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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
OCTOBER 12, 1972
INTERVIEWER: LEW BARTON
PLACE: CAROLINA INDIAN VOICE
INTERVIEWEE: MR. CARNELL LOCKLEAR
EASTERN CAROLINA INDIAN
I: Mr. Locklear it was very kind of you to come by this morning
and give us this interview. I'm sure this is worthwhile program
and this will be of great benefit to people in better understanding
of the Indian people of this area. Uh, I want to ask you something
about personally to begin with. Although I know you personally
and we're great friends and I'm proud of that; our listeners,
some of them, won't know so will you tell us how old you are?
S: I'm 30 years old.
I: Are you married?
S: Yes, I'm married and have three children.
I: Who was your wife before you married?
S: Peggy Lee Locklear.
I: Uh, what's your children ----names?
S: I have two boys and a girl. The girl's oldest--her name if
Michalle Locklear. I have, my second oldestson is Lynn Edward
and the baby is named Shawn Edward Locklear. My little girl--
she's four years old this past August. And my son Edward will
be three years old November. And Shawn was a year old this past
I: I hate to ask you this. I am being very troublesome. But for
the sake of the girl who does the typing, would you spell the
names of those children for me?
S: Michalle--M-i-c-h-a-l-l-e. Michalle. Lynn Edward--L-y-n-n E-d-w-a-r-d.
And Shawn S-h-a-w-n Shawn Edward. E-d-w-a-r-d.
I: That's a very beautiful name, I like that--Shawn. That's typically
Indian isn't it?
S: Uh, hum.
I: I know you have been active for a long time with your organization.
And, uh, you have won many friends, not onlyAin Robertson County
North Carolina but in other parts of the nation. Don't you have
some connection with. AIM, the American Indian Movement?
S: Yes, I am on the Board of Directors of the American Indian Movement.
I was very fortunate to go, me and Janey Locklear, was very fortunate
to go out to Catslake, Minnesota, this past May. It was the first
time any Indians from this area was invited to participate in the
American Indian Movement. And we went out and stayed about three
days at the convention--at that time, I was very lucky and tried to
be voted on the Board of Directors on the Indian Movement.
I: I certainly congratulate you--I think they made a good choice. And
when there is anything going on for the benefit of the Indian, cks
you know, I usually get in touch with you.
S: That's right, yeekI
I: Because I know that you have the interest of all the Indians at heart,
and that you want to do everything you can to improve the lot of the
S: Yes, that's right. I love our people dearly.
I: How about the other officers in your organization. Would you mind
giving us their names?
S: Yes, we have, uh, Benny Locklear is our vice-president--president.
Keith Locklear is our vice-president. Dewey Locklear's our chief.
And we have Terman Locklear and we have about 15 advisory board
I: That's great. I have noticed a lot of enthusiasm and I've been to
your meetings and a lot of warmth and fervor about lad4ets which
is artainly admirable in my opinion. I think this is waht we need
more of. How often do you meet?
S: We meet every Tuesday night, our advisory board meeting and every
Wednesday and Friday night of every week. And we feel this is the
only way to get Indians involved to see where they is and see how
far they can go is to organize and to meet regularly to keep them
informed on everything that is happening in this community, in
the county, in the state and nation-wide.
I: That's great. I notice a lot of emphasis on history and different
members would get up and read, you know from books or newspapers or
whatever, anything that was informative, you know in the .
S: We have a president who was an elderly man and he knows what we have
been through in this area. And he is what we call our historical man.
And he knows a great deal about history and he has about 10 or 15 books.
And that's all he did when we go to the meeting--read the history of
we people, where we come from) culturejand everything about Indian, that's
I: Right. And of course here in this valley--we need to know lots and lots
of our past and this is great. Uh, we have people who claim, you know,
some people who claim Tuscarora descent, we have some who claim Cherokee
descent and uh, so on so there are several groups but I do know about
your group, Tuscarora)which was once located in North Carolina,
S: That's right, yes. Uh, and to--keeping our organization is tied
to the Tuscaroras in New York -W" -_OA ---f ^/n n.
