LUM-46A Transcribed: 06-06-75
SPEAKERS: Marilyn Taylor Johnson
Supplemental to Strickland, Holshauser,
Indian Newsbeat, and Vicky Ransom
(Miss Lumbee) tapes
...1973. I'm Marilyn Taylor, assisting Lew Barton, recording for the
Doris Duke Foundation American Indian Oral History Program, under the aus-
pices of the University of Florida Department of History, Dr. Samuel L.
Proctor, Director. This tape is to supplement a tape done previously on
W.J. Strickland. This is a article from the Robersonian, which is a county
paper from Lumberton, dated Thursday, January 11, 1973. The article is by
Tony Goodyear, a Robersonian staff writer, and the title of the article is
"Roberson Indian Named to Head New 29-State Eastern Tribes Coalition" :
A Roberson County Indian has been elected chairman of a new 29-state
coalition of eastern tribes designed to crack the barriers against self-
determination. W.J. Strickland, 30, of Pembroke, named chairman of the
coalition's 11-man steering committee at a recent eastern Indian conference
in Washington, D.C., says education and obtaining available federal services
are the two most pressing needs. Included in the question of double voting,
whereby city dwellers vote for both their own schools and for the Roberson
County Board of Education. Many Indians have taken a stand against this.
Strickland has been quoted as saying, "We pledge to help all Indian people
in the east to move towards self-determination, by community and state by
state. Each of these communities has its own leadership and its own needs.
Our work will be to remove roadblocks and deliver services so that these
needs can be met." Self-determination in this context, Strickland states,
means to help Indians fulfill their proper role as citizens by participating
in the decision-making process. "One of the things that troubles me
Roberson County," he says, "is that the process leaves the Indian out polit-
ically, economically, educationally. Industries and shopping centers are
located in Lumberton, but that's not where the bulk of the population is.
We don't have sufficient representation. We could offer sites just as
well, but we've never been contacted." The new coalition, called the Coali-
tion of Eastern Native Americans(CENA), hopes to soon get the wheels in
gear, with an office established in Washington, D.C., where Strickland will
serve as liason. The first steering committee meeting will be held this
weekend in Boston, and it is expected that more solid procedural plans and
priorities will be worked out at that time. An important function of this
strategically placed office, Strickland says, will be to cultivate the ways and
means, to cut through government red tape, and to obtain federal services
for Indians. Many eastern Indians have the conflict of not being recog-
nized by state or federal government, and thereby lose out on services.
With the Lumbee bill passed by the General Assembly, Strickland says wording
was included which removes some of the rights and the privileges of the
Lumbees in this area. Unlike South Carolina, which Strickland says has
12,000 Indians not recognized by the government as being Indians, the Lum-
bees do have government recognition. Getting federal services for all east-
ern Indians will require a sturdy pair of scissors. "Many of the things I'm
talking about could be eliminated by effective communications," Strickland
notes. "All kinds of money is being appropriated, but for some unknown rea-
son, the people heading up the departments can't get it through to the
local communities. We hope to remove these roadblocks. We plan to spend
a lot of time on the Hill, in the governor's offices, and with the legis-
lators. We will try to enhance the image of eastern Indians, and hope that
they will become the vital part of the community that they should be."
Strickland and other Indian leaders met not long ago with Brad Patterson, who
is the Special Assistant to President Nixon, to talk about the Indian plight.
"Mr. Patterson was very pleased that a coalition has been formed," Strickland
states, "so that he could work with such an organization to fully implement
the message of the President." The message was that all federal agencies
make every effort to help eliminate Indian problems. Mr. Patterson offered
his services to work with the federal agencies and the White House. Strick-
land was conference coordinator at the eastern Indian conference, which gave
birth to the coalition. Ronald Revels and Brooks were delegates. Also
attending was Colonel Lockler, of the Eastern Carolina Indian Organization.
