Chairman’s Monthly Report | January 2023
Chairman’s Monthly Report | January 2023 Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina People of the Dark Water
Dear Lumbee People,
As we celebrate the beginning of the New Year, let’s also take a moment to remember the Lumbee Tribe’s 2022 accomplishments. I began my term with a focus on communication, process improvements, and outreach. We put into place a quarterly newsletter and I began writing monthly reports. Your tribal government committed to getting out into the communities and sharing information with our people. There also have been much needed improvements to a number of programs to better serve you. I am proud of these accomplishments and look forward to continuing our growth and progress in 2023.
As December came to an end, our team worked closely with our Congressional Delegation, and lobbying team to pass the “Lumbee Bill” prior to Congress closing out their 117th session. We fell short in our efforts, but that will not hinder our movements going forward. As many of you know, in 1956 the United States Congress passed and President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Lumbee Act, acknowledging the Lumbee as an American Indian Tribe but denying us services. The 1956 Lumbee Act passed during a period known as “Indian Termination” when the United States was trying to “get out of the Indian business” and worked to terminate their relationships with individual tribes. Our proposed bill, once passed, will undo the termination language that has plagued our people for almost seven decades. I will continue to explore every option when it comes to reaching our goal of full federal recognition. Each year our opponents spend millions of dollars, straight from their casinos, to block our efforts. They use their money to influence decision-makers and push propaganda that call into question our rights as a tribe. We must fight back in a way that doesn’t lower us to their standards, but provides us with the leverage we need to tell our story and secure our tribe the full federal recognition we deserve. I will be visiting Washington, DC soon to begin the next steps into this new congressional term.
On January 18th, we celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Hayes Pond. On that night, our Lumbee warriors came together to run the Ku Klux Klan out of Maxton and away from Lumbee Country. This year, I had the honor to do a live zoom interview with Dr. Jim Jones and Mr. Jack Lowery about that fateful night. Jack Lowery was an undergraduate student at UNC-Pembroke and Jones was a medical student at Wake Forest University, when they joined the fight to send the KKK running back to where they came from. This zoom was recorded and can be found on our Lumbee Tribe website; I encourage you to share it with family and friends.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chairman.
I love you all,
John L. Lowery