Monologue with Adolf Dial, September 21, 1971

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Monologue with Adolf Dial, September 21, 1971
Dial, Adolf ( Speaker )
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Subjects / Keywords:
Lumbee Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Lumbee County (Fla.)


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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LUM 250A -36 /

MONOLOGUE: Adolph Dial l eC rL -

TITLE: Miscellaneous Field Notes and Commentary

DATE: September 21, 1971

D: September 21, 1971. Adolph Dial speaking. I'm recording some of the

facts of last week's meeting in Aspen, Colorado. The American Indian

Historical Society met in Aspen, Colorado last week, the fifteenth

through the nineteenth... At the Society, the American Indian Historical

Society, there were 125 Indians throughout the country invited to attend.

About eighty-five or ninety showed up, or maybe as many as one hundred,

and the Lumbees were well represented. In this group was Brantly Blue,

of the Indian Claims Commission,uh, Samuel Kearns, student from Pembroke

State University, who was the ex-president of the Lugbee Student

Association, and Dr. Bobby Brayboy, Lt. Commander of the U.S. Navy,

who is presently working on another degree at the University of North

Carolina in Public Health. And we were, as I say, well represented,

myself, Adolph Dial, was vice-chairman of the Second Convocation.This

was the Second Convocation, the first was held in __

Bobby Brayboy who appeared on one of the panels, and Brantly

Blue gave one of the major addresses of the week. And he was on a hot

spot, too. He served on the Claims Commission, and Lumbees have never

been concerned with Indian Claims, never been in wars with the govern-

ment, and never have any legal claims for some reason or other. However,

perhaps we ought to have, maybe. But the Indians in the group seemed

to think that he was not sympathetic to their cause, and that the

government recently has purchased land for nine cents per acre and forty-

seven cents per acre, and so forth, and taken California where they

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wanted a dollar-and-a-quarter per acre and they wanted to settle for

forty-seven cents per acre. I remember things very little. But he was

on a hot spot, there Indian Claims was a very touchy subject to those

people where they have claims and they feel they're not getting a

fair break. And of course, Brantly Blue was on the defensive because

representing the Claims Commission, they only have the authority to

go by the law, and Congress has laid down the law, and that is saying

that land will be worth a certain amount per acre that it was at a

certain date, and of course, what it amounts to is not very much, and

of course then, you have their side too, that the land over the years,

and the interest on the money and so forth, that they ought to be

getting more. But it was a very, very touchy and a very hot subject.

Perhaps I ought not to record this, but Mrs. who is

head of the Indian,who the Indian Historian, and the

wife of Mr. Rufus who is President of the American Indian

Historical Society, who came by Brantly Blue, and.on Friday morning

at breakfast and said, "Well, you're a good sport, but I don't agree

with all you said," and he said, "Well, if you can do so well, why

don't you go up and do it?" And he didn't like that, and he came over

to me, and said, "Listen, you better go over to your friend Brantly

Blue and say and tell him that I said to cool it." And I didn't move

immediately,, and then Mr. came over and _

to say about what Brantly had said. Of course, finally I went over there

and I said, "Brantly, says 'Cool it,' And he says, "I'll

tell my side, and I'll just say what I want to, whether they like it

or not." And someone had said, "Well, Mr. sister is there

at the table, his sister. And he said, "Well, good, then

she can tell him what I have to say!"

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So you can see, that Indian Claims is a very touchy issue with the

American Indians. I talked with one fella who didn't attend the meeting

the night Brantly spoke, and said, "Well, I didn't see you last night,"

And he says, "Well, I don't want to hear anything discussed on claims

because it's so near and dear to me. I just rather not be there." And

I think the Indians of the West and all over the country have had a

dirty deal on Indian Claims. We spend all this money sending rockets,

a man to the moon, and rockets up and so fonh, why not give the Indian

people a little to live on, because that's all they were

long ago. And Linda Oxendine has a

place where the National Congress for the American

Indian, Tom Oxendine was a public relations man, the P.R. man for

the Bureau of Indian Affairs,

_Ellen Sehierbeck

is the of Indian Education for the entire United

States. Sehierbeck is spelled S..E..H..I..E..R..B..E..C..K. It was

pointed out at the American Indian Histerical-iSociety that there

was an organization of Indian M.D.'s. And of course, they only have

thitty-five in this organization, but they thought perhaps that a few

more were throughout the country. I pointed out that we had sixty-

seven M.D.'s among the Lumbees including one lady, helping the others

who had their office in California. Now, they know that the local

doctors have to work and _

those are the ones and so forth, bit oftentimes, Lumbees go

away and become _or rather they go as whites, and this

was a very popular thing to do, if you could pass for white,several

years ago, but today everybody's wanting to claim that they have

some Indian blood. It's very popular today to have some Indian blood,

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I see my secretary laughing, she was long ago.Some of

these have gone away, and but

as I said, oftentimes they feel they will get along better not to

be Indians, but be white, and this is, just comes from

Yes, it's a matter of individual opinion, and hopefully, they're

prepared to be Lumbee. Of course at times it's impossible. Had

a friend in Detroit once and told him I was Indian, and he never did,

after we were very good friends, and after I told him I was Indian,

Ae began to get his cold shoulder, my wife and his wife. My wife

and his wife more or less had the parting of the ways.Discrimination

is something that you really don't understand. You don't understand

when you read about it, you don't understand when you hear about it,

you don't understand when you see it on the T.V. You don't understand

it when you hear it on the radio. You have to really be part of it.

