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COPYRIGHT NOTICE


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Florida.

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
used.

For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida










LUM 254A

INTERVIEWER: Adolph Dial

INTERVIEWEE: Lumbee Regional Development Association Convention

& Indian Claims Commissioner, Brantley Blue

DATE: July 23, 1971



D: This is July 23, 1971. Professor Adolph Dial, Pembroke State

University speaking. I am here on Wrightsville Beach, along with-

a couple of dozen people who are members of the Lumbee Regional

Development Associates. We have as a special guest attending this

meeting, Mr. Brantley Blue, of the Indian Claims Commission, Washington,

D.C. Mr. Blue is the first Indian to serve in this capacity. Is that

correct Mr. Blue?

B: Yes, President Nixon appointed me in April of 1969, as the first

Indian on the Indian Claims Commission, which was established in 1946.

D: Tell me something about your work, and how do you feel about the Lumbees

in claims?

B: Well, I've been unable to determine in any way, where the Lumbees have

any land claim, because to the extent that we have documentation, it

appears that the Lumbees, the people we now refer to as Lumbees, were

remnants of various Indian tribes who pretty well settled in Robeson

County back in the late 1700's, or maybe a little bit earlier. And as

soon as they became aware of the proposition that people could own

property individually, they commenced to proceed down that road. Now

Indians generally in the eamntr, in the country, have ordinarily

owned property, tribally or together, but that has not been true
in Robeson County. And the Indians Clai4 Commission deals with that
in Robeson County. And the Indians ClaimP Commission deals with that





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land and those Indian tribes who owned property jointly or together

as a group, and this covers about ninety percent of the country. But

not the eastern seaboard Indians, because they were removed generally

by the settlers or the colonists before we ever became a nation. And

the claims that we have before us "ae to do with what happened after

we became a nation, by governmental action as it affected the Indian

group, and so it relates to 1789 and after that period of time.

D: Now, as you go about your daily work, working with the Indian Claims

Commission, I'm sure that you uh, deal with lots of native Americans

from all over the country, and some on the reservation and some not

on the reservation. Let me ask this: How would you say the Lumbee

Indians compare economically and educationally and so forth with

those that you have come in contact with?

B: Well, with sometrepidation and fear of what other Indian groups and

tribes might think, I will say this: That I think that the Lumbee

Indians are head and shoulders above any other Indian group in this

country when it comes to education, to understanding the way of life +ia

our system is now in America, andl coping with it. I think they are

far advanced. The most advanced group of Indians in the country.

D: I suppose that we would say that perhaps it is to our advantage today

that we have no claims against the government as far as land claims go.

B: Well, I think that's true, and I think that that was a factor in my

appointment, really by the President, the fact that the group of Indians

that I was a member of had no pending claim, before the Indian Claims
fMa4 rirad- ma- -f-e-eL
Commission, and led me to believe to serve as a commissioner without

having a conflict of interests, and such as that. And I think also, that

the fact that the Lumbee Indians, which is different from any other

group, the fact that they started owning land individually, a hundred




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or more years ago. It gives them an experience that other Indian

tribes or groups have never had, and it, they have been doing what

other Indian tribes and groups must do in the future, and they are

afraid to do it. And they look at our people and say, "They have done

it," and it causes two reactions. They envy us, but yet they don't

think we understand their situation, and both reactions are true,

up to a point.

D: As you work with other Indian groups, and being a native Lumbee

here, what do you consider some of our most pressing problems here

of today, that is, among the Lumbees?

B: Well, I think that the economic situation is the most pressing. We

have been a deprived people, as all Indians have been deprived. I

think perhaps we have been less deprived than any other Indian

tribe or group in the country because of our having already

assimilated in society up to a point, and that places us in a class

somewhat separate from other Indian groups. But also, those of us

who are living and~-*ng and have lived for forty or more

years, know that we have been a deprived group in Robeson County

for m4 many years, economically, socially, and politically, and

we still are up to a point. But we have overcome a lot. We're less

victims of these things than we were, and we're more aware now of

what we can do to close this gap between us, and what we call the

mainstream ofAnerican life. We're better prepared to close it more

quickly than we have in the past, and there is a certain awareness

among the Lumbee Indians and a certain dedication and concentration

on the part of many, many leaders of the Lumbee Indians to close this

gap, so that there won't be this distinct difference between our

economic, social and political situation. As we view the mainstream




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of American life, we're closing it, and we're trying toAeradicate

that gap.

D: One other question: Would you tell us how you came into your present

position to the Indian Claims Commission?

