Pembroke, NC - On January 31, the Lumbee Tribal Chairman and Council members, along with staff and representatives of Lumbee Bank, gathered in front of the Tribal Housing Complex to burn the building’s banknote and celebrate a milestone.
The complex, known by many tribal members as The Turtle, houses most tribal programs and services, and is the meeting site for all tribal council sessions and court hearings. It was constructed in 2009, under the tribal leadership and vision of the late Tribal Chairman Jimmy Goins, using NAHASDA funds in conjunction with a construction loan in the amount of 3.8 million dollars. On December 16, 2016, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina made the final loan payment of $375,000 to Lumbee Bank and therewith fulfilled a vision.
The note burning began with an honor song from Kaya Littleturtle, whose grandfather blessed the site at the building’s groundbreaking seven years ago. Reverend Jimmy Hammonds followed the honor song with a prayer, before Chairman Harvey Godwin, Jr. addressed the crowd. The Chairman thanked those present for their efforts in securing the Housing Complex. “It is a great day for all our people,” the Chairman remarked, charging the people to protect their building and to “grow in a mighty way”.
Tribal Council Representatives also offered remarks of thanks and appreciation. Speaker Bobby Oxendine noted that it was “a glad day” and that the mortgage payoff would make it possible to further more projects. Councilman Terry Hunt stated that “we’ve come a long way”, while Councilman Corbin Eddings expressed his pride in the Lumbee Tribe.
Chairman Godwin noted his special appreciation to the Housing and Finance staff for their efforts in achieving this accomplishment. He also expressed his gratitude for the continuing partnership with Lumbee Bank and their support of both the Lumbee people and the Tribal government. The ceremony ended with ashes, cheers, and a firm declaration by the Chairman that “no matter what happens, this building will always belong to the People!”