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Interview with Brantley Blue, July 23, 1971

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Title:
Interview with Brantley Blue, July 23, 1971
Creator:
Dial, Adolph ( Interviewer )
Blue, Brantley ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Lumbee Oral History Collection ( local )

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
LUM 254 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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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
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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 *




Full Text

PAGE 1

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 wi.th. 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 Connnission, which. was established in 1946; D: Tell me something about your work, and how do you feel about the Lumbees !, in claimt? B: Well, I've been tmable to determine in any way, where. the Lumbe.es have any land claim, because to the extent that we have documentation, it appears th.at the Lumbees, the people we now refer to as LUill.Dees, we.re renman,ts of various Indian tribes who pretty well settled in Robeson County back in the late 1700 1 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 ~c;~in the country, have ordinarily owned property _ tribally or together, but that has not been true .s in Robeson County. .And the Indians Claim" Commission deals wi.th. that

PAGE 2

2 pwh land and those Indian tribes who owned property jointly or together ; +as a group, and tb.i.s covers about ninety percent of the colllltry. But not the eastern seaboard Indians, because they were removed generally by the settlers or the colonists before we ever became a nation. And ~l _hu.c.\ the claims that we haw. before us~ to do with what happened after we became a nation, by govern.mental action as it affected the Indian ':, grout, and so it relates to 1789 and after that period of ti.me. D: Now, as you go about your daily work, working wi.th the Indian Claims Commission, I'm sure that you uh, deal with lots of native Americans from all over the cotmtry, 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 forthwith those that you have come in contact with? B: Well, with some trepidation 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 giroup in this cotmtry when it comes to education, to llllderstanding the way of life th~r :ro our system is now in America, and~coping with i.t. 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 fha1 ,nacle_ rn<2:f'r-e..e_ Commission, and 1-ed me to Beliewc 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

PAGE 3

3 pwh or more years a~o. 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 attd 1~ and have lived for forty or more years, know that we have been a deprived group in Robeson County for+ 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 of .Anerican 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

PAGE 4

4 pwh J u~t of American life, we're closing it, and we're trying to~eradicate that gap. D: One other question: Would you tell us how you came into your present position to the Indian Claims Connnission? B: Yes, President Nixon promised the Indian connnunity when he was . t'h e_ erH iclc11C.
PAGE 5

5 pwh 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 o-f +tie., f-h.V bu.,f I, we neeg~ long overdue need to establish 0 such a voice, 4;aat 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~ n-,a.ani11~.,P<.c.l C~. /kn ~o 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 Lum.bees, and how our problems developed, but I haven't been able to see a -rtd.(~~of people actively,and I emphasize actively, seeking a solution to these problems which they have identified. Lum.bee Regional Develqpment Association has develqped to the point where it is today out of a real and sincere connnitment to create a vehicle for which the Indian voice can be heard. Admittedly, the sy~tem has been utilized because it is a system to which the voice must be made heard and applied to create:arid lffect change. Tlds 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, :h 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. Tlie. 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

PAGE 6

6 pwh tools to perpetuate our own oppression. I wholeheartedly support the exercise of caution in making decisions, especially wlleft 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 to~.ls h ,& to gain freedom from our developed to freeus. How tnen can we expect -,or people,~our people w.Lth 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 the Lumbee people, is it better then to be passive, and avoid confrontation and conflict? As said last night,if we are so disunited and disorganized, how is it then wetve 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 provacative questions which we must answer in order to evaluate ;not only the circumstances, but ourselves as individuals, ' ~'lfvf and what we are willing to do and give, for the,~ of the Lumbees. I could say, not from speculation, but from my own personal experience .fow5rc'..s mn,Ji,13that the first step ~some of these, is to take the risk to find the answer. Now if it isn't worth the risk, then we need not SO /u__{,• O/J.$ anticipate the solution. The socialogical concept behind the reasoa+ow 3 n;l.5 I creating social change, that is what we. are. involved in, in addition to pppression of Indian people. Is it any meaningful I G{,,.)t-v change to move mw:a. classes upward, will require the zeal and zest of l!!ke religious fanaticism The white powers call this -----------------'""""'""-

