Lumbee, descendants of Native Americans whose language belonged to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages ). The ancestors of the Lumbee occupied the coast of the SE United States and were part of the Eastern Woodlands culture area. Generally friendly to the Europeans, they taught the settlers their methods of fishing, hunting, and farming and introduced them to many of their foods. They were one of the few Eastern tribes to escape removal to Indian Territory in the 19th cent., but were pressed into service by the Confederacy during the Civil War. They were formerly known as the Croatan Indians and the Robeson County Indians. In 1990 there were over 50,000 Lumbee in the United States, many of mixed Native American, African, and European ancestry; they are centered in Robeson co., North Carolina. The tribe's focus on education is embodied in Pembroke State Univ., founded in 1887 as a Lumbee college and now part of the Univ. of North Carolina system.
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