Jessica Clark, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, will present her artwork in the Fahm Hall Gallery in Savannah, Georgia from July 9 through July 23, 2010. Clark's show is entitled "Lumbee: Postmodern Natives." The show is also Clark's MFA thesis for SCAD: The University for Creative Careers in Savannah, Georgia. Clark works with photographs to paint "large full scale figurative paintings and lithographs" that represent and honor the people and places of the Lumbee Indians.
A meeting is scheduled next month for the U.S. Department of Education to meet in Pembroke, North Carolina with state tribes, including the Lumbee Tribe. Leaders of the Lumbee Tribe see this meeting as a step in the right direction for Lumbees toward gaining federal recognition in Washington, even though federal recognition is not scheduled as a point of the meeting. Leaders feel optimism because the Dept. of Education has never met with tribes recognized by their state and not by the federal government, such as the Lumbee Tribe.
Over the past few weeks, well over a thousand signatures have been given to petitioners working in Washington for full federal recognition of the Lumbee Tribe. Members of the Lumbee Tribal Council and the Lumbee Sovereignty Coalition (LSC) are working together to collect signatures both online and on paper.
Alex Baker, spokesman for the Lumbee Tribe, said, "We're working to show solidarity...We want to send the message that the tribe is working together to win recognition."
Jana Mashonee, a Lumbee Indian who has won eight Native American Music Awards (NAMMYs), received a Grammy nomination, and produced four albums (Flash of a Firefly, Native American Christmas, American Indian Story, and New Moon Born), has just begun her own record label, Miss Molly Records. This is the first Native American record label under Sony Records.
The North Carolina Attorney General's office released a report placing Robeson County at the top of the list for violent crimes committed in North Carolina for 2009. This is the second year in a row that Robeson County has been No. 1 in violent crimes in North Carolina. Robeson County was also listed as No. 3 in property crimes for 2009.
The Lumber River was named one of North Carolina's Top 10 Natural Wonders this spring by Land for Tomorrow, an organization advocating the preservation of North Carolina's wildlife. The Lumber River was honored with this title from a list of 1,300 state landmarks, including Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, and Grandfather Mountain.
In his recent efforts to strengthen unity among the Lumbee Tribe, Lumbee Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett hosted a public forum at Prospect United Methodist Church this past Saturday, 10 July. Swett's intentions were to bring together church leaders among the Lumbee Tribe to gain support for the upcoming bill of recognition in Washington.
The Robeson Community College (RCC) joined the Lumbee Tribe's fight for federal recognition last Monday during their normally scheduled monthly meeting. Charles Chrestman, RCC president, said that he would be in touch with Lumbee Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett to find out how the college could help the Lumbee Tribe.
The annual Lumbee Homecoming event this year will be hosting a somewhat different event, says reporter Mixe Hixenbaugh: "Among the merchants hocking homemade jewelry, collard green sandwiches and dream-catchers during the annual celebration, members of the Lumbee Sovereignty Coalition [LSC] plan to collect signatures to recall Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett."
Lumbee Tribe members have agreed to begin constructing a memorial to the fallen "public servants, including police, EMS, SBI and FBI" of the Lumbee Tribe. The memorial will be built on the grounds of the Lumbee Housing Complex. Names of the fallen servants who are to be honored will be inscribed on the memorial. Councilman Shelley Strickland said that the design for the memorial would be in the shape of the American flag; but further details, including a budget, are still not concrete.