B: Yes, President Nixon promised the Indian community when he was

seeking the office of Pres*dent in 1968, that if he were elected,

that he would appoint, finally, an Indian to serve on the Indian

Claims Commission. He was elected, there was a vacancy inl1969,

and he remembered his promise and he sought to keep it, so he

was being a Republican of course, he was looking for a Republican

Indian, and he was looking for a lawyer because of the nature of the

work, and he was looking for an Indian of course, to keep his pledge.

And so he was looking for a Republican Indian lawyer, and there

weren't too many around in 1969 who met all three qualifications. I

happen to be one of th6se who did, and the fact that I'm now serving

on the Indian Claims Commission relates directly to the fact that

I am a Lumbee Indian. Without that qualification, I would have had only

two of the three qualifications that were required and I would not have

been able to have met it, had I been anything but an Indian, and being

an Indian, I am a Lumbee Indian, and that relates directly to my past

heritage JrA l

D: Thank you,Commissioner Blue.

(LULL IN TAPE)

Mrs. Ruth Roberts speaking, of LADA

R: It is with mixed emotions that I find myself accepting the responsibilit6aee

to address this group for the purpose of charging each of you to pick

up the banner in the name of creating an Indian voice for the Lumbee

Indians. I feel confident that I am equipped to state the charge because










it is for this goal I have directed my time and energy for the past

few years. I am frustrated however, that many of you know better than

I, we needywe long overdue need to establish-such a voice, at also

know of our history of failure

Our Indian brothers and sisters across this nation are letting their

voices be heard. Our bureaucrats have already ascertained that-aaay rmaeanin-F

(, nl will require that the Indian voice be heard. My real

personal problem is that all my life I've heard people say what.was

wrong with the Lumbees, and how our problems developed, but I haven't

been able to see a -E-3S -co'_oLof people actively,and I emphasize

actively, seeking a solution to these problems which they have

identified. Lumbee Regional Development Association has developed

to the point where it is today out of a real and sincere commitment

to create a vehicle for which the Indian voice can be heard. Admittedly,

the system has been utilized because it is a system to which the voice

must be made heard and applied to create:ard effect change. This

Indian voice is to be the voice of the Lumbee body of people, and not

the voice of a few, but a voice of the people, by the people, and for

the people, i keeping with the system's democratic principles of self-

government. Unfortunately, we have those among us who are interested

in prestige, and ego-inflation, and status in that system, which has

oppressed and isolated us from not only the mainstream, but from

awareness and knowledge. They stand ready to criticize and attack in

any and every manner, without rhyme or reason, any individual or any

group who threatens their personal goals and ambitions. The real

crisis occurs when the controlling structure, the white man, continues

to frustrate and oppress us, and our own Indian brothers and sisters

are susceptible to their flattery and appeasement, and are used as




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tools to perpetuate our own oppression. I wholeheartedly support the

exercise of caution in making decisions, especially whe such decisions

are to effect the lives of human beings. It is the lack of caution and

the lack of this concern, which has perpetuated the image of the Indian

as less than a human being, and I think it behooves us to make the

same mistake ourselves. But in exercising caution, we must also actively

seek to attack problems with meaningful solutions. Appeasement and

tokenism are tools j developed to free us. How then can we expect
4SoF
to gain freedom from our people,Aour people with his tools? How can

the white man's political system be made relevant to us as Indians

or as Lumbees, if we perpetuate the system which is purposely trying

to isolate and ignore us. If we become controversial, and it is beneficial

to the cause of he Lumbee people, is it better then to be passive,

and avoid confrontation and conflict? As p-o said last night,if

we are so disunited and disorganized, how is it then we've banded

together geographically, and are the largest group of Indians east of

the Mississippi? I certainly do not have the answers to these or the

many other provocative questions which we must answer in order to

evaluate not only the circumstances, but ourselves as individuals,

and what we are willing to do and give, for the f of the Lumbees.