They are descendants of Henry Barryewyi and uh, and we have
these books where the Locklears married into the Tuscaroras
and that's where I tied mine too--married into the Tuscarora.family.
I: Well, they're great people.
S: Yeh, yeh. t 3cr
I: Well, have you met 4-itW@ --Wallace Anderson)yet?
S: No, we haven't, uh, we've been aiming to.
I: He's a great Tuscarora leader.
I: I believe he would come if you would, you know.
S: Well, that is what we are trying to do now is work towards trying to
go up to New York or have someone come down here and talk to us, try
to get better ties with our blood brothers.
I: Well, I certainly wish you Godspeed and good luck and I know you're
going to succeed in what you set out to do because there is a lot of
zeal and persistence. And this is what it takes--it takes a lot of hard
work, doesn't it?
S: Yes, a lot of determination; it takes faith in what you're doing and
determination and faith in God --that's the three keys to success
anyway. Butin especially what we're doing--you've got to have guts
but you've got to have faith and good spirit.
I: You've got to be sure in your own heart that you're right.
S: You've got to be Indian; you've got to think Indian; you've got to
be Indian all the way. You've got to understand that Indians is
people that's the first Americans. And they have pride and they
have love in their hearts and they want to be treated equally
fairly but you know we have never been treated like that and
we've got something to be proud upon. The federal government
has never stood up for their promises to these people and that's
one thing that we fight for now. We fight for a historical and
constitutional way. We stand up for the constitution--and that
is what we are leaning back on.
I: I want to ask you a little bit more about the American Indian
Movement--this is a national movement. And, uh, some of the
people connected with AIM took part I believe in the Alcatraz
S: Yes, right.
I: Uh, and other things.
S: Yes, we're--the American Indian Movement was born in Minneapolis,
Minnesota because a lot of our people were beaten up by a lot of
police brutality and injustice in the courts,And in the schools
they were able or justified to wear their hair longhand this made
a lot of them ill nd they began to organize and the American Indian
movement is aware of everything that goes on mostly because they
are organized in all parts of the United States now. And they go
where Indians--they feel like Indians have been discriminated
against--they go in and compromise with the society. And they
are coming here. We are very thankful they are. We don't know
how many is coming. But we are working to have a united front when
they do come here to Robertson County, Pembroke, home of the Robertson
County Indians, the Lumbees, the Tuscarora, Cherokee, whatever. They
come in and meet their blood brothers and we're going to open our
arms to all and come together and have cooperatiOon. foreign nations
within ally in the course of the United States.
I: That's great. And you're going to form this local chapter or perhaps
you are forming the local chapter thing. Why don't you count me in?
S: O.K. What we are going to do--we are going to set up an office here
and have people that voted to Indians--working in Indians. If we had
trouble, our people needed us out in Montana. We hope to have the
money for foundations and churches where people could go and find out
what is happening out there to see if there is any way we could get
assistanceto be sure Indians have justice.
I: Right. Do you have any trouble--or have you been able to contact other
groups in the organization or various branches of this throughout the
nation. I was hopeful that you would be able to contact somebody who
would take an interest and be willing to contribute funds you know to
your organization. Unfortunately, every organization needs money.
S: Yeh. Well, we are working toward that goal now. The way we have been--
every since we he e-1i organize, about a year and a half ago, the
only way we have been getting money is through collections twice a
week in our organization--picking up bottles, local contributions,
that's the only way we've had it made and uh, that's the only way
and they put me on the r-'ICd -Wen we first begun, we had no money
at all and I had little saved up and I quit my job as an insurance
underwriter, I began to feel the need for an organization like we
had to get the people, that has always been forgotten, get them
involved with the society and that's what I've done. We went out
*Le.tra ss re d ,/i
to tgraru--- people to get them involved with the society
here in this area and let them, let people know that they are in
ity-they have hearts-they have minds that they can make their own
destiny. The only way we have gotten our money, like I say is through
contributions of our members and picking up bottles and stuff like
this and we made it through this way. Now we're trying to seek out
and find out ways to that we could get money through foundations
and anybody that wants to give us money--we will accept it and the
money will be used &&LI/-ffor the benefit of the Indian people.