"I think we've made some significant gains in Roberson County in the past
twelve months," Strickland says, "but we've only scratched the surface. The
double voting issue has to be resolved. We have to have representatives in
county and city government. If people are given the opportunity, they can
become self-sustaining." Strickland has been in Washington serving on the
Appalachian Regional Commission, a presidential commission established under
John F. Kennedy to aid Appalachian residents.
B: Thank you very much, Mrs. Taylor. Now I would like to get you to read another
article from another source which will supplement another tape that we have
on Governor Jim Holshauser. On another tape we have the Jim Holshauser rally,
and we'd like to have you read this article, I believe it's by me, and of
course you have my permission.
T: Well, thank you. We appreciate that. I'd like to tell the source of the
article. This is from the Carolina Indian Voice, our paper that was started
not long ago here in Pembroke. This is from the November issue, which at
that time in November, was a monthly paper, but starting in January, 1973,
it became a weekly issue. It had been a non-profit organization and became
a profit...has a profit status, rather, in January of this year. Maybe we
can do a little bit of advertising here--it's $5.20 for one year's subscrip-
tion and $8.32 for two years' subscription. I might add that the, Mr. Bar-
ton, Mr. Lew Barton, is editor of this paper, and Reese Barton, his son, is
real active in getting the paper together, and...what is Reese's position?
B: Well, he's one of the publishers.
T: But he's the main go-getter, we decided. This article is...
B: I would say business manager.
T: Okay. Well, this article is titled "Lumbee River Valley Makes Political His-
tory." As I said, it's from the November, 1972, Volume I, Number 9, for the
Indians of North Carolina and their friends, by Lew Barton:
The date was July 4, 1970. The place, Lumbee Recreation Center, and the
occasion was the First Annual Lumbee Homecoming. A proclamation by the gover-
nor's office lay close at hand. The handsome young man with the boyish face
didn't look the part of a formidable -politician, as he mounted the speaker's
platform to take his place beside a U.S. Congressman of long tenure. His man-
ner was mild, his words soft-spoken, and his handshake felt exactly like that
of the neighbor next door. But drama and history began to unfold the moment
Jim Holshauser began to speak. For one thing, the Congressman of rival party
found little to offset the logic of what Mr. Holshauser said in low tones as
he charged that, The Democrats have had Roberson's minorities in their hip
pockets for so long that they take them for granted." Jim went on to advise
that if they voted the other way just twice, "you'll find both Democrats and
Republicans knocking at your door." This is the time, place, and the way--
the first Republican governor of North Carolina in this century kicked off
the campaign that would land him in the Governor's Mansion come January. Mr.
Holshauser not only opened his campaign in Pembroke, he ended it here as well.
And what a climax that turned out to be. Indians in full costume danced down
the aisle, chanting war dance chants to the deep pounding of drums. Some
3000 Indians cheered wildly as the mild-mannered young man told them of his
hopes and plans for the future of North Carolina. Surely no political cam-
paign in North Carolina history ever ended with more colorful sounds and deco-
ration, and the barbeque was great too. Well, all that is history now, and
people who wouldn't dare support Holshauser are now heartily wishing that they
had. Even the Indian woman, a teacher, who called me just a few moments before
Mr. Holshauser's last rally began, "Lew," she wept into the phone, "I want to
go to that rally. I want to, I want to, I want to, but you know what would
happen if I did, especially after I've been warned to stay away. We teachers
have to think about how we're going to eat tomorrow." Some teachers did come,
braving the ire of their superiors. And do you know something? Tomorrow, as a/
efforts like these, a full two-party system is going to have its rightful place
in this down-trodden, intimidated, Lumbee River Valley. Hallelujah!
B: ...remember Dennis Banks, head of the American Indian Movement, came to Roberson
County, North Carolina, where he was joined by Colonel Lockler, who is Secretary-
Treasurer of...he's the Carolina Indian Organization here in Roberson County.
For a while the American Indian Movement remained in Roberson County. They took
up positions at the Board of Education office. They occupied an Indian school
which had been preserved as an historical building, and they did other things
before they moved on to Washington, D.C., at which time they occupied the building
at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and made world news. We have an article, Mrs.