I could say, not from speculation, but from my own personal experience
.4owiarc)s meebS-t
that the first step Wau%4-be-imAsome of these, is to take the risk

to find the answer. Now if it isn't worth the risk, then we need not

anticipate the solution. The sociological concept behind the-reason
ltoV rcL5 A
Iv creating social change, that is what we are involved in, in

addition to oppression of Indian people. Is it any meaningful

change to move more classes upward, will require the zeal and zest

of NO& religious fanaticism The white powers call this










religious fanaticism militancy, or a negative attitude. I call it

a sincere interest and concern for a fellow human being ,Ad in the
a
area of our immediate concern foripeople, the Lumbees. Six years ago,

when I joined an interracial staff charged to provide services for

poor unemployed people, I was indoctrinated into this area of social

change and institutional change, and it was also pointedlout to us,

that many of us would never last out the program. We would be personally

attacked, we would risk- our-family, we would be called "nigger lovers"

and accumulate many other labels by society. But if we could withstand

all this, we would also reap the reward of great personal satisfaction

in helping our fellow man. Ladies, and gentlemen, I stand here tonight

to witness all of 4wt, and to say it has all come true, every bit of

it, including the reward of personal satisfactin,in knowing that I

fought a good fight, been hurt, Scrf.l be wounded, but above all,

had seen these efforts reach the goals of institutional change. I was

touched by )frur reference to the twelve disciples today, because

early this morning while walking along the beach, I was dealing with

myself and my own frustrations, and I rationalized that if the eternal

power of God Almighty is not strong enough toAjoin the whole world

4a Christianity, then who am I or we, to thinkthat we can ever convert

all Lumbees to their own cause? But I still believe God is Ruler, and

I have the same faith that the Lumbees can overcome if we provide the

leadership to lead them out of bondage. The only charge that I can in

my own good conscience make to LRDA is the rephrasing of John Kennedy's

famous challenge: Ask not what your people can do for you, but what

you can do for your people. When you decide what you can do, and even

more important, ~s dedication and commitment to take the necessary

risks, and activate the goals, then we can move beyond talking, to




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produced the meaningful change and can become witnesses to the upward

movement of our people.

(APPLAUSE)

X: Thank you Ruth, for your fine charge, and now in c losi ',,.

You're supposedito laugh at that .. because if I'm, I was supposed

to be a super-charge to the charge, and after such a dynamic presentation

has been made by Ruth, I wonder if you can really super-charge the

statement that she did make. But let me say to you, the members of the

board, that as serving as your president up until this time, that I

have been through many, many hours of trials, of trying to keep
ouf
together and work for organization. Today, you made a very, very

important decision, that I concur with wholeheartedly, and to rise

to the cause, I think that we need to leave here today, tonight, or

in the morning, united as one, to try to move forward for the cause

of Lumbee people. We are going to be talked about from one side of

Robeson to the other. You've got to listen, and sit through it, and

keep moving on, because if you stop, you" going to get caught up, in

little petty rieancC-6 I don't have to stand here and tell you

that I believe4you will do this, I know you will do itr-4

-s r I've got that much confidence in you. We have

grown this year. I think that we've come together to be united

moreso than anyone ever realized. I can remember back when we were

starting to put on the first Lumbee _l, and a lot of folks said it

can't be done. They were very sceptical, until the dayA the Fourth of

July was there, and I never saw so many people willing to do something

in my life, but three months ago, you couldn't find it, or two months

ago, but you know, our folks are -Cro, MsS_ i, you have to show them.

So we've shown something, some folks that we can do some things, and










your part of itA you.should be proud- ofas I am, and I'm going to

close, because I didn't come to give a long speech with the mayor

and the reverend prepare d t~back home. But:I asked a young man

to come and be with us this weekend, because he is a Lumbee Indian

4if Washington, for any remarks that he may have, and before I yield

to our commissioner, Mr. Blue, as we-always "Sid S notu

you are supposed to have the keynote speaker last, so I remembered
;LherC ahd
that way back in my head Mr. Blue, so at this time I yield the

floor to Mr. Pernell Sweat for any remarks that he may have,

and then of course, we'll hear from our keynote speaker of the

evening, Mr. Blue. Pernell?

S: When you become a part of/bureacratic _fire- CLaughter), you

kindly become leery to someone recording A what you might say, but

a few days ago, W.J. called and said he'd like for me to, no I
uo^;o'FA to kA)a
think he wendered4what my plans were for this weekend.'0f course,