I: Well, I certainly wish you luck and as I said with your determination,
zeal, and all this, it's bound to work out. You took part in the
"56e ld ain movement your group came in. There was no difference.
When the need came, your people were right there standing side by
side with all other Indians who were interested in the same thing.
This is something that made me feel good because we did have friends
throughout the United States, didn't we?
S: Yeh, uh, the 014 "a -issue really sparked up a lot. I
went down to Mr. Stanford-'he used to work there a lot of years s*-Sf O
SAnd he was so disgusted) --and he asked
me--"reckon some our people could go out and demonstrate?" And,uh, we
went out and they had about fifty head. We marched in the rain and
sleet and to save that building and we meant to save it if it took,
four or five years that was what was what we would have done because
that was the only symbol left that resembled anything on that university,
I've got to say that,uh, and too .At one time a college
for Indians and we, the people in our organization really had the guts
to march and they was laughed at people riding up and down the road on
the streets. We didn't mind that, because we are Indians --we're
proud we're Indians and we stood to that fact.
I: Well, this was a great victory and I know we're all proud of it.
And this is one time, wouldn't you say)when the people actuallyr...
ou know they say you can't beat city hall?
S: I heard that.
I: At one time we did beat city hall.
S: That's right. Yes, siree. And the way we done that was stand up.
S: With our guts.
I: And everybody was dedicated?
S: Yes, yes we really worked together on it and we saved the building.
And now,lately, I have been trying to work some trying to get some
funds. But Jany has spoke to the general theme I think. We
might be getting some ones in the general assembly--200 maybe do it.
I: This is Janey Vann Locklear?
S: Uh, huh.
I: Well, I'm sure we'll get some help from some direction. Maybe a number
Sof directions. This building really should be saved and uh. .
S: Yes, a lot of our people wants to, organization, wants to go out
there and look at it--go inside and see exactly what needs to be done
and, uh, go to work tme ------- ---. We are beginning now to want
fo find out what is going on. And, uh, they want to go inside and
look at the building, themselves. A lot of them have never been inside
the building because it's been, youlkow, shut down. They figure somebody
is trying to run something over and they want to go inside and look.
I: How do your people feel about the administration padlocking that
building, keeping everybody out.( fr
S: They've never r4eId--they have never 4Ld that one bit. And I
can see why because that's supposed, to my knowledge been in college(?).
And not no more Xtn about it than going to Brazil. Because they
have always diut us out, they have always give us a cold side. And
a lot of people in my organization has never been on the campus to
look at a university because theyrare not wanted. They never had
welcome arms)or stuff like this)to elderly people, the illiterate 1 4
uneducated. They never attempt to go out and try to have them to
come in take part in the college and programs out there, nothing at
I: Well, this is one of the truly remarkable things, I think about the
*4l -e e campaign and this makes my heart warm. These are people who
didn't have the opportunity to get a college education, they were just
as enthusiastic and ferveAt)or maybe even more so than the educated
S: Oh, yeah.
I: And they stood up for this because they knew, you know, what it meant.
S: That's right. They was really--they said this, uh, that they tore down
--*--'"----building--they tore down thie first CaCLe 0
-- -- And, now -----they know that we've done because
it takes ingenuity and to my knowledge the head officials here in the
county, in the state as a whole wants to alk .srik.i in from North Carolina.
But, I am proud to say that God and the people are not going to let that
happen. We're going--now, this is a new breed of Indians anyway. Used
to be a lot of people afraid to speak out--fear. But the fear is leaving
us now because of the three words I used a while ago--faith, determination,
and faith in God has taken all the fear out of it and now they sand
up and be proud they're Indians. But the people in Raleigh and
everywhere else will never -Ia, i ..4 wry from North Carolina.
fttmg going to remain here. If anybody leaves, it's going to be them.
