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About Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina 

The 55,000 members of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina reside primarily in RobesonHoke, Cumberland, and Scotland counties.  The Lumbee Tribe is the largest tribe in North Carolina, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River, and the ninth largest in the nation.  The Lumbee take their name from the Lumbee River, which winds its way through Robeson County.  Pembroke, North Carolina is the economic, cultural, and political center of the tribe.

The ancestors of the Lumbee were mainly Cheraw and related Siouan-speaking Indians who have lived in the area of what is now Robeson County since the 1700s.  The Lumbee people have been recognized by the State of North Carolina since 1885, and at the same time, established a separate school system that would benefit tribal members.  In 1887, the State established the Croatan Normal Indian School, which is today The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  In 1956, a bill was passed by the United States Congress which recognized the Lumbee as Indian, but denied the tribe full status as a federally recognized Indian tribe.  Federal recognition for the tribe is currently being sought through federal legislation.

Lumbee HNNC Supported Initiatives

“One of our goals at the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina is to promote and educate tribal members on the importance of having an active and healthy lifestyle.  Having a holistic approach to life is important not only for our individual tribal members, but their families and our tribal communities as a whole.”

  • The Tribe is in communications with the Mayor and the Recreation Department for the Town of Pembroke around supporting existing healthy vending options and the possibility of including more healthy vending options for future recreational activities offered at the park.
  • The Tribe worked closely with the Elder’s Services Department and Lumbee Elders Heritage Groups across the Lumbee territory to collect healthy recipes for the creation of a cookbook.  The Wisdom of the Elders cookbook is available for purchase for a small fee to help sustain this project for upcoming years.  However, tribal elders and other tribal members who submitted recipes will receive a copy of the cookbook for free as a gift for their knowledge and contributions to the health and wellbeing of their community for years to come.
  • In partnership with The Healing Lodge, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina hosted an annual Healthy Cooking Collard Contest. Charly Lowry of the Lumbee/Coharie band, Dark Water Rising, collaborated with the Tribe and The Healing Lodge to identify the venue in conjunction with the popular Peace in the Park concert series in downtown Pembroke, NC.  Combining the two events was intentional to try and reach a large number of community members and to create a conversation buzz around “healthy collards.”
  • The HNNC project supported the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina’s Youth Services Department to create and establish an annual “Fresh Fruit Fundraiser” at the LTNC annual pow-wow.  Each year, this fundraiser will help to promote healthy lifestyles and give spectators a healthy snack option during the three day event.  Funds raised by the youth themselves will be used as a self-sustaining way to support healthy activities at the participating Boys & Girls Clubs, and the experience builds leadership and health advocacy skills among Lumbee youth.
  • The Lumbee HNNC Grant Coordinator worked with the Lumbee Tribal Youth Service Department around a youth-driven sustainable agriculture project to create small raised bed gardens at four of the tribal owned and operated Boys and Girls Clubs.  The gardens were designed and assembled in collaboration with The Healing Lodge.  The contents and upkeep of the gardens will be the responsibility of the youth club members and staff.  The gardens will be incorporated into various curricula within the clubs.  In addition to the raised beds, the youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs are learning to care for herbs and vegetables through the science of aquaponic gardening.  Vegetables, fruits, and herbs gathered will be used at the discretion of the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Lumbee HNNC Partners & Collaborators

Lumbee Contact Information

April M. Bryant
Program Manager
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
P.O. Box 2709
Pembroke, NC 28372
Office: 910-522-2189
Fax:      910-521-7790