A treasure tribes willingly share. Museum adviser, a Lumbee, advocates for all American Indians

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BARR001
Citation: 

"A treasure tribes willingly share. Museum adviser, a Lumbee, advocates for all American Indians." Tar Heel of the Week. News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) May 27, 2007.

Annotation: 

This article profiles the career of Helen Maynor Scheirbeck, who currently works as a senior advisor for museum programs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Scheirbeck began her work with the museum in 2004, when she became a founding member of its board of trustees.

Scheirbeck's career in public service, which has always kept service to Native Americans in the forefront, has been varied and extensive. Barrett begins the profile by describing a photograph of the American Indian Chicago Conference in 1961, which Scheirbeck attended with her father, judge Lacy Maynor. The photograph hangs in the National Museum of the American Indian.

Other work Scheirbeck has done includes serving as an intern with the National Congress of American Indians, working on the staff of North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin, and heading the Indian Head Start program in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Scheirbeck's contributions are praised by both Ruth Dial Woods and Leon Jacobs (the latter now retired from service as the tribal administrator for the Lumbee Tribe). Jacobs stated, "The history of the Lumbee tribe will rate Helen very, very high because of her dedication, her contributions to the tribe and its members, her protection of heritage and culture."

Scheirbeck plans to retire from the National Museum of the American Indian in a year. Her retirement projects will include organizing her papers and donating them to a permanent home; writing the definitive history of the Lumbee tribe; and writing a children's book on the Lumbee.

For additional information on Scheirbeck's contributions, see Davis, "Devotion to the people: The legacy of Helen Scheirbeck," 2001.

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