Taylor, from the same source, if you would read, which I did on that situation,
which might throw some light on the situation. If you would read that here, we
will use that in conjunction with another tape that we have, some more material
B: on this same situation.
T: As you said, Mr. Barton, this is from the Carolina Indian Voice, on November,
1972, Volume I, Number 9, For the Indians of North Carolina, and Their Friends.
"Indian Newsbeat" by Lew Barton, Washington, D.C.:
"We intend to keep the agreements we made. We will answer these twenty
points within sixty days with a written response. We are not going to renig
on them, and add another broken treaty." So avowed a spokesman for the Great
White Father here last week with reference to demands made by Indian protesters
in the American Indian Movement while they held possession of the Bureau of
Indian Affairs building in a move unprecedented in American history. One-
fourth of the protesters were said by a major news service to have made up
of Indians from Roberson County. Ironically ..... this amounts to the
first treaty between Roberson Indians and the federal government in American
history. Whatever the final outcome of the twenty points agreed upon, or the
public attitude toward seizure and destructure of government property, the
fact remains that Roberson Indians have written a new chapter in their history.
Colonel Lockler, Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Carolina Indian Organization,
and an active member of AIM, placed a call to my home from Washington while he
helped Dennis Banks and others hold the Bureau of Indian Affairs building.
"Tell the people back home," Lockler said,"that we are laying our lives on the
line for the sake of Indian people." All opinion aside, it was a bold move,
an historic move, and all American Indians can join in hoping that this is
just not one more step down the trail of broken treaties. To an Indian, a pro-
mise is a promise, and there is reason to believe that the present Great White
Father views promises in the same light.
B: Mrs. Taylor, as you know, Vicky Ransom was the first Miss Lumbee. Since that
B: time she has been crowned at a number of occasions, and as we were saying just
now it seems that she has gone political lately, but it's pretty hard politics,
and there is an article in the Carolina Indian Voice that I did on her, I
would like for you to read to sort of fill in because we plan to interview
Vicky very shortly and the tape will be coming shortly.
T: Mr. Barton, this is from the Carolina Indian Voice, their December issue, which
is still monthly, their last monthly issue of '72. Volume I, Number 10, For
the Indians of North Carolina and Their Friends. Along with this article is
a picture of Vicky. She is a very beautiful girl. She has dark hair, dark
eyes, a perfect smile, you might say, and wherever she goes, politically or
otherwise, she makes a good showing for this area and we are proud of her.
The article is just entitled, "Pembroke."
...She has received a gold bracelet from President Nixon for helping in
his campaign, has been invited to the Presidential Inauguration January 20,
and prior to that, as the only Indian on the.Governor-elect Jim Holshauser's
committee, has been invited to his inauguration June 5. Thus, a lot of won-
derful things are happening to Vicky Ransom, of Pembroke, a twenty-year-old
senior at Pembroke State University. The gold bracelet, which features a
replica of the State and Presidential seal, just arrived here. With it with
a letter that stated, "This is to the select few who did outstanding work for
the President in his re-election campaign." Winner of Miss North Carolina
Young Republican, Vicky was chosen to be a Nixonette last August at the Repub-
lican National Convention at Miami Beach. As one of the girls who served as
hostesses at the convention, she not only met the important political figures
at the convention, but tells of seeing Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Henry
Kissinger. She also was invited to convention parties on the yachts which are
such a part of Miami Beach. When President Nixon won in a landslide, it was a
T: thrill for her, but perhaps an even greater thrill came when Jim Holshauser
upset many of the pollsters to win the governorship over Hargrove "Skipper"
Boles. Vicky had spoken in behalf of Holshauser many times in the Pembroke
area, including when Holshauser couldn't be here because of last-minute con-
flicts of schedule. She was in rally the night of the elections to join in
the victory celebration. After the Governor's inauguration, she will have
a two week interim before proceeding to Washington, D.C. for the Presidential
Inauguration on January 20. Thereto, she has been invited to the Presidential
Ball. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Ransom. Vicky is personal,
poised, and statuesque.