I t=m I planned to be in North Carolina, and he said, "Well,

that's good'y 'cause we've got a retreat of the Board of Directors ,
our 40n, he- sai'd, t'oe
of~0rganization down at Wrightsville Beach, ,j 'li, e OieiL &*

got a retreat and like fr you to attend.' He still didn't say where

it was at. So 'Well, we'll think about it, and by the way where

are you going to have it at?" He said, "Wrightsville Beach." Well,

you know when you driveAsix hours from Washington to Pembroke, and

then you think about driving down here and driving back, and then

driving back to Washington, that's kind of a tiring weekend, but

nevertheless, I'm here. I have no formal remarks prepared, and Itm

not too familiar with what you've already said, I think I already
4,"a- -iVhat
got a grip of the t+rin you've been talking in, and that is in

unity and working together. Of course, you know, this is the thing








So/li cr h af
that many of yea have strived for ger years. It's bea a hard thing

to accomplish. I might say something here that might offend somebody,
81,ou4 i -f ^ Igo ef. Son 14f),
but I don't think it will. I was jiqsit4g i ikAthis morningjto subscribe

to the Robesonian because I feel like I'm in somewhatA a vacuum, and

I want to find out what's going on. It just so happened, a man that

many of you know, but I won't call his name was there. I said, "Well,

what's going on?" He says, "Well, I don't know./ Aad-of course, you

know in Pembroke, we gotga little 3 Iji frC I 'going over there."

I said, "Well, is that unusual?" I says, "We usually keep things

generated over there. We have our pros and cons," and so I left it

like that. Of course, I think he was trying to get into a debate

which I wasn't prepared to get into at that time. Well, let me say

this. Let me speak from another viewpoint right now. All right, and

I'm speaking this viewpoint because I'm pretty well aware of what

Commissioner Blue will talk about, and I don't want to infringe
he rc,
into his area You've been very successful recently in the awarding

of grants in the U.S. Office of Education. The people now sitting back

waiting to see what you waentto do with it. You have an opportunity here

now to really make believers out of people, or give others the oppor-

tunity to say, "Well, I told you so." And if you make believers, and

convince them, which I know the capabilities f- Roheson County, I

know the capabilities here. You've got, probabtmore capabilities in

this one county among Indian people, when you look the population

over in a small area. When.I say that, I'm talking about your

master degrees, and all types of -rainaJ people. There are other

areas of the country, that if they hadAa glimmering of what you've

got, they* be so pleased to have -i's +tpe 4- (p Alj4pAIt's going to

take you working together, putting forth your best effort, to










accomplish the objectives that you set out to accomplish in each of

your programs. And I think I can say that if you make believers out

of a few people, the funds, the figure will not be cut off, but I

think it will be open up for more to come. And I think that +i you

do this,A there are some there who are saying, "Well, I know the

capability-s there," But remember too, you can only go so far, and

you can only stick your neck oit so far because if you stick it all

the way out, and it gets cut off, then you can't come back, and

ifaiA44 repiece it together to get some things again. But I think the

capability is here, and I think that you can accomplish the things

that you set out to accomplish, and I want you to make believers

out of a few people that need to be made believers of. Thank you.

D: Commissioner Blue.

B: Mr. o>t^ Ruth, fellow Lumbees...We were talking last night

about leaders, of many years ago, and we made a little bit of fun

of some of them, but it pleased me that others stood up and defended

them, because they were keeping the name Indian in the whole thing.

We may not have agreed with some of their tactics, and some of the

things that they did, but they had Indian awareness back then, and

we can all look backward and see when we were in effect, subtly or

overtly, urged to attempt to hide the fact that you're Indian if

you want to get ahead. Well, Pembroke has changed. Robeson County

has changed, and the country has changed, and you can feel it.

In Robeson County now, there is a sense of pride that is prevalent

today that's never existed before. The people that yon heard about

who were attempting to do something for the Indians of Robeson

County, did it on their own, and they were subject to the same kinds

of criticism, that I've heard reference made to here for the last two










days, and it overcame a lot of people. But this is the first group

effort that we've ever had, that I'm aware of, that has had within

its confines, intelligent, knowledgeable, able people representing

all of the;areas through out the county. And that's the LRDA, this
+o
is your group. And it has been such an inspiring thing fer me to

have been here now for two days and to sit and to listen and to

become even more aware of things that have been done, of things that
,o
are being done, and things that are being looked forward to)beitg