I: (Laugh) Carnell since the Old Main campaign began, I've noticed several
things that made me think that the trend was being reversed. You know
in November of last year when I published this article called "The e-"
Indianization of Pembroke University", uh, it seemed that things were
happening to eradicate everything Indian. And we were all very disturbed
about it. It seems now that the trend is reversing itself. In other
words, I went over to the old foundry yesterday and the old foundry
has bought Forum's Restaurant over there.
I: They are stressing Indianness **
I: ,,In these places. Hubert Oxidine I believe is the man that owns that,
I: I noticed they had Indian pictures on the wall and Indian designs
and everybody is stressing Indian today. So the Deindianization is
turning into Indianization.
S: That's right.
I: And I believe it's catching on with other people besides Indians because
everybody wants to attract tourists into this area.
S: Right. Take it like this, Mr. Lew, the white man has gone as far as
he can against us. We've set back and let him do it. The black man
gone as far as he can go. And now it's our chance. It's our chance
now to move up and do the things we're supposed to do, in other words.
It's our chance to prove that we are the first Americans and stay in
the first position, because that's the way God intended. This'is our
land; this is our home. We didn't invade nobody. And the bible says
that "each -a*ve shall return to his native home." Now whatever--all
that meant lot of people takes it in different ways. Butrmy knowledge,
America is-was the Indians in the beginning and the end it will be
I: Well, .
S: Maybe I'm saying too much there but--that's the way I feel.
I: No, you say anything you want to say--it's a free county.
S: That's the way I feel about it and that's the way that remains.
I: Right. We don't, uh, you know, there is nothing we want you not to
say on this tape, because we want to know how you feel and how the
organization feels and all.
S: Let me add something here. You know, you take an Indian. He don't
think Wi the white man--he don't think e, the black man. In other
words, he can't mix with other people, because he is just a different
kind of person. His heart different--his tradition different and every-
thing. Now our forefathers, the white man came here they had different
kind of religions. And say you lived--you're Protestant and two years
later he says, somebody would say you're Catholic. And they brought all
these different religions in here. Right now, say I'm 30 years old--
I don't know which religion to believe--Catholic, Protestant, Baptist,
because the white man religion. And itkS just wht our people f!-t-k
our past. The only way we're going to do that is start back where--and
get started again. That's the only way I look at it.
I: Carnell, do you think the Christian Church is losing Indian members--
I mean Indian members and Indian people because of things, you know that
have been .
S: Right. Uh, because like were moving--when we moved back to customs
like we're going to do that now. You see more and more everyday.
You see our Indian boys and girls with their long hair. You see them
with Indian something--American Indian on their headbands, and their
necklaces, rings. When you start going this--going righton back,
directly you're going to be dressing fully as an Indians. You don't
want the good of these churches like they've got now. You want to
start your own religionyand go back to our religion that we once
had: wpk with the great spirit--not Protestant or Baptist--work
with the great spirit.
I: The Indian has always been close to nature, hasn't he?
S: Yes, he loves nature. He loves the woods, the fish and he loves to
hunt and he loves to let things--let nature have its way. He don't
try to change nature.
I: Lloyd Westermen, you know who was with us last year and this year, doing
to celebrating. He has an album out and this is about'-one song is eatled
"A World Without Tomorrow" and it warns that if people continue to
destroy natural things and distjub nature's balance that eventually man
will have to move into the sea. There will be no where else to go
and this will mean eventually)the end of man. Do you thinkjthis is
what most.Indians feel this way? That most Indians stress the necessity
of saving our natural resources?
S: Yes, all Indians think like this. They don't think about this fast
living. They like slow living--they like to let nature alone.
