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May 9, 2017

Meet the Lumbee Tribe

The Lumbee Tribe is the largest American Indian tribe east of the Mississippi and make up 38 percent of Robeson County’s population.“ The reason Robeson County voted Republican is the Native American population voted Republican,” says Jarrod Lowery, who sits on the Lumbee Tribal Council. (Jordan Allott for the Washington Examiner)

Donald Trump likely would not have won Robeson County, NC, America’s most racial diverse rural county, if not for the support he received from Native American voters there. The Lumbee Native American Tribe is the largest Indian tribe east of the Mississippi River. There are roughly 50,000 Lumbee Indians in Robeson County, making them a plurality of the electorate. A historically Democratic constituency, the Lumbee broke for Trump (and for other Republicans down ballot) in 2016. In Prospect community, for instance, the oldest Lumbee community in the county, 73 percent of voters went for Trump.

The Lumbee voted for Trump and other Republicans chiefly because of the Republican Party’s emphasis on faith and family values and law and order and Trump’s status as a political outsider. Jarrod Lowry, a representative on the Lumbee Tribal Council, said many Lumbee believe that with Trump in the White House, they will finally feel included and listened to. “With us,” Lowry said of the Lumbee, “what matters is that you listen to us, that people say, ‘Those Lumbee, they’re important, they’re as important as people in Silicon Valley, as important as New York City, they’re important.’ That’s all we want.”


This photo gallery was originally featured as a part of the Washington Examiner’s series The Race to 2020: The people and places that will define a presidency. You can read more about Robeson County, see more photo gallery content, or use the form below to get email updates about future updates.

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