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A letter from the desk of
James Hardin, Executive Director of LRDA


Lumbee Homecoming:  49 Years to Date: One Year to Wait—(50th)



     Lumbee Homecoming has grown over the years to become the largest cultural celebration of certainly any tribe east of the Mississippi River, and the largest ethnic heritage celebration/party in North Carolina.   When we did not achieve full federal recognition in the federal 1956 Lumbee Act, it appears we have by default put in place a project in which we can successfully recognize our pride and own greatness annually through a feel good project called Lumbee Homecoming.


     Lumbee Homecoming is 49 years old and counting down to the 50th.  When Lumbee Homecoming was established in 1968, across the nation in Indian Country, Indian pride was becoming the new mantra, or Red Pride, as the civil rights movement contained its own messages of pride in heritage for African Americans.


     LRDA’s founding in 1968 was ripe for the times. Lumbee Homecoming has been “kicking” it for 49 years now. Its growth has been enjoyed by the public and tribal members alike as we have promoted our youth, elders, and veterans and showcased the successes of our people in all facets and branches of modern and tribal society.



     Lumbee Homecoming showcases our historic educational, social, economic, political and cultural contributions to our communities, county, state and nation. Homecoming itself has grown to become the major “cultural tourism” economic center for Robeson County and the Town of Pembroke, as it pumps out millions of dollars that turns over and over in the local economies.


     The Town of Pembroke and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke are at the center of the Lumbee Homecoming showcase and they do a great job partnering with LRDA and hosting all the events that shine the flood lights on the Lumbee people’s amazing heritage. Remember we established the first American Indian College in America known as the Indian Normal School in 1888, and Pembroke NC is the only “municipality” we know of in America governed by an all Indian Town Council and town manager.  


     Speaking of showcasing and flood lights, with next year being the fiftieth (50th) year of Lumbee Homecoming, LRDA has been discussing now for over a year what can we do to make the 50th year unique and memorable? We welcome your ideas and thoughts. We want to add some new and exciting elements that has never been done before, if at all possible. This would include our many sponsors, supporters, and major partners already noted, as we jointly celebrate where we have come from and build around a new vision for showcasing our heritage and achievements well into the future.


     Whatever we do we want to always remember the importance of maintaining our identity as a native people through the preservation of our unique history, heritage and culture. Our youth must understand and should be taught at home and at their county schools,  that it is their responsibility to past these things on, and never yield to the old Bureau of Indian Affairs, (BIA) or the federal government’s practice  to  define who we are culturally, spiritually, or racially.   We welcome their definition of us legally that would be embodied around and come with full federal recognition, but that is where current and future tribal leaders must always draw the trench in the sand.


     Lumbee Homecoming will always be about pride and heritage. We hope that you will enjoy all the events at Lumbee Homecoming 2017.  On behalf of the Lumbee Regional Development Association Board of Directors and staff we appreciate your attendance and hope that memories will be made that will last a lifetime.


     We welcome and invite the public and all tribes to continue to be a part of our history at the 50th celebration back here again in 2018.




This is the official website of Lumbee Homecoming, an annual event sponsored by Lumbee Regional Development Association, Inc.
All photos are property of Inc. and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Design and maintained by Tosha Bullard of LRDA