I: When you were brought up--I know this is true in my case, and I
was just wondering if you observed this that wastefulness is con-
sidered to be sinful. If a child throws a crumb of bread into the
fire, that child will very likely be punished by the parents because
the parents realize how very important food is.
S: That's right. That's very true. Uh, the Indians, especially our
people, we was always here in Robedason County--the white man has
always used us here. And it used to be where we were under dictatorship)
and we still is. But eventually now we're coming out of it and we
can kind of see our way now.
I: You know some newsmen have observed that there is a new spirit among
the Indians of Robeeson County and an awakening so to speak. And, uh,
do you think this is true on an overall basis.
S; Yes, and the reason I say this going -w-----is because of our
organizations e )the people, like I said a while ago, the people
that I have in oujorganization are the people who've never had a chance
to do anything or have any say so at noting. And those people an
organization has give other Indians alike. They can say--well we can
organize, we can do better, we can tell this society here that they
can't do this to us because we're people, we have hearts and we can
do things that we want to do. Whether Tom and Dick likes it or not,
that's his business.
I: I know what you mean. Carnell, on the whole, I know you have talked to
just about every public official in this county. Uh, and you've talked
to public officials in Washington and other parts of the countLy.
I: Do they generally react favorably when you, you know, when you sit
down and tell them what you want and what kind of cooperation. Or is
it where some do and some don't.
S: Well, now here in this county--they give me the cold shoulder because
the white people don't want the Indians to do anything here. They want
them to stay down just like they have always been for two or three hundred
years here in this county. Uh, but now after you leave this county,9
the atmosphere changes. And, uh, I have been workingsome time with
the B.I. in Washington with the Secretary of Interior, with the National
Council of American Indians, National Council of Indian Opportunity, the
Neeid-fr American Rights Fund, and the Coalition for Indian Control of
School Boards, the American Indian Movement, and we are really getting
outside support. And when I say outside support, I don't mean here in
Robeeson County because if you're an Indian, you ain 't going to get no
support in Robertson County. You might as well forget that. Until we
bring somebody from the outside to help us put pressure on these people,
that's the way it's going to be.A tn 1938, the Secretary of Interior
recognized twenty-two of our people as one-half or more Indian blood.
By, that, I want to say this, and say with earnest heart, without the
help of Mr. Joe Brooks and Mr. Jim Chavis, this would never have been a
reality. Our people would recognize one-half or more degree blood, and
they could have gotten organized under the I.R.A., the Indian -_ _1 __ !"
---- '----. But the war and the people here in this countybusted
all these dreams up. But now the Commissioner Bruce and Secretary Morton
and the official of the .I.A. is ready to start working with us owjthat
same act. An we've met with the commissioner and assistant Rodgers and
sx A on
the solicitor and two or three more people of the 'Tft.August 24th of
this year and we've had a good response since then on organizing the
I: When you go to--when you meet those Washington officials, they are not
like the old type officials are they? I mean*.*
I: ius Are they more warm towards us?
S: Yes, yes, especially--well, in 1968 I weren't connected with the 5.I.A.
any, hadn't ever worked with them none but you can just take the record
of th1wholeoixon administration had done more for the Indian to my
knowledge than any other president. Because you can tell in his records
that Congress in 1968 when he first went into office they approved about
$200 million. Now, it's $530 million So you can figure there, that the
ting he's changing to let Indians speak their own determination. Let
them speak their own future. And that's the way it should have been
years ago. Because you can't take a man sitting behind a desk and
let him think for men out here on the field. You can't do it to save
your life. So the people, the government, is finally coming to their
senses that the Indians can do their own thing, if I must say that word.
I: That's a nice way of putting it.
S: Indians can do their own thing. They've done it before you came here
and they cancb it right on. But, uh, they was put on these reservations.
They was restricted. The bureaucrats ruled them and te federal government
come to say that we've been making a mistake. We can't--you can't fool
an Indian--you can't go around fooling an Indian, because he don't like
to be tied down; he likes to be free roam and do his own thinking. And
he can raise his own food, make his own clothing--so you can't do nothing
with a man like that. So the B.I.A. now and the officials is letting
Indians have them pick their own distiny. And, too, the commissioner
of the V.I.A. is Louis R. Bruce, who is a Mohawk himself from New York.
