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Group Granted State Recognition As An Indian Organization

RALEIGH, NC -- The Triangle Native American Society, located in Raleigh, received official state recognition status from the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs (NCCIA) in March, according to Gregory Richardson, executive director of the NCCIA.

The Society submitted its petition to the NCCIA in December 1996 and a formal review by the commission began in November 1997. The Society, a non-profit organization, says its purpose is "to bring together those persons concerned with the betterment of Native Americans."

According to the NCCIA, an analysis of the petition and documents obtained during the verification process had been completed. The final hearing on the Society's petition was held in March by the NCCIA's Special Committee on Recognition.

The NCCIA currently recognizes six tribes and three other organizations in the state. The organizations include the Guilford Native American Association in Greensboro, the Metrolina Native American Association based in Charlotte, and the Cumberland County Association of Indian People located in Fayetteville.

The NCCIA has granted state recognition status to only two other groups in it's 29-year history, the Meherrin Tribe in Hertford County and the Indians of Person County.

The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation has sought state recognition through the NCCIA for the past 10 years. The tribe's latest efforts were stymied in February when an Administrative Court judge ruled that the tribe's appeal to the NCCIA's decision to not grant recognition was invalid.