indian Housing Block Grant.
The Delaware Nation received just $87,051 of those same housing funds, although they have far fewer members than the Lumbees.
The money is a large part of the tribe's funding, reported by local newspapers to account for roughly 90 percent of it.
Paul Brooks, chairman of the Lumbees, is protesting Boren's requested study and wrote a letter to the analyst who released the report to the congressman's office, according to The Robesonian newspaper in North Carolina.
“The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina requests that the GAO revisit this entire draft as it was written from the perspective of those who oppose state-recognized tribes,” Brooks said in the letter.
“This report should give a broader view of the need being addressed by the funds, not just the funds that are being provided to state-recognized tribes without any review of the percentage in relationship to all of Indian Country.”
An attorney representing the tribe also warned that any loss of federal funds would hurt the local economy.