And, too, we have Tom 6saUn rho is the information boss of the .I.A.)
who has been a great asset to the organization. And, too, uh. .somebody
I: He's mighty nice, isn't he?
S: Yes, yes, he is. Uh, Tom is very, very brave W6, a's very helpful.
H ne +Iey
And any way he can, he would help us. And, too, we have BraBey Blue,
who is the only Indian commissioner. They've been over to the Indian
CGi Commission and he was appointed by the President of the United
States. That's the first Indian. And that's the reason I say things
are changing all over for the Indian. The, uh, by that, people who
just--the people who run the government, the officials is coming to
theircsenses that the Indianscan--can work their own business, have their
own schools, and everything that they want to have-they can have it.
Because we have Indians can lead us and do the job.
I: What usually happens when, uh, if we try to do things like our educational
systems, uh, do you think--do you think our educational system worked
out better when we didn't have outside controls and it was controlled
locally by Indian people?
S: Yes sir yes. now just take it here in this county for instancepfow
this is wrong to the Indian people. Now, most of the Indians live out
in the county anyway. We.have 57% of the Indian students enrolled in
the schools here in the county. We don't have a bit b' say-so in
I: You're talking about the Robeason County. .?
S: Robelson County School Board, yes. Because you take the Robeason
County--you, every city in the county has a city election but Pembroke.
I: And they have--the city units have separate, uh, school systems.
S: That's right, yes.
I: in the city, don't they?
S: Yes, now the city like Lumberton, Lumberton can vote in the county,
but the county can't vote in Lumberton. Now this is wrong. This is
wrong and it should be changed and we'll work with the devil to get
it changed. Now, I went out to, uh, the Coalition for Indian Control
of the School Boards, uh, three weeks ago. And they sent a lawyer
down tonight--l'n supposed to pick him up tonight at 10:37 and we're
gong to emphasize, we're going to work together and try to change some
of these bureaucrats ways here in Robeoson County--especially here in
Lumberton. f hey have always ruled us--but I tell you one thing--
by God's help, we're going to change that. Now they sent a lawyer in
tonight and tomorrow we're going down to Lumberton. We're going all
over the county. We're going to talk to people--our people. We can
control our schools. We've got more teachers in Robefson County than
any other race. We can have our own principAl, we can have our own
school board, our own superintendent and everything. We can have it
0 a 4/1T Afl
because we've got people qualified to do it. Now you takejBt Prospect
School. You go down to Prospect and leave and go to Lumberton, Little-
field High. And you tell me the difference between those two schools.
There's more difference in it than day and night. It's like a man living
in a brick home, king aside a man living in a wooden shack.
I: Now ProspectAexplain for the sake of our readers and listeners that
Prospect is in the very heart in the Indian community in Robertson,
wouldn't you say that it was in the center of it?
S: Yeah, Prospect is the center of the Indian people.
I: About 100% Indian?
S: About 100% Indian and we don't--our people tend to go out to the school-
houses and get involved because of the dictatordip at Lumberton.
I: There used to be a time, Carnell, when all your civic affairs, community
affairs could be conducted in the school houses7and nobody objected to
this. This was accepted. How about the attitude today, do you think?
For example, if your group wants to meet at Prospect School, what would
be the response?
S: Oh, my, that's $20. You pay $20, you can use the school. You don't pay
the $20, you don't use it. And sometimes, you don't use it at all. Now
we had used one building last year, Union Elementary Schoci we paid our
money. And the principal said "Well, Carnell, we can't let you use it
no more." And that our school--our people worked aside that. They paid
taxes. We pay more taxes in this county than any other race. Do you
believe Lew? We pay more taxes than any other race because there are more
os us than any other race. And we can't go out and use our own school.