PAGE 7

7 pwh religious fanaticism militancy, or a negative attitude. I call it a sincere interest and concern for a fellow human being) )llid in the a area of our innnediate concern forfpeople, the Lmnbees. 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 pointed.I.out to us, that many of us would never last out the program. We would be personally attacked, we would ri:sk-our .. family, we would be called "nigger love.rs" and accmnulate 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~, 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, Scarce c) bt{t. wounded, but above. all, had seen these efforts reach the goals of institutional change. I was touched by {Jryre, 1 s 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 nava. J. power of God Almighty is not strong enough toftjoin~ the whole world Christianity, then who am I or we, to think.. that we can ever convert all Lmnbees to their own cause? But I still believe God is ltuler, 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 +h more important, dedication and commitment to take. the necessary risks, and activate the goals, then we can move beyond talking, to

PAGE 8

8 producd 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 , a c /os; l)j , , . pwh You' re suppose.ch: to laugh at that . , , _,.... , because if I'm, I was supposed 0 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 . our 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 ,rv keep moving on, because if you stop, youAgoing to get caught up, in little petty 5ricvanc_e6. I don't have to stand here and tell you wa.r that I 0 1.. believe4you will do this, I know you will do it~ k-i, rr y@;;t,efl .dli :Lt_ I've got that much confidence in you. We have grown this year. I think that we've come t_oge~her to be united moreso than anyone ever realized. I can remember back when we were 'starting to put on the first Lumbee ~, and can't be done. They were very sceptical, until a lot of folks said it 'Ma:1the day A 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 -rroro m;s 50 1,1r,~ you have to show them. So we've shown some.thing, some folks that we can do some things, and

PAGE 9

9 I t ~,t\,(,\ \ your part of. it~ you .. should be proud:of~as I am, and I'm going to close, because I didn't come, to give a long speech with the mayor Jo1,unuj and the reverend nnnarul roA back home. But~ I asked a young man r, to come and be with us this weekend, because he is a Lumbee Indian ~r-011' -4:ft. Washington, for any remarks that he may have, and before I yield I he s~qs ,L to our commissioner, Mr. Blue, as wealways J ne_ sa 1 s r,OuJ you are supposed to have the keynote speaker last, so I remembered +hu(.,, 9hJ that way back in my heaaJ, Mr. Blue,Aso at this time I yield the floor to Mr. Pernell .Sweat , for any remar~ that he may have, and then of course, we'll hear from our keynote speak.er of the evening, Mr. Blue. Pernell? .YILC..str Lt c .:ful:t!_ S: When you become a part o;1bureacratic J;igmc, (Laughter}, you kindly become leery to someone recording -li,Q what you :might say, but a few days ago, W.J. called and said he'd like for me to, no I Well)fu{ to 1<11 Dw think he wondex:ed~what my plans were a r,l for this weekend .JO f course, said I t.D1l1-hm I pla.n.Beti to be in North Carolina, and he said, "Well, pwh that's good,;: 'cause we've got a retreat of the Board of Directors , 1 ou.t ~o:'l"lo, he.. sc1t'clJ we/a of{l.0'rganization down at Wrightsville Beach, and wc'cl /1'f(i yo~we,L,,,e. e, ,n . wid , got a retreat~ like~ you to attend~ He still didn't say where it was at. So , '~ell, we'll think about it, and by the way where are you going to have it at? 11 He said, ''Wrightsville. Beach." Well, abo~f . you know when you drive~six 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 I'm not too familiar with what you've already said, I think I already ~e,..-rhcrr got a grip of the ~\you've been talking in, and that is in unity and working together. Of course, you know, this is the tiling

PAGE 10

10 pwh Sot'h(.;u>ha + that m~y of y.tt have strived for~ years. It's~ a hard thing to accomplish. I might say something here that might offend somebody, . alou::f d -rJie,,Y2.obt.SOflltjnJ but I don't think it will. I was J((S++Ainki'nv~this morning)to subsctibe J f 0-1/' to the Robesonian , because I feel like I'm in somewhatAa 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.Jwas there. I said, "Well, tf c? r. I <-n,n,.) ) what's going on?" He says, ''Well, I don't know./ itlklof course, you 1 .J r. know in Pembroke, we got.a little , .a J TL e. -rr1Cgoing 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 i.t like that. Of course, I think he was trymg 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 rnre.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 40"/f"<.. c~ n~ waiting to see what you ~to do with it. You have an opportunity herenow to really make believers out ~f people, or give others the oppor tunity to say, ''Well, I told you so." .And if you make believers, and It\ convinde them, which I know the capabilities -e. Robeson County, I know the capabilities here. You've got, probably more capabilities in this one county among Indian people, when you look the population over in a small area. When.I say that, I'm talki.ng about your master degrees, and all types of +ra i necl people. There are other jl,.{"ot areas of the country, that if they hadAa glilllmering of what you've wo .... , t).. 13--id' got, they"'1j\ be so pleased to have -Hi1's + 1 pQ.. o-f le adw:hip.Ait' s going to take you working together, putting forth your best effort, to