done. It's almost staggering, and very, very pleasing and it is

extremely challenging. There will be criticism, but I have a feeling

that maybe there's a little bit too much emphasis being placed on

possible criticism. There has been so much in the past, that every-

body is very, very sensitive about criticism. I don't particularly

think that that should be overemphasized. Confidence is very im-

portant. This group can say that we're the first group of our time,

that has ever existed among the Indians of Robeson County. We have

done certain things,and there is no group and there is no person in

Pembroke or in Robeson County in the Indian group that can say,"I

have done more," or, "We have done more." Ycu've already achieved

that plateau, and that gives you a sense of confidence, or it ought

to give us all a sense of confidence. Andwho can criticize that

which has been the best that they have ever had? Really. So I would

suggest to you that you forget about the possible criticisms from this

source or that source, from this quarter or that quarter, and concentrate

on doing your work, because you've got your hands full, as I see it,

doing your work, not trying to concentrate in these belaborings, who's

going to say this, and how are we going to combat it when it's said. You

get lost in a quagmire, if you go too far in that direction. Of










course, wisdom tells you to expect it, bitwisdom also tells you,

"Don't concentrate e[it."You've got too many other things to do of

a positive nature. j a positive attitude is the attitude that :5AOCL

now being adopted, with the realistic realization that there will

be criticism, but don't let it put a thorn on your head, or a big

weight around your shoulders. I'm suggesting::to you that things

have reached a certain point, you're looking forward to other points,

and one organization can't do it all. Up to this point, it has done

great, but I was just listening today about tAforthcoming program,

and it's going to make somebody real, real busy, but it would be a

c"e"ri to get t so L ( A that there aren't other vehicles

for other opportunities to be accepted and used. So I'm just won-

dering if ji* one organization is going to be powerful enough,

big enough, and wide enough to do all the things that will be

needing to be done, in/next ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty,

fifty years. And this is not at idcl- othocAc'J. You know Tom Oxendine,

Pernell s-rtcf, you know me, there are others who have more of

an insight perhaps about the national picture, than those who are

not exposed to it. And someone had said, wherever you go, this is

always your home, and if you're really ,involved and concerned, you're
t bho cX iren1io4 t i oAtdI+ Iz+s- ) ri'^ -L U'r A ait& U) 0n Un I h (71 A caIC .
always thinking back.What can...if you' really somebody, that you

know, y u 1s the kind of body you ought to be) You're always thinking

back, what can I do to help my people? And those of us who are up there,

and we get, a... perhaps, a clearer picture of national things, we

constantly wonder about these things,and we run into the proposition

of meeting people, and showing our Indianness, and refeiing to our

Indianness, and being asked, "Well, bah are you, and where are you

from, and many are you?" And they are always amazed when you mention










the figure of about thirty-five thousand, because this is a rare thing.

There aren't many Indian groups who have thirty-five thousand people.

There are A~very, very few. You have over two hundred Indian tribes in

this country.A together, they still don't amount to but around 600,000

people, so the average tribe has nothing to compare with thirty-

five thousand. This really stands out. And everybody knows, WQIg oJoie,

got thirty-five thousand Indians or thereabouts, that ought to receive

some attention, and then they ask,"Well,who is your leader? Who have

you elected as your leader? What is your organization that represents

the people? How can this organization be contacted?" Well, LRDA is

the only organization that is in existence. It's incorporated. Its

membership selects its leadership. The people O 'eall,)participate

in that selection, and I think that with thirty-five thousand people,

in order to continue building the pride of Indianship that I have

designed in the last few years, in order to take advantage of that

feeling, they need to be individually involved, each and every one of

them A)some way or another. /You can't do it within LRDA. You can't

do it, unless there is some sort of a strut;iure, some sort of an organ-

ization that ispet:upy.thatL.they are permitted to participate in,

and have a voice, in selecting their leader, This is important because

so many governmental agencies ask this question, "Who are your leaders?"

"What is your organization?" And they expect it to be an elected

situation, because most, this is whate-they are familiar with. They're

familiar with the Indians on reservations, they have tribes, they have

their constitution,they have their bylaws, they have their elections,

and they have chiefs, or their chairman, or what have you. And the

people participate in the selection. Therefore, they are really the

spokesmen of the people, and nobody can critically attack it, except




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to say,"Well, just wait until/Inext election time, and we'll make

changes." That gives them a sense of power, if they can make changes

at next election time. It also gives them a sense of belonging,

and auin belonging. And so what I'm going...I'm just going

to throw out an idea that you might start thinking about, that might

not be too early to start thinking about. It may be placed in effect

sometime in the future. It may never be placed in effect, but I think

it ought to at least be considered. And I don't know of any other

group that should be approached with the idea, other than LRDA, be-

cause it's the one that has proved itself to be interested in Lumbee

Indians. It has been the organization that has proven itself to be

able to deal with certain problems. I don't know of any other organ-

ization or group to go to with this idea except LRDA first. It should

be the first one to consider it. LRDA can be the mother of a lot of

things, and to the extent that anything has already happened through

the LRDA, it has received that credit, and it has established a certain

credibility in the community, and new ideas to the extent trh they

can come through LRDA, and let LRDA be its mother, or its father, or

what have you, I think they would be received with credibility because

they had filtered through LRDA. People who are responsible, and wise,

and intelligent, and understanding. And my suggestion is that this

group give some thought to the possibility of organizing the Lumbee

Indians into a tribal organization, or tribal kind of organization.
4 c o#.rS5-
This would involve an enrollment. AndAyou run into many, many immediate