I: Our black brothers, it seems, this happened to them also. And they were
working at their civil rights they finally had to start using
churches, didn't they?
S: Yeah, yes sir.
I: So we might have to do that too, mightn't we?
S: Well, hopefully if our people wants to, uh, we're willing to, we're
going to work on getting everything situatedtin the county--get that
trial that was bought up and everything--try to get them to go again.
To see if we can get control of our schools.
I: Do you think the public officials are against us meeting. For
instance, like your group meets twice a week. Do you think that they
perhaps wish you wouldn't or wished that was something they could do
to prevent it?
S: Oh, well now that's--that's what they have been trying to do now, since
we're beginning to organize and meet--meeting in my house, which I live
in about a five or six room beach house. And our crowd got so big, we
had to move out of their. We moved in the tri-county buildings, and
they done everything in their power to shut down the doors. They shut
the doors on tri-county, and which is funded from O.E.O. and they
can't shut their doors from the public because of O.EO.money.
I: Let me explain here that, uh, for the sake of our listeners just to
clarify something that tri-county is three county agencies organized
and funded by O.E.O. to administer community action programs right?
S: Yes, now they closed the doors on us every place we went to. Excuse
me. And the reason they would do that is because of Lumberton. Uh,
Lumberton uses our people to fight against us. Uh, but our people, the
last time we had contact in that--we're learning now to quite fighting.
Lumberton's fighting us nd they closed every doors we went into and
just about to close where we're meeting right now. But everytime they
close out here, we pop up over yonder. So this leads right back to
determination. We are determined to keep going whether they like it
or not. There ain't one way we're going to stop unless the almighty
God to stop us.
I: Carnell, I don't know whether you would like to mention this or not,
uh, you now as you see fit. But you were telling me something the other
week about an experience with, uh, with the sheriff.
I: Would you like to mention this to us, if you don't, well we wort.
S: Well, I'm concerned about that because, you see, we have--we met
twice, we've had about 50 to 150 people at our meetings. And we need
some kind of lawAorder you know, in getting cars parked and pulling
out. So I went down to the sheriff's department and I talked to the
sheriff of the county. Uh, I don't know whether I should call his
name or not.
I: Well, it will be all right4C-A ts ,a0'-
8: Sheriff Michael McCloud, he has been sheriff for the last 25 years and
he is a very sick man and =R d to retire anyway. I went down and
tried to, uh, get some assistance from him on some law--law enforcement
out there. And he told me he wouldn't send one of his deputies out to
our organization in his name because we weren't a thing but agitators,
we're trouble rousers, didn't need to organize--doing pretty good like
they was. And I wanted to tell him something then)but I just wouldn't
do it. And since then, we've brought pressure from Washington on him
and he has now agreed to send us some deputies out.
I: Uh, huh. And this came about simply because you decided that this would
be--you do everything orally and you wanted to keep order.
S: Yes, our people is very religious. And, uh, when we start our meeting
pr e4c4r- e'
every night we start out with a prayer. We sing a couple of pIoaeding
songs and uh, our president's very religious and our chief's very religious.
And we have a lot of religious people on our advisory board and our members.
We are very religious people in our organization and we've had no trouble
at all in our meetings--nothing whatsoever.
I: Carnell, about how many members would you say you have in the Eastern
Carolina Indian Organization altogether?
S: We have on our books about 1500, but we have about between 100 and 300
I: Uh, huh. Others come in also who are not on the books. 4O 1 v < C
S: Yes, yes, that's right.
I: Not regularly. Well, I know you've attracted a lot of attention in
newspapers and things, television and so on.
I: Within recent do newmen work with you pretty well.
I: Within recent, do newsmen work with you pretty well.... ,*,
S: &( about the sheriff.
I: I don't believe we'd gotten to the sheriff, had we. We were-- you were
talking something about the newspaper at that point, I believe.
