PEMBROKE, N.C. (WBTW)  – A bill to provide federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina just moved one step closer to passing.

The U.S. House approved the Lumber Recognition Act on Monday afternoon and the bill now moves on to the Senate. The act would give Lumbee Tribe members access to services and benefits provided to members of federally recognized tribes.

The Lumbee Tribe was recognized by the state of N.C. in 1885 and sought federal recognition in 1888. Now, 132 years later, the Lumbee Tribe is hopeful this bill will pass the Senate and they’ll finally get the recognition they deserve.

“Today’s passage of the Lumbee Recognition Act in the U.S. House of Representatives is a milestone achievement, and I am grateful for the overwhelming bipartisan support shown for this piece of legislation in our state and across our nation,” said UNCP Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. 

“UNC Pembroke was founded by a group of visionary American Indians who understood the value of education and the importance their actions would have for the next seven generations. Today, we are proud to work with leaders like Representatives GK Butterfield and Dan Bishop who clearly see that full federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina will not only correct a longstanding injustice, it will help drive the economy, health, education and society of our region for the next seven generations and beyond.”

While campaigning last month, President Trump announced his support for federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe.

“I am hopeful that the Lumbee bill will be on the president’s desk before the end of the year,” Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin, Jr. said.

Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Bien recently said he would would support federal recognition for the tribe.