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We Still Believe

Lumbee Culture Team Travels to Washington in Cultural Exchange with Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command

This week, the Lumbee Tribe enjoyed a great opportunity to share Lumbee Culture with employees and Naval Officers from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Washington, DC. The Lumbee Tribe Culture Team provided a rare presentation in celebration of Native American and Alaskan Native Month as an opportunity to educate about the Lumbee Tribe’s proud heritage and culture. The program was hosted by NAVSEA at the Washington Navy Yard. The historic event was coordinated by Lumbee Tribal member Robert D. Deese Jr., (Deputy Command Information Officer, Program Executive Office SHIPS, who leads the Native American Indian and Alaskan Native Employee Resource Group in collaboration with the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity.)

The Lumbee delegation was comprised of Lumbee Tribal dancers, singers and Miss Lumbee 2019-22 Taylor Brooke Locklear. The Culture Team presented a variety of dances and songs, ranging from a War Dance to a Prayer and Honor Song. Through their performance of each dance and song, the team was able to showcase the Lumbee Tribe, its beliefs, clothing, as well as the history and significance for each dance and song. The Cultural Exchange Program offers the opportunity to share the story of the Lumbee with thousands of Naval Personnel and civilians around the globe.

Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin, Jr., the keynote speaker at the special event, presented Robert Deese with a Star Blanket, which was quilted by a Lumbee Elder and a Eagle Feather for Deese’s service, dedication and commitment to his community and nation. Deese is from the Maxton Community. He is the son of Robert and Betty Deese. During his presentation, Chairman Godwin shared Lumbee history, the current position regarding Federal Recognition, as well as treasured stories of the heroism and bravery of Lumbee Veterans who have served in various capacities supporting the US military throughout America’s history.

The cultural exchange program has already opened the door for future partnerships for STEM Programs and possible internships for Lumbee Youth. NAVSEA’s (Naval Sea Systems Command) mission is to design, build, deliver and maintain ships, submarines and systems reliably, on-time and on-cost for the United States Navy.

The Lumbee Tribe would like to thank NAVSEA Commander William Galinis, Executive Commander Ms. Giao Phan, Rear Admiral Tom J. Anderson, Thomas Rivers, and Robert D. Deese Jr, for this historic opportunity.


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