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Chairman’s Monthly Report | April & May 2024

Chairman’s Monthly Report | April & May 2024

Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

People of the Dark Water

Dear Lumbee People,

The Spring was a busy time as we hosted a great number of events for our citizens. For this report, I am going to combine my April and May monthly reports as one.

In April, we hosted our Annual Lumbee Honor Cord ceremony at the Robeson Community College Auditorium. At this event we honored over 300 students graduating from high school and different levels of college. The Honorable Jessica Locklear, Superior Court Judge, was our keynote speaker. She discussed her own educational and career journey that led to her recent appointment to become the first American Indian Superior Court Judge in the state of North Carolina. This event continues to grow and we are proud to celebrate our Lumbee graduates as they prepare to be our future leaders.

The Lumbee Tribal Council and I recently held educational consultation sessions with the four public school districts within our territory and Old Main Stream Academy Charter School. These consultation session are mandated by federal law and state that these school districts must consult on Indian Education programming with the local Tribe. Our Tribal Council takes these consultation sessions seriously as they recently passed a resolution encouraging greater participation by each LEA. Consultation with the Lumbee Tribe is vitally important and we feel that a new day of cooperation is close at hand with each of these school systems.

In May, I was proud to announce that we will receive an additional 10 million dollars in housing money during the upcoming fiscal year 2024-2025. As I work on my budget to present to the Tribal Council, I will propose that we use some of these additional funds to offer housing opportunities that will focus on home ownership. We have bought numerous plots of land during my time as Chairman and these new funds will allow us to start the development on new houses for future home owners.

Also in May, we opened six new rental homes to families in the Arrow Point subdivision as part of the “DreamCatcher Arrow Point” project. I was honored, along with Tribal Council members, to hand the keys to these individuals as they walked through the doors of their new homes. The DreamCatcher project had three phases and I am proud of my staff and our contractors for completing all three developments.

On May 5th, the Lumbee people lost one of our trailblazers and visionaries, Mr. Horace Locklear. Mr. Horace was the first American Indian to practice law in North Carolina, he was a co-founder of the Lumbee Regional Development Association (LRDA), and was the second Lumbee to serve in the North Carolina General Assembly as a representative in the North Carolina State House. Mr. Horace played a role in many major Lumbee developments from the 1960-1980s and his advice was sought by many as they looked to continue to move our people forward. Many folks talk about doing good for their people, Mr. Horace walked the walk of helping better our Lumbee people and for that we will always be grateful for his life of service.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chairman,

John L. Lowery


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