Lumbee Indian Caucus is still under fire, on voter registration, the

reason being that the white power structure in Robeson County hates

to see the minority registered, because it might be a threat to their

position. People are beginning to think more and more in terms of our

Lumbees and doing something for them, because absolute

and absolute necessity.Received a telephone call this morning from

Mr. Robert Kusel, K..U..S..E..L, of the Home, which is

the home of Corporation, and he said

that he wanted to know a little about the Indians, and do a little

research on them, and do something,for eifty-five to ninety percent

of his people are Lumbees, and he'd like to establish a yearly

scholarship for some Lumbee Indians, and I don't know where we'll

meet next week. He didn't say whether we'd have to

or some other place. But he pointed out, that they have had some labor

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trouble, and of course, it was all for,like a misunderstanding, as

well as I recall, a few months ago, some of the boys had turned over

a pair of trailer and the man came down and aaid,"What do

you want?" And they said, "Well, we want so-and-so fired,"and he was

fired, and "We want a raise of twenty-five cents an hour," and he

was granted that. Perhaps other companies will see that this is good

to follow. One North Carolina student here enrolled at Pembroke

State University says that the school system at Robeson County is the

worst that you've ever seen, and that there seems to be a lot of apathy

here, and she says, "Well, I guess the people just,they don't seem to

care, but I guess they can't do anything about it." One former member

of the Beard of Education said to a friend of mine on one occasion,

"If we advocate the Lumbee Indian, who's going to work our ?"

In spite of all the drawbacks and so forth, the Lumbee Indians are

probably the most progressive Indians in the country, economically,

socially, and politically. Visited the Navaho reservation less than

a month ago, and one of my old friends there, a white friend who

used to teach at Pembroke State University,his wife said, that uh,

for the

Navaho Indians, and if they happen to have a cover over their little

they really having something. Most of the

people there will be driving a pickup truck, instead of automobiles.

and a few of them have

gotten a trailer but a nice home was out of the question. I didn't

see a single one. Navaho reservations today, thirteen million acres

population having twenty-five thousand. One thing that impressed me,

was the community, the Navaho Community College, Ned Apopoles(?),

spelling very difficult, Ned Apopoles, was, he is president of this

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community college, and he says, speaking of a community serving its

people, and a college serving its community, he says"We have people

enrolled in Navaho Community College who have never been to a

school in their lives, who can't read one sentence.The community

college seems to be serving the community the best it can; they

teach welding, they teach sheep raising, and

all these things. Personally, I feel that Pembroke State University

needs to play ageater role in the community.And I'd like to say

right here that basically I oppose admission scores for college

students. I think what's important......(a little interruption there),

as I was saying, I'm not sure that I go along with any score for

admissions into a state college or university. What's important is

the finished product. If a student takes five years,to finish, six,

seven, eight, or ten, you don't necessarily have to lower the

standards just because you've taken students with lower college

board scores. Everybody is intrested today knowing about Lumbee

Indians. A girl, Miss Pat Carr from St. Andrews, just left the office

and she's doing a research paper, and uh, she seems to have a certain

amount of aprehension about going into the community, and seeing the

people and asking questions. She has now handed up the prospect to

talk with the principal. He'll probably be by later. Back to my original

subject of the total enrollment of Pembroke State University today among

the Indians isn't much different from what it was many, many years ago.

Now, this was saying that the University is not serving the community in

the way that it ought to. I feel that a real university is going to meet

the needs of the community, because that's its primary purpose. This

was originally an all Indian school, and it was set up for that purpose,

and although we're very glad to have white students here, I feel that the

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original purpose of the school ought not to be ignored. There would be

more Indians here, many would like to attend, but they can't pass the

College Board Scores. They can't make that score, minimum requirements

for admission, and this is because of background and poor schools,

and so forth, and so on. Lumbee Indians have a tendency to take their

very bright students or their very successful students, and say, "Look

at so-and-so, he did so-and-so, he's a doctor, he's a lawyer." But they

overlook hundreds and thousands of others who were not so successful,

and Lumbee Indians have a way, or the upper class, of ignoring other

people who really need help. And there's a separation in society,

like you would find in any society. The upper middle-class don't

waste much time, which is mostly, the upper middle-class dontt waste

much time with the lower economic group, and of course, this is bad.

This is real bad,aside from not It seems over the

years at Pembroke State College have been very low, and the students

who have not been attending it's not because of the money as much as

it is not being able to meet the minimum requirements on the College

Board Scores.