PAGE 11

11 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 '8!. think it will be open up for more to come. And I think that tt you s--"e.J do this ,A there are some there who are saying, "Well, I know the capabilit;~ there," But remember too, you can only go so far, and you can only stick your neck ott so far because if you stick it all the. way out, and it gets cut off, then you can't come back, and fl)c)'-f be., ftail repiece it together to get some things again. But I think the capability is here, and I think that you can accsmplish 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 .• ~w+, 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. pwh In Robeson County now, there is a sense of pride that is prevalent today that's never existed before. The people that ~heard about who were attempting to aa something for the. Indians of Robeson County, did it on their own, and they were subject to the same kind$ of criticism, that I've heard reference made to here for the last two

PAGE 12

12 days, and it overcame a lot 9f 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 p~ople 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~ me to pwh 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 th.at rO are being done, and things that are being looked forward to},e~ 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 everybody is very, very sensitive about criticism. I don't particularly think that that should be overemphasized. Confidence is very important. This grop can say t~ 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." Yw' 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 comb at it when it' s said. You get lost in a quagmire, if you go too far in that direction. Of

PAGE 13

13 pwh course, wisdom tells you to expect it, bu:wisdom also tells you, "Don't concentrate~lt."You've got too many other things to do of AnJ a positive nature. a positive attituae is the attitude that~ shO<.t le{ 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 arotmd 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 great, but I was just listening today about this point, it has done -the,,,, ~Aforthcoming programf and it's going to make somebody real, real busy, but it would be a -sh,~,,::... cliarig,Q to get t:a& So b u S l that there .aren't other vehicles for other opporttmities to be accepted and used. So I'm just wondering if ,.;j:tled! one organization is going to be powerful enough, big enough, and wide enough to do all the things that Wltll be w needing to be done, in~next ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years .And this is not an i c/lQ... i11ouab't. You know Tom Oxendine, } ' Pernell ~, you know me, there are others who have more of an insight parhaps about the national picture, than those who are duil~ not exposed to i~ .And someone had said, wherever you go, this is always your home, and if you're really :.involv~d and concerned, you're flt/lo fi;,\ rr,c,.+ i O/lt-d i + \ti~.+ rd~ /I 't t.,J o tt 'r~ ,1 lt,V~ 1f S t Ii.n l<-,'n 'J h cl<., always thinking back -A What can if you' {rt. really somebody, that you know, :,TGu':rs the kind of body you ought to be) Xou're always thinking back, what can I do to help my people1 .And those of us who are up there, and we get, a perhaps, a clearer picture of national things, we constantly wonder about these thing~,and we run into the proposition of meeting people, and showing our Indianness, and refeJing to our l>Jh u Indianness, and being asked, "Well, hfflr are you, and where are you how from, andAmany are you?" .And they are always amazed when you mention

PAGE 14

14 pwh the figure of about thirJ:y-five thousand, because this is a rare thing. Th.ere aren't many Indian groups wlohave thirty-five thousand people. There are .If very, very few. You have over two hlmdred Indian tribes in f-)h.,l this country.Atogether, they still don't amount to but around 600,000 people, so the average tribe has nothing to compare with tllrtyfive thousand. This really stands out. And everybody knows, l))Q.. II) 0 c.,.. 1 t.Jf!., 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 ~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 rth~L .. them .:i.RJsome way or another.~You can't do it within LRDA. You can't do it, unless there is some sort of a strucilltire, some sort of an organization that is9 et :up!,'--that Lthey. are peajtted. 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 whafo_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, t'hc.,r and they have~lchiefs_. 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

PAGE 15

15 pwh .y}cc,,, to say, "Well, just wait un til;l next election time, and we '11 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, a -fuJ:!,linci O t_ and ass~ :r belonging. And so what I'm going ... I'm just going 0 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.T 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 they can come through. LRDA, and let LRDA be its mother, or its fathe.r 1 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 llind of organization. o+ t.ov.r5C. This would involve an enrollment. AndAyou run into many, many immediate problems when you start thinking along those lines. Who qualifies -t=eq S a. be.t.l'un the Indianf? We've never been organized. Most Indian tribes have been organized for a hundred years or mo~e, and they had their enrollment back then, when they were completely isolated from the

