UNCP Honors American Indians in Month Long Celebration: November Is National American Indian Heritage Month

On Saturday, Nov. 3, dancers dressed out in American Indian regalia kickstarted the
celebration of American Indian Heritage Day just before UNCP faced off against Mars Hill
at 1 p.m. PN Photo/Trevon Knight

 

In honor of the founders of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, as well as the importance of the rich cultural ties that the university has to American Indians, UNC Pembroke will hold a month long celebration of American Indian heritage (AIH).

 

According to Lawrence Locklear, Lumbee, author of Hail to UNCP and former Southeast American Indian Studies coordinator, “We [American Indians] celebrate our heritage 365 days a year, but it [National AIH month] gives us a month to focus on our heritage.”

 

Campus events centered on the traditions, practices and culture of American Indians will be held throughout the month of November.

 

“It is a time especially for our students to demonstrate pride in their heritage and to share our history and culture to others who are interested,” Locklear added.

 

He also said that this month is an opportunity to educate students and community members on American Indian history.

 

In addition, the month not only aims to celebrate AIH, but to educate students and American Indian students who may not be aware of American Indian history.

 

On Saturday, Nov. 3, dancers dressed out in American Indian regalia kicked off American Indian Heritage Day at Grace P. Johnson Stadium just before UNCP faced off against Mars Hill at 1 p.m.

 

Throughout American Indian Heritage (AIH) month, students have the opportunity to explore

American Indian Heritage as they participate in these campus wide events.

 

Doing so will not only educate students, faculty and community members, but will also be a campus-wide celebration of the rich heritage that the university was founded on in 1887.

 

Without the passion of UNC Pembroke’s founders, as early educators and students of American Indian heritage who pursued the opportunity to a formal education, the university would never have existed and Americans Indians, specifically Lumbee natives of Robeson County, might

not have attained the chance at a higher education until much later.

 

The campus wide celebration of American Indian Heritage is open to the public.

 

According to https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov, “In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 ‘National American Indian Heritage Month.’”

 

For more information on National American Indian heritage month, you can visit https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov

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