problems when you start thinking along those lines. Who qualifies <-as a
L't1 bee-t
ratife Indians? We've never been organized. Most Indian tribes have

been organized for a hundred years or more, and they had their

enrollment back then, when they were completely isolated from the










rest of the world, and there was no question who was (. ak ,

who was ao ck-iFd, who was this, that, or the other.They were all

there, and everybody there was it, and they enrolled and there was

no:-question aboutit. This is 1971 and it's a more difficult thing

to determine, well.who is a Lumbee Indian, frankly. And checking

blood lines and such as that, can be a most difficult thing, and

get into all sorts of problems and ramifications that the average

person, unless they were receiving enough money to live on by

doing it, couldn't get involved in such as that, and bring home

bread money. So I throw out the idea, that to begin with, it might
fInm1 s 0
be a self-declaration type of a thing. When you get right down to it,

what white person in Robeson County would say, "I'm a Lumbee Indian,"?

So, that might be the best way to start, and I was talking to a

fella in the (3A the other day, and he suggested that there might be

some sort of leverage that you have people register in different sections

of the county, maybe at the various schools, and let it be done by a

person who knows the people in that community, and let them have the

discretion to approve or disapprove or to require proof that you are

in fact a Lumbee Indian, and that way it would give some sort of control

that might be accepted by the governmental agencies that may want to

deal with us, but bn't deal with us now, because we are not really a

recognized tribal group to the extent that we have an organization.

Arnold mentioned something last night that to me is very, very

important. The ten-point preference when somebody applies for a job

at the f)I f. If you are Indian, and in other governmental functions

dealing with Indian matters, if you have ten points to begin with

in your favor, then you stand a pretty good chance, if you are of

ordinary intelligence, of beating out your competition. But why wouldn't




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the Lumbees have this ten-point preference, and to the extent that

we can organize ad show that the people are involved, and the people

have a voice, and the people have selected these people to represent

them, in governmental matters, then such as that, can be bett~ r,..)- or

We stand a better chance accomplishing a lot of things, that we

haven't yet been able to accomplish. And so I'm just throwing that

out for your thought, and I think that this is the organization
5houc iL
that perhaps first think about it, and consider it, and make a

decision as to whether or not it should or should not be done. I

suggest to you this, that if you don't do it, I think that perhaps

somebody else will. And if they do, it might not be done in the

fashion that it should best be done. That's my challenge,if I have...

and I know it's new, it's a new idea, I have talked to very few

people about it,but Tom Oxendine is sold on it, because he sees its

value, and its worth, and the necessity of it. I'm sold on it.Every

Indian tribe and group has an elected body that they can say, "This

is our council,'ese people/represent us, they are our spokesmen."

And there is no particular reason why such an organization as that

would be competing with LRDA, particularly if it is funneled through

LRDA, but if it's funneled through some other source, then you may have

this problem of duplication and the like, but if it's funneled through

LRDA, you can make certain that the structure is set up to where it

does its thing, LRDA still does its thing, and they don't cross,-.a

duplicate each other, and this is why I suggested that this is the
be-
place perhaps that it can begin, anc funnel through. I don't know about

opening up things for questions because I don't have a long detailed

program about it, it -wa f6hi 1.,3 a idea, ;ts ih e. b A _- _,

and there are many questions that I couldn't answer, and wouldn't










attempt to answer if they were asked, because I don't know the answer

to them. It's going to take a lot of people with a lot of time

to work out a lot of details, if it is taken seriously and fem~ ,

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

D: Bruce Jones.

J: To respond to you Brantley, I think it's imperative that we accept

this challenge or offer right now because we have been made aware

since we've been here, the last day of general assembly has passed,

the.North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs and we are going to,

we're going to have to, as an organization of people get some vehicle

that represents the people to get representatives to represent us
COPn iISich
on the -eommi-tee, and this that you've given us, I hope to bother

you with your legal mind and your thoughts, and you can rally us, that

we get right on this, because it's imperative. There are other

people making overtures, announce that the bill is inactive, 4I what

are you going to do with it.I think there are many reasons why we

need to be certified, and be card-carrying Lumbees, if you would. And

we accept the super-chargeg, and/lhave to keep the faith, baby, 'cause

we shall overcome.

