Robeson County fails health report

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin issued a health report for each state in the same format used to analyze counties in Wisconsin every year.  Of the 100 counties in North Carolina, Robeson County ranked 98th overall in terms of overall health.

Robeson County also ranked last in Social and Economic Health Factors, such as employment, education, community safety, and family support.

Death of Sanford Locklear

Lumbee leader Sanford Locklear died three years ago, in August 2006, at age 72.  He is most remembered for his involvement in the Ku Klux Klan routing of 1958. A photograph of Locklear at the rally holding a rifle was featured in the January 27th 1958 edition of LIFE magazine.

This rally, which brought him national attention, was written about recently in the blog, Daily Kos.

Death of James B. Chavis

Dr. James B. Chavis passed away Friday, February 26, 2010, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After starting out as a public school teacher, he served as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke for 21 years.  He worked at the university for 34 years.  The James B. Chavis University Center was named for him and opened in 1987.  Says Dr. Diane Jones, "Dr. Chavis was a role model and mentor for all who knew and worked with him."

Unofficial tally: Swett new chairman [of Lumbee Tribe]

The unofficial results of the Lumbee Tribal elections say that Purnell Swett, a former school administrator, is now chairman of the Lumbee Tribe.  He will take office in January, 2010 and serve a three-year term. Purnell Swett received 3,371 votes; Tony Hunt, 2,758; and William Terry Campbell, 649.

Woolverton, Paul. "Unofficial tally: Swett new chairman [of Lumbee Tribe]." Fayetteville Observer Wednesday, November 18, 2009.

Senate Committee Advances Lumbee Bill

On Thursday, October 22,  2009, the bill calling for federal recognition of the Lumbee Tribe was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The next step would be a vote on the Senate floor.

If the bill is passed, the Lumbee will be eligible to receive up to $800 million in federal funds over five years.

"Senate Committe Advances Lumbee Bill."  Fayetteville Observer. October 23, 2009. www.fayobserver.com

Obama meeting exclusion insults state recognized tribes

An announcement was made at the NCAI (National Congress of American Indians) 66th annual conference that President Barack Obama plans to meet with Indian Tribal leaders on November 5, 2009 at the Department of the Interior.  However, state-recognized tribes have been snubbed. 

Only leaders of federally recognized tribes have been invited to attend. Many members of the National Congress of American Indians are angry, as this organization contains representatives from both state and federally recognized tribes. 

Senate bill calls for recognition of the Lumbee

North Carolina Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr introduced a bill to the Senate on October 1, 2009, to recognize the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.  The bill will be referred to the Indian Affairs Committe.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians still opposes this path to recognition, claiming that the Lumbee should go through the formal process with the Office of the Interior.

"Senate bill calls for recognition of the Lumbee." Asheville Citizen-Times. October 1, 2009.

UNCP begins program with University College of the North

The University of North Carolina  at Pembroke celebrated its joint study  abroad program with University College of the North in Canada with a celebration on October 6, 2009.  The celebration took place at the Native American Resource Center in Pembroke, North Carolina.

The University College of the North was selected to partner with UNCP because of their compatibility as schools that serve indigenous and First Nation students. For UCN, these are mostly the Cree.

Lumbee Tribe OKs 2010 Budget

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has approved its 2010 budget.  The $13 million budget includes a 67% increase in stipend for Tribal Council members as well as a 3% increase in cost of living for the tribal employees.

A breakdown of the 2010 budget:

$7.63 million for housing rehabilitation
($4.5 million from federal stimulus package)
$4 million for home ownership
$1 million for administration
$335,000 for public services
$306,000 for elder services
$1,234,861 for youth services
$173,868 for for veterans services

"Looking for Ms. Locklear" debut on August 29

The movie "Looking for Ms. Locklear," written, produced and directed by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal,  premiered at the Galaxy Cinemas in Cary, NC on August 29, 2009.

The movie tells the story of the search for the duo's first grade teacher, Ms. Locklear, in whose class they first met.  The search takes place through interviews and word of mouth, and eventually brings them to the midst of the Lumbee Tribe and the tribe's fight for recognition.

The premier featured a musical performance and a question and answer session.

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