S: Oh, yes, we went down in March to talk--he began to work with us then
t-hubl1e tv -V, 14
and, uh, we don't have no pb newspaper now. Only sometimes now
if we've had gotten good news coming on or got a good story or if we
come out as a people-ittle bit out too far, it rl n '-r l..
That's the reason I say here that our old paper being enforced will
give us a chance to speak what we want to and they won't be cut out by
I: Right. I think this is, uh, this is what freedom of speech is all about,
you know. Why don't people express their own opinions or whatever else
they want to express.
S: That's right.
I: As you look around the walls in here, you notice it looks a little Indian
in here, don't you?
S: Yes, yes, yes. I appreciate that for the fact too.
I: Do you recognize the gentlemen on the wall over there in front of you?
S: Yes, Henry Bary Lowry. g need about fifty of JUhm today. Fifty of
Henry's kind. Uh, Henry Barry Lowry was a man who believes to be a hero
of our people, actually. He was a hero of our people and he fought for
the Indians and if it hadn't been for him, you and me might not have
I: Do you think most of the Indian people in this area look upon him as a
S: Yes, yes definitely. And we have some of his descendants in our organization.
We have two of his granddaughters, uh, and about five or six of his
great-granddaughters. And I don't know how many of his great-great-
grandchildren in our organization today. And they have--they have, uh,
resemblance of him in the face.
I: Uh, huh. I guess youpead the book by William Key Evans called 1r
Tjr.l.a g Game which was published last year by the University of
Louisiana Press which tells the story of Henry Burry Lowry and why
he fought and he is called the guerilla warrior in this and this was
during the Reconstruction Period, probably about from 1865-1875.
S: Uh, huh. Yeah, I am reading the book, nowe*he most ironic story
of American history. And it's very, very awakening.
I: I sure appreciate that. I hope we will continue to take interest in
our history and know everything is possible to know about ourselves.
S: That's right, we've got to.
I: Do you think this interest is growing?
S: Oh, yes sir, yes, and by this American Indian Movement coming in here,
its' going to make it better. We've got to learn coordinate and
cooperate with-blood brothers out west and New Mexico and Canada oo.
And seepwe've been isolated. North Carolina isolated from us from
every Indians all the parts of the United States. I'm going to come
back to that now.
I: Do you think, uh, the fact that the Indians are so widely separated, you
know, by geoggraphy and so forth, that this is a great handicap?
S: Yes, yes sir.
I: Maybe we're closer together because of modern communications4 modern
transportation and things like that.
I: It's a lot easier, would you say than, uh,
S: Oh yes*
I: Three years ago.
S: Oh, man, yes! In the last two years, the Indians have really
awaken up in the last two years, all across the United States.
I: Uh, would you care to tell us a little something about what the
American Indian Movement is planning for the near future.
S: Well, uhr&ts
I: You talked about it the other night at the meeting.
S: Yes, we're coming--there are caravans leaving from Mexico, Washington
state, Wyoming, uh, Maine, uh, Canada, all--caravans coming from all
over the United States. And the one leaving from California coming
through Texas, Mississippi, Lousiana, Georgia, possibly Florida,
South Carolina, North Carolina.
I: Is this on election day?
S: Well, they are coming through here from the 18th through the 20th.
I: Of this month?
S: Yes, and we're going to have Indian powwows ow're going to have religious
ceremonies, we'ree going to eat together, sleep together, dance together
and this will be wonderful. Were going to start communicating together.
Because our people have never seen no Indians from out West. This is
what we are going to do.
I: Do you think we'll have any--there will be any camping out. .?
S: Yes, they're going to camp out--we're going to camp out two days and two
I: Well, I certainly appreciate your taking your time to-talk to me. I know
how very busy you are.
S: Yeah, yeah, I want to get back in-Wihere.
I: I appreciate it so much because this will help inform other people
in other part sof the country as to what the needs of our people are
and I tiink this is going to help.
I: And again I want to thank you very much because you were kind to do
S: O.K. Mr. Lew, all right now.
I: And I'll see you now.
S: (Laugh) All right now!