A letter from the desk of
Lumbee Homecoming: Still Turning the Corner towards 50 Years!
Lumbee Homecoming is 46 years old and counting down to 50 years. As the largest non-federally recognized tribe in the nation, this celebrative event of tribal history, culture, survival, and our unprecedented successes in American society as a whole, by our tribal members remains beyond comparison throughout all of “Indian Country.”
When our Indian youth who attend or take part in Lumbee Homecoming events become adults, i.e., tax paying citizens, even if it is a concept that is “out of sight out of mind” in the present, they will realize that this celebration was and still is the must collective event that helps our tribe maintain, even in our high tech modern world, its ancient tribal sense of traditional Indian communities, families, religion, and last but not least Lumbee culture and pride.
Lumbee Homecoming rightly so celebrates American Indian veterans with a major Lumbee Warriors Ball. Lumbees have historically fought and laid down their lives for America, in greater numbers in proportion to our tribal size to the greater populations of our nation. It is estimated that over 9000 members of our tribe are military veterans today. We owe these great warriors, and those not with us due to war or age, for the opportunity to come together during Lumbee Homecoming (freedom) to celebrate hundreds of years of history that showcases our tribal and individual achievements, having lived in “two worlds” to modern times.
Whether it is 46 years, or soon to be 50, Lumbee Homecoming will always be about shaping through our own Lumbee hands and minds, our own positive tribal self-concept as a people, and to define and perpetuate our own heritage and identity for our children’s sake. We claim our right, and will fight to protect the right to define who we are as a people and to preserve our tribal identify. This core “nationalistic” value will one day lead us to achieve full federal recognition.
Lumbee Homecoming will always showcase our many, educational, social, and cultural contributions to our county, state and nation. Our achievements would not have been possible without past and present leaders of a strong faith in God, and our strong work ethic, anchored in an individualistic, non-co-dependent Lumbee pride.
We hope that you will enjoy all the events planned for Lumbee Homecoming 2014. On behalf of the Lumbee Regional Development Association Board of Directors and staff we welcome the public again to this 2014 annual celebration.
James Hardin, MPA, Executive Director
Lumbee Regional Development Assoc. Inc.
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