Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

In Community by Elizabeth Stephenson

November is National Native American Heritage Month! To commemorate this month, New Direction Family Law would like to recognize this state’s significant Native American populations, its Tribes, and its organizations. In fact, did you know that North Carolina has the country’s largest Native American population east of the Mississippi river? According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 99,551 Native Americans reported living in the state.

State Recognized Native American Tribes

North Carolina recognizes a total of 8 Native American tribes and 4 organizations. The state-recognized tribes include:

  • Coharie Indian Tribe. 910-564-6909
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 828-497-2771
  • Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe. 252-586-4017
  • Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. 910-521-7861
  • Meherrin Indian Nation–People of the Water. 252-209-0934
  • Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. 336-421-1317
  • Waccamaw Siouan – People of the Fallen Star. 910-655-8778

Of these tribes, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is the only one also recognized Federally as a tribe.

Recognized Native American Organizations

  • Cumberland County Association for Indian People. 910-483-8442. This organization seeks “to enhance self-determination and self-sufficiency as it relates to the socio- economic development, legal, and political well-being of the Indian People of Cumberland County”.
  • Guilford Native American Association. 336-273-8686. This is a non-profit organization formed in the 1970’s to address the high drop out rate of Native American students from public high schools.
  • Metrolina Native American Association. 704-926-1524. Founded in the 1970’s this is a social organization primarily composed of Lumbee tribal members, but also has members representing each North Carolina tribe.
  • Triangle Native American Society. FaceBook page. This organization was founded in 1983 as a social network for Native Americans living in the Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill areas.

The Commission of Indian Affairs

In 1971, the state created its Commission of Indian Affairs, which essentially provides the following social, educational, and economic programs for Native American residents of North Carolina:

  • American Indian Workforce Development Program
  • Community Development Program: Low Income Energy Assistance
  • Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program
  • Economic Development Program
  • Educational Resources
  • North Carolina American Indian Fund Scholarship
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance Program

American Indian Heritage Celebration

In you are interested in celebrating and learning more about Native American history and culture in North Carolina, on Saturday, November 18, the North Carolina Museum of History is hosting its 22nd Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration. The museums states that this family-friendly event will feature “Musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers, and authors” from all eight tribes.

Let New Direction Family Law Assist You

New Direction Family Law provides legal guidance and representation in all areas of Family Law in Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and Durham counties. This includes separations, divorces, property division, child custody, protective orders, child support, and alimony. If you are in need of legal assistance, contact us. Call our team today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.