(Right on, baby! APPLAUSE)

D: This is the conclusion of the LRDA Convention at Wrightsville Beach,

July 23, 1973. Attending this meeting....1971, correction. Attending

this meeting, Bruce Jones, (ha r a f Pembroke, W.J.Strickland,

B.F. Goodrich, John Robert Jones of Pembroke, and Reverend James EArl

Woods, pastor of Turkey Chapel, Arnold Locklear, law student at North

Carolina Central University, Horace Locklear, law student at North

Carolina Central University, Brantley Blue, Commissioner of Indian










Claims, Pernell Sweat, Chief of Operations, Adult Education, Washington,

D.C. HEW, and he's living in Washington, D.C. His brother Hermie Sweat,

local teacher in I believe Hoke County, and Mrs. Strickland, and Mrs.

Jones, and Tommie Dial, the newly elected director of, Executive

Director, of LRDA, and his wife Mrsv Dial, and Mrs. Ruth Roberts,

with ... Commission, and Mrs. Stricland, and Mrs. Horace Locklear,

and our staff worker, Miss Diane&Oxendine. .....Administrative Assistant,

Pembroke State University, and there's Ocean Inn, where we are making

so much history here at Wrightsville Beach, a dozen little Lumbees,

who are going to carry the banner, many years have passed over

our heads. Also attending this meeting, Of4P wife, andAJames

Flat(irolJc (j 4, Also Mr. J.W.Thomas, who left a few minutes ago. Oh, yes, aoL

the whole Blue family, by the way. They are here, and they're really
qrn+I-MS44cf.
iecjbeeS Tommie Dial, Executive Director of LRDA...

TD: Responding to the challenge that Commissioner Blue issued just a few

minutes ago, I'd like to add that the Lumbee Regional Development

Association, is already moving into this area. Last week, we as an

organization entered Miss Wanda Kay Locklear, who is the reigning Miss

Lumbee of 1971, was entered into the Miss Indian America Contest to

be held July 284August 2, in what's that little town? Sheridan,

Wyoming. Along with the application was an affidavit, certifying that

she was a full-blooded Lumbee Indian. The LRDA made this certification

above the name of Mr. W.J. Strickland, our president, certifying that

she was such. So Commissioner Blue, we have already entered the area

that you challenged us to.

D: Mr. Dial, one minute... As of today with the money that has come

through the organization, and what we see that's already appropriated,

would you list this please, for us?




pwh


TD; Okay, number one, we are presently conducting what we call an

Emergency School Assistance Program, which is funded by the Office

of Education in Washington, to the extent of $64,812.00. Number 2,

we have already been funded and have hired a staff which is operational,

to conduct what is called a talent seardhproject. This funding was

in the amount of $45,000.00. We received information June 30, that

we had been approved to conduct an Adult Basic Education Program

in Robeson County, thanks to you Mr. Sweat. We asked to do avery

comprehensive program which would entail $300,000. However, the

federal government is short of money, i gave us $80,000.00.

Also, we were approved as of July 1, 1971, to employ a management

and administrative staff to conduct the business of LRDA. We were

approved $68,612.00 with a contingent balance to entail $210,000.00.

The total balance of this OEO grant is contingent upon sufficient
cr
documentation to OEO by August 30, 1971, as to how the balance of

the money will be used.

D: Now all of this grew out of an organization which began with Outreach,

we about how much?

TD: Outreach, original grant was the sum of 4300 dollars to do an Outreach

talent search program. Adult Education Program.

D: One who is not here tonight, who was very much involved in that is

Helen Sehierbach, and she was unable to be here tonight, but I'm sure

all of us are very appreciative for what has been done, and I might

announce that I officially received a letter yesterday of $19,276.00

grant from the Ford Foundation for Lumbee History Project which I am
o0
working on, and I am very grateful for that also. Might speak I might

also say that in the last couple of weeks that the Methodist Church has

funded a project, the Methodist Church on Religion and Race, of $20,000.




pwh


called the Lumbee Indian Caucus for Registration of Lumbees. This

project will run for one year. So it appears that the money is

available, and we need to get it, and alsos, I think at this time, xAa- -

have to give some credit for some of the Indian work wt the Nixon

Administration, and the Republican Party. This is Adolph Dial,

Pembroke State University, signing off.

(Continuation July 25, 1971. Adolph Dial)

D: This is July 23, o correction, this is July 25, 1971. I returned

from Wrightsville Beach last night, and after thinking about the

LRDA Convention, I thought perhaps, I should record a few of the

impressions that gathered from this meeting. First of all, I

agree with the members of LRDA, that there is one sentence in the

Lumbee bill which seems ..to knock us out of some funds, that we would
reads i-ha-i
be able to get that bill, that statement, which, te-satd we will not

be given the same right as other tribal organizations and so forth,

...Now, uh, I'm sure that most of the Lumbee people feel as I feel,

that is, we really don't want any btlA schools or anything like &ft,

but we do feel that we are missing out on some money that we would

get otherwise, if e were a card-carrying group, and a tribal organ-

ization, and if we had a council, and had someone really to speak for

the people, and of course I feel this is necessary. And perhaps when Blue

uh. made the statement that we needed to enroll, perhaps this may be

the beginning of something that may turn put to be very controversial,

or it may turn out to be something successful. Right now, thedgroup

across the river, across the Lumbee River, who call themselves Tuscaroras _i/(

They do not want to go under the name Lumbee. And I'm sure that if

Lumbees don't dc some of this, they will be doing this for us. Perhaps

LRDA is a good organization to begin this project, and I think it is a




pwh


very touchy subject, and it will require a lot of explaining before

the project begins. That is, people need to know that really they

wouldn't be giving up anything, but they would be getting in a position
that
to secure some funds, to be eligible for some funds,-emd they are not

eligible for 3Cat this particular time, although LRDA has been awarded

approximately, or soon will be, $400,000.00 or more than $400,00.00

and more will probably come. There is no indication to say that we

wouldn't be getting more if we were enrolled, and if we did have a

tribal council, and if we were recognized in Washington more than

we are at this time. Commissioner Bruce,I understand feels this way,

and talked to Thomas Oxendine of the 61//. I understand he feels this

way, also. And of course, as he stated, Brantley Blue seems to feel

this way. And I didn't hear any opposition at all at the Convention.

I assume that all who were present perhaps felt this way. At least,

thPy- ere no opposition to Brantley Blue's statement on the
It
necessity for enrollment. 'hat appears to me that Brantley Blue,

of the Indian Claims Commission, who is a Lumbee, and then Thomas

Oxendine, of the (1 ft who is a Lumbee, if they feel this way, then

Idoa not feel that, it appears to me that they would really be in the

position of the nuz~aou) I have not talked with Kelen Sehierbach, of

Indian Education ii Washington, D.C., Director of American Indian

Education, and it will be of a great deal of interest to hear what

she has-toisay on this matter. For years and ears, we have struggled

along trying to get some organization going, that could speak for

Lumbee's people, and it appears we are moving. I might add that during

the 1930's and around 1914, 1914 when Mr. Locklear worked so hard,

and in 19...in the 1930's when Mr. James Chavis, and Mr. Joe Brooks,




pwh


and Mr. (,Aos~ u Locklear, and many others worked on the 5lolai bills.

They really, I feel like it's something really good, although some of

our leadership at that particular time were against what they were

trying to do, but if they had not started something in the 30's, or

had, nothing been started in 1914, that is in the way of seeking

Congressional recognition' There's a very good chance that nothing

would have started in the 50's, which gave us the Lumbee name. Of

course, even in 1950, there was much opposition to the Lumbee name.

And, this opposition perhaps is just a wee bit around today, not

very much. Many people seem to accept the Lumbee name, after, after

1958, January 1958, when we had the great *lf rally, when the Lumbee

Indians put Catfish Pole on the run, and we were given national re-

cognition. As a matter of fact, I understand, some cablegrams came in

from overseas, from England, and I understand onejAeet from the Soviet

Union. So this, I feel like, really gave us a good send-off, putting

the a on the run. I feel sure that there will never be another

1aa movement in Robeson County that will get anywhere, not if the

Lumbee Indians know about it. It can be taking the law in their own

hands, or call it whatever you may, it is just something that can't

possibly get off in Robeson County. That's the way the people feel

about it, and that's the way it is. Not very far from here, between

Lumberton and Smithfield, on Interstate 95, close to Smithfield, there's

a sign, a big billboard saying,"This is 1 Country," and so forth.

But uh, this sign could never acrciin any field in Robeson County.

The Indians would take it down. It's really amazing\ they haven't

decided to go up there out of the county and pull this sign down! Perhaps

it would be a good deed. Perhaps it ought to be done, yet we know
can
that within the law, we can't do this kind of thing. But weAlook at




24 pwh



another way, and say, "Well, we ought )ntot do this, bmthis is

not really our thing." But anyway, i+'s rno+ a U-rL cc J-,'n *




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