PAGE 16

16 pwh rest of ;he world, and there was no question who was a C(ak,mv , who was~ Cho c,kfatJ, who was this, that, or the other. They were all there, and everybody there was it, and they enrolled and there was no :question about :it. This is 19 71 and it's a more difficult thing to determine, well }'ho 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 And _so be a self-declaration type of a thing. Whes: 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 '31Athe 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 comrilunity, and let them have the .Q;iH.trdiscretion toAapprove or disapp~ove 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 cbn' 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 Gppltes for a job at the /:)I A. If you are Indian, and in other governmental functions dealing with Indian matters, if you have ten points to begin with in your favor, 1;;eeB. you stand a pretty good chance, if you are of ordinary intelligence, of beating out your competition. But why ;culdn't

PAGE 17

17 pwh the Lumbees have this ten-point preference, and to the extent that thatwe can organizemd 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 betJ,---J or W~: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 ttis is the organization 5 ;., 0 ulcL that perhap~ 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~ 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, hit 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 tribe and group has an elected body that they can say,, "This L n,J )(.C 'fM;'i--h.t'1 Indian is our -To council ,'1 ~se 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 h?ve this problem ofdiplication and the like, but if it's funneled tnrough. LRDA, you can make certain that the structure is set up to .where it ci/1cJ... does its thing, LRDA still does its thing, and they don't cross~ duplicate each other, and place perhaps that it can this is why I suggested that bQ..J begin, an41 funnelY through. I this is the don't know about opening up things for questions becaue I don't have a long detailed 1:5 program about it, it -wais fb,' 5 sia,f NJ idea, ,'+~ ,b ,fo ea,bh{O . <::fao/e..,l and there are many questions that I couldn't answer, and wouldn't

PAGE 18

18 pwh 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 a f-1-emp+-i'!d. , 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 ~'1 since we've been here, the last day of general assembly aa.s passed, the~North Carolina Connnission 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 C Ofl'lf,11$ $IO l\ on the -eoHHB:i.:tte:e, 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, annormc~ that the bill is inactive, -.t what 11 f.}nJ. are you going to do with it-:; 1 r think there are many ,:-easons wfi.y we. need to be certified, and be card-carrying Lmnbees, if you would. And jttSt we accept the super-charg~, and1have to keep the faith, baby, 'cause we shall overcome. (Right on, baby! APPLAUSE) D: This is the conclusion of the LRDA Convention at Wrigiit:sville Beach, July 23, 1973. Attending this meeting 1971, correction. Attending 1 this meeting, Bruce Jones,( Hc1t"1 mc1:r•f 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, Connnissioner of Indian

PAGE 19

19 pwh Claims, Pernell Sweat, Chief of Operations, Adult Education, Washington, D.C. HEW, and he's living in Washington, D.C. His brother Hermie Sweat, il.ocal 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 Mr~~ Dial, and Mrs. Ruth Roberts, with __ __ Connnission, and Mrs. Stricland, and Mrs. Horace Locklear, 0 and our staff worker, Miss Diane 1 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 Lmnbees, who are going to carry the banner, many \) years have passed over our heads. Also attending this meeting, . (!, (Yl(S , or ravfl wife., andAJatne.s 1-larolcl (.J)ood,:;, Also Mr. J.W.Thomas, who left a few minutes ago. Oh, yes, anol the whole Blue family, by the way. They are here, and they're really Qn+ht.,c-Sc( :i.ft.lrieag 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 +hro1.t 1 h be held July 28~August 2, in what's that little town? Sheridan, Wyoming. Along with the application was an affidavit, certifying tli.at 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 thats already appropriated, would you list this please, for us?

PAGE 20

20 pwh ' I~ p.rJ. 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 alraady been funded and have hired a staff which is operational, to conduct what is called a talent search project. This funding was in the amotmt 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 &very comprehensive program which would entail $300,000. However, the -1::Af '1:;_ federal government is short of money, auhlti!i!1 gave us $80,000.00. Also, we were approved as of July 1, 1971, to employ a lllailagement and admi.Ristrative 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 sufficent 0 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, w;-f-h about how much? ..fo( TD: Outreach, original grant was~the sum of 4300 dollars to do an Outreach y:)c'!.;G-talent search program. AdultAEducation 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-~{jO grant from the Ford Foundation for Lumbee Histwry Project which I am 0 r' working on, and I am very grateful for that also. Might spea.kfr I might also say that in the last couple of weeks that the Methodist Church has fnnded a project, the Methodist Church on Religion and Race, of $20,000.

PAGE 21

21 pwh called th.e Lumbee Indian Caucus for Registration of ~um.bees. Th.is project will run for one year. So it appears that the money is available, and we need to get it, and~ also, I th.ink at this time, fAa-f 1.,vL have to give some credit for some of the Indian work~ 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,ro correction, this is July 25, 1971. I returned from Wrightsville Beach last night, and after thinking about the LRDA Convention, I th.ought perhaps, I should record a few of the u}11;, impressions that,' gathered from this meeting. First of all, I agree with the members of LRDA, th.at th.ere is one sentence in the Lumbee bill which ~eems, .. to knock us out of some funds, that we would f..aclsfhat be able to get that bill, that statement, wh:ich;lfe said we will not be given the same right as other tribal organizations and so forth, Now, uh., I'm sure that most oft~ Lumbee people feel as I feel, a. ti'.'\ t1t,:..s that is, we really don't want any _,u_f_,.,_ schools or anything like ~, but we do feel that we are missing out on some money that we would get otherwise, ifre 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 9ut to be very controversial, •~ c or it may turn out to be something successful. Right now, the~group across the river, acrass the Lumbee River, who call themselves TuscarorasJa1~( They do not want to go under the name Lum.bee. And I'm sure that if Lumbees don't ch some of this, they will be doing this for us. Perhaps LRDA is a good organization to begin this project, and I tliink it is a

PAGE 22

22 pwh very touch.y 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 -t-hat to secure some frmds, to be eligible for some funds,...:.mm. they are not eligible for ff a 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. Connnissioner Bruce,I understand feels this way, and talked to Thomas Oxendine of the f:>Jft. ! understand he feels this way, also. And of>urse, 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, U....r~ w ~!. no opposition to Brantley Blue's statement on the J:t necessity for enrollment. 1IMrt! appears to me that Brantley Blue, of the Indian Claims Commission, who is a Lumbee, and then Thomas Oxendine, of the r3 Jft who is a Lumbee, if they feel this way, tfi.en L•do riot feel that, it appears to me that they would really be in the position of the Kn,o-w hoJ I have not talked with Helen Se.hi.erbacli, of Indian Educationh Washington, D.C., Director of American Indian Education, and it will be of a great deal of interest to hear what she has;;.to1.;.say on this matter. For years and/ears, we have struggled along trying to get some organization going, that could speak for Lumbee 1 s people, and it appears we are moving. I migh.t add that during the 1930's and around 1914, 1914 when Mr. ' Locklear worked so hard, --and in 19 in the 1930 1 s when Mr. James Chavis, and Mr. Joe Brooks,

PAGE 23

23 pwh and Mr. (l,_ 9 :thu Locklear, and many others worked on the SiotA.1af'\ bills. <) +ha+wets 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 1 s, or had, nothing been started in 1914, that is, in the way of seeking Congressional recogni.tion) ,,!here's a very good chanqe 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 rally, when the Lumbee Indians put Catfish Pole on the rtm, and we were given national recognition. As a matter of fact, I understand, from overseas, from England, and I tmderstand some cablegrams came in ~>-h,1p.s. oneAM!!f/Et. from the Soviet Union. So this, I feel like, really gave us a good send-off, putting ~Ion the H:-a& on the run. I feel sure that there will never be another Kl'i\() movement in Robeson County that will get anywhere, not if the Lumbee Indians know about it. It can be taking the law in tfie.ir own hands, or call it whatever you may, it is just something that can't possibly get off in Robeson Cotmty. 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 Country; 11 and so forth. But uh, this sign could never ~+al'\clin any field in Robeson County. -tt, at The Indians would take it down. It's really amazing I\ 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 that within the law, we can't do it ought to be done, yet we know can this kind of thing. But weAlook at

PAGE 24

24 pwh ~. +J.,af another way, and say, ''Well> we ought ~not~do this, this is not really our thing." But anyway, i+ 1 s ho+ a VHlj c,muc{ Jh,